Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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70 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 school selected to join the company. e dance world is a strange place to become sexually aware. e intimacy borders of the rest of the world melt away at the barre: every day, dancers touch others and are touched. ey hone their bodies into tools that other people use. "It's really, really confusing," Curran says. "e bodies are such specimens. You lose perspective, is the best way to put it. You're looking at a female form and thinking, 'My, god, she's beautiful.' But are you looking because she's a beautiful dancer, or because she's a beautiful woman? And same thing with men. Am I looking at the person thinking, 'I want to emulate that?' or 'I want to be with that?' You totally lose that perspective." Becoming a professional dancer complicated matters. Curran made his career as a partner. His director at the Australian Ballet, David McAllister, who still holds that position, says ballerinas had "bidding wars" over who got to dance with Curran. When Curran joined the company, McAllister was still a dancer, and he performed a version of Cinderella in which Curran lifted him off his feet. "I remember getting to Robert, and it was like, 'Oh. My. God,'" McAllister says. Members of the company used to call Curran's style "fingertip partnering." "Because he'd have his partner hanging off one finger, and looking beautiful, and as if she was in the most comfortable position," McAllister says. With all that attention on him as a woman's partner, would audiences believe him if they found out he was gay? Curran wasn't totally sure what he believed himself. en, in his early 20s, he fell for another man. "Totally different to me. Extrovert, crazy, ADD, Scorpio," says Curran, a Taurus. "But something happened that hadn't happened before, so I was like, 'OK, you've got to pay attention to this.' e intimacy became different, even the sexual intimacy was very different." Still, he kept his personal life private for fear it could affect his career. And even after he came out to his parents in his mid-20s — "at was a nonissue; it changed nothing," his father says — Curran had relationships with women. "I don't think that I've ever been really sure," he says. "I cannot imagine myself in a relationship with a woman, but I can't say that I was ever like, 'OK, exclusively, that's it.' I think they say, 'I've never been a gold star gay.' I think

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