Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

August 25, 2018

Lindsay kemp, Bowie Mentor Dead at 80


Lindsay Kemp, the ground-breaking dancer and choreographer who inspired David Bowie, has died at the age of 80.
Kemp was known to pop fans for helping Bowie create his Ziggy Stardust persona and teaching Kate Bush to dance.
Director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky, who was making a documentary about Kemp, told BBC News that he was "a force of nature" and still working until his death in Livorno, Italy.
His spectacular productions combined mime, dance, theatre and cabaret.

'Born dancing'

Kemp was also known for his film cameos, appearing as a pub landlord in The Wicker Man in 1973 and as a pantomime dame in the film Velvet Goldmine in 1998.
Born in 1938 near Liverpool, Kemp grew up in South Shields and quickly discovered a vocation in dance.
"I realised that I wanted to dance when I first realised anything at all. I was born dancing," he said.
"For me dancing has always been a shortcut to happiness."
He first saw Ballet Rambert perform at the age of 17 and soon after hitchhiked to London to audition.
Lindsay Kemp performing Kemp Dreams Kabuki Courtesan in Florence, Italy, in June 2017Image copyrightMAURIZIO DEGL'INNOCENTI/EPA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Image captionLindsay Kemp performing Kemp Dreams Kabuki Courtesan in Florence, Italy, in June 2017
Lindsay KempImage copyrightALAMY
Image captionKemp was described as "so charismatic, so full of life"
He won a scholarship, but needed to complete his military service first.
Kemp told BBC Newsnight in 2016: "I had a fairly tough time in the Air Force, because I didn't march… I danced."
He studied under expressionist dancer Hilde Holger and French mime Marcel Marceau before forming his own dance company in the 1960s.


In 1966, Kemp met David Bowie after a performance in Covent Garden when the singer was 19.
"He came to my dressing room and he was like the archangel Gabriel standing there, I was like Mary," he said.
"It was love at first sight."
Bowie became his student and his lover, performing in Kemp's show, Pierrot in Turquoise and gaining the theatrical inspiration for Ziggy Stardust.
"He was certainly multi-faceted, a chameleon, splendid, inspiring, a genius of a creature. But I did show him how to do it," Kemp said.
Lindsay Kemp performing as Salome in 1978Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionLindsay Kemp performing as Salome in Toronto in 1978
Lindsay Kemp outside the Toronto Workshop Productions in 1978Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionIn off-duty mode, Kemp poses outside the theatre in the same year
Lindsay Kemp, right, with David Haughton in July 1975Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKemp appearing in the play Flowers with long-term collaborator David Haughton in 1975
He also taught Kate Bush to dance, describing her as a shy performer who nevertheless was "dynamic" when she began to move.
The singer later dedicated the song Moving to him, pushing a copy under the door of his London flat.
Kemp said: "It was a very moving experience, because I didn't know she was a singer."
He made his mark on the world of modern dance with shows such as Cruel Garden, a collaboration with Christopher Bruce at Ballet Rambert.

An original

Celebrities paid their respects on Twitter, with comedian Julian Clary writing: "Rest in Peace Lindsay."
Doctor Who actor Barnaby Edwards described Kemp as an "absolute delight". 
"The world will be less fun and less naughty without him," he added.
The actor and Bowie expert Nicholas Pegg shared a photo of himself on stage with the singer Marc Almond and Kemp, whom he called "one of life's originals".
Ms Pinto-Duschinsky said Kemp had been rehearsing with students, preparing for a tour and writing his memoirs before his death on Saturday morning.
"We always forgot that Lindsay was 80 - it doesn't seem like that when someone is so charismatic, so full of life and such a force of nature really," she said.

June 6, 2018

European Court Rules For Freedom Of Movement for Same Sex Married Couples

EU ECJ spouse definition gay marriage same sex marriage

The European Court of Justice ruled today that as far as the laws of free movement within the European Union are concerned, the term “spouse” includes married people of the same sex (pdf).
It is a victory for a US-Romanian couple who asked the EU’s top court to rule that gay married couples have the same rights to live in whatever country they want in the bloc as straight people, even if gay marriage is illegal in the EU member state they live in.
Romanian citizen Adrian Coman and American Clai Hamilton met in America in 2002 and married in Brussels in 2010. When Coman’s job at the European Parliament ended in 2012, he tried to register their marriage certificate with the Romanian consulate in Brussels, to claim residence rights for his husband and was denied.
The pair sued Romania, accusing it of violating EU laws that allow couples to live and work anywhere in the bloc. The case reached the ECJ in 2016.
The ECJ has the ultimate say and its rulings must be adopted by all member states. Currently, 22 out of 28 EU member states allow gay marriage and civil partnerships but the freedom of movement rights differed in countries where same-sex partnerships were not recognized.
The ruling will likely fan the flames of hatred towards Brussels not just in Romania, but among eurosceptic, right-wing governments in countries like Poland, Hungary and Latvia too, who argue that it’s up to national governments, not Brussels to decide how to define marriage.


