Dec 30 2009
Lauren Elkin: Chorus Girls
From the cabaret to the nightclub, from the theater to the ballet, women who perform in public have attracted writers and artists for as long as women have performed in public. Unlike the prostitute, who, as Walter Benjamin once said, is "saleswoman and wares in one," the chorus girl is not exactly selling herself—she's selling a dream of who she might be. The gaze that falls on her is sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes singular, sometimes multiple. Onstage or off, the chorus girl is defined by her relationship to a necessary other—her audience—who, after all, may just be the reader.
… full text available to registered users