Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!: Russian Popular Music and by Stephen Amico

By Stephen Amico

established at the musical studies of gay males in St. Petersburg and Moscow, this ground-breaking examine examines how post-Soviet well known track either informs and performs off of a corporeal realizing of Russian male homosexuality.

Drawing upon ethnography, musical research, and phenomenological concept, Stephen Amico bargains a professional technical research of Russian rock, pop, and estrada tune, dovetailing into an illuminating dialogue of gay men's actual and physically perceptions of song. He additionally outlines how renowned song performers use tune lyrics, drag, actual routine, photographs of girls, sexualized male our bodies, and different instruments and tropes to implicitly or explicitly show sexual orientation via functionality. ultimately, Amico uncovers how such performances support gay Russian males to create their very own social areas and selves, in significant relation to others with whom they proportion a "nontraditional orientation."

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Additional info for Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!: Russian Popular Music and Post-Soviet Homosexuality

Sample text

The realm of sexuality, for a large number of these men, was also seen as reliant upon the material body; many saw their sexual orientation as being biologically based (ascribing their homosexuality to either hormonal or genetic influences), something they were “born with,” and sexual attraction and behavior as likewise somatically motivated. For example, several found the Homosexual Bodies/Embodied Homosexuality 17 idea of monogamy between two men impossible on a “biological level,” and questioned the viability of long-term, committed male homosexual relationships.

Petersburg and Moscow. Through the limited contact I had with men living in smaller locales within the country (and through reminiscences of those men who had moved to these urban centers from more rural, provincial locations), it was clear that one’s experiences of sexuality and (popular) culture varied greatly based on geocultural location. As such, this study makes no attempt to engage those peoples or locales outside of the two mentioned, and it makes no claims to comprehensiveness in terms of the Russian Federation as an entity.

Petersburg (Rotikov 1998), visible by their dress, carriage, argot, and mien, but also as the assumed audience of the homoeroticized male body as represented in and by the photographs of muscular athletes taken at the studio of Karl Bulla, the paintings of Kuz’ma Petrov-Vodkin, and the kinesthetic forms of ballet dancers Vatslav Nizhinskii and his contemporaries. This homosexual body was not entirely eradicated in post-Revolutionary Russia, but in fact left pictorial and embodied traces in the very mechanisms enlisted by the state in its attempts to perfect the individual-social body: From any number of hygiene-related posters and pamphlets depicting homosocial environments populated with nude or seminude men,49 to the spectacles of fizkul’tura parades (one of which was immortalized on film in 1937),50 to the paintings and mosaics of artists such as Aleksandr Deineka (showing nude, male Soviet citizens in “healthy” activities),51 to the very physical space of the bania (a space in which, as noted, the “healthy” Soviet body might be maintained, but also where the propinquity of one male body to another might lead to actual sexual activity),52 the male body, often inherently sexualized via the foregrounding of its aesthetic and sensual attributes, served as a repository—one often apparently, mind-bogglingly incongruous in the 18 chapter 1 context of a supposedly sexo- and homophobic discursive space—for the public symbolization of a male-male sexual desire that was, for all intents and purposes, blocked in all other spheres.

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