May 17, 2018

LGBT Rights Under Threat in Un-unified Europe

Malta is the best place in Europe to be gay, according to its laws. Azerbaijan is the worst, but Latvia and Poland, which are EU members, do not rank much higher, while overall progress is "stagnating". 
Those were the findings of the annual Rainbow Europe survey published on Tuesday (15 May) by Ilga-Europe, an NGO in Brussels.
  • ILGA-Europe's 2018 map: from green (gay-friendly), to red (hostile) (Photo:
Malta scored 91 percent in the ranking, which looks at countries' pro-LGBTI rights laws and policies after it passed legislation on marriage equality and gender-neutral passports. 
It was followed by Belgium (79 percent), Norway (78 percent), Finland (73 percent), France (73 percent), and the UK (73 percent). 
Denmark, Portugal, and Spain also scored well, completing an arc of gay-friendly states, shown in green on ILGA-Europe's map, in northern and western Europe. 
Marriage equality also became reality for same-sex couples in the EU heartland last year, but faint-green Germany (59 percent) still lacked laws to protect LGBTI people from hate speech. 
The situation became grimmer as one headed south to Italy (27 percent) and east to Poland (18 percent), where the map turned yellow and amber. 
"LGBTI people in Poland continued to encounter discrimination," and the Polish government was putting pressure on rights NGOs, Ilga-Europe said. "Physical attacks reported by individual LGBTI people [in Poland] are not just statistics. They are personal cases," it said. The map turned red the further east and south one traveled to Russia (11 percent), Turkey (9 percent), Armenia (7 percent), and Azerbaijan (5 percent). 
News emerged of anti-gay pogroms in Russia's Chechnya province in developments that showed the link between protection of LGBTI minorities and broader civil liberties and rule of law standards, Ilga-Europe said. 
"The efforts of investigative journalists to expose what was happening in Chechnya remind us of the importance of the fundamental freedom of expression," it said.
Turkey put LGBTI defenders in prison as part of its post-2016 coup crackdown on civil society and police fired rubber bullets at a makeshift Pride march in Istanbul. 
Azerbaijan police snatched gay men in Baku, beat them, and subjected them to forced medical exams.
The horrors on the edge of Europe aside, the rise of far-right and illiberal politicians posed a threat of regression in EU states, Ilga-Europe warned.
It spoke of a "worrying … the political climate of rising levels of populism, nationalism, and civil society scapegoating". 
"Trends like populism and nationalism aren't just political buzzwords - they can have a lasting impact on the lives of LGBTI people in Europe. There are too many signs around us that many of the recent wins are fragile," the NGO's Evelyne Paradis said. 
Even in Europe's green belt, some countries which were once frontrunners on gay rights began "stagnating" last year, Ilga-Europe warned, noting that the Netherlands (60 percent), for instance, had dropped outside the top 10. 
LGBTI people in Malta, the top-ranked, still suffered from "hate speech" and "intolerance", the NGO noted. 
In Belgium, Europe's second most gay-friendly country, an equality body called Unia "highlighted rising numbers of discrimination cases based on sexual orientation being referred to it," the NGO said.
Its survey of 49 states described Europe overall as "a region where advances are not being made at the rate they once were". 
"This lack of sustained progress on LGBTI equality issues should set off alarm bells," Ilga-Europe said.

November 28, 2017

Gay Marriage in A Romanian Court Room Would Make Europe Take a Big! Notice

 Adrian Coman outside the Constitutional Court of Romania in Bucharest in 2016. He is pressing for the right to legal residency for his American husband. CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images 

The European Union’s highest court began examining a case on Tuesday over a Romanian man’s attempts to get legal residency for his American husband, a closely watched hearing that will have major implications for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe.
The case, legal experts say, could determine whether same-sex partners are afforded some of the same benefits and rights available to heterosexual spouses across the 28-member bloc, irrespective of the countries’ stance on same-sex marriage. Specifically, it would affect whether they would be allowed to live and work freely across the European Union, one of the region’s fundamental principles.
“This is the first time the European Court of Justice has been asked to decide whether ‘spouse’ includes a same-sex spouse,” said Robert Wintemute, a professor of human rights law at King’s College London.
The case before the court involves Adrian Coman, a Romanian rights activist, and his American partner, Claibourn Robert Hamilton. The couple was married in Belgium in 2010, seven years after the country legalized same-sex marriage. Belgium is one of 13 countries in the European Union to allow same-sex marriage, while a further nine member states have civil unions or something similar, according to Mr. Wintemute.
European Union laws give the citizens of the bloc’s member states and their family members the right to move and freely reside across the region, subject to certain conditions. But as the couple looked to move to Romania, the authorities in Bucharest refused to recognize their relationship for the purposes of residency. Romania prohibits marriage between people of the same sex and does not recognize same-sex marriages carried out abroad. It is one of six European Union countries with no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.
In 2013, Mr. Coman and Mr. Hamilton challenged the country’s refusal to recognize Mr. Hamilton’s right to a residence permit as a spouse. The case bounced around domestic courts before the country’s Constitutional Court referred it to the European Court of Justice in November 2016.
The couple now live in the United States, but if the court rules in their favor, the impact could be considerable, and not just for them. It would effectively force Romania and five other countries — as well as any country that joins the European Union in the future — to grant same-sex couples who have been married elsewhere residency and working rights, as long as one of them is an E.U. citizen.
“I grew up here, and I still refer to Romania as my home country,” Mr. Coman said in an interview late last year, as the case was progressing through Romania’s legal system. “Sooner or later, I’ll be back.” 
Reached by phone on Tuesday, shortly after the hearing had finished, he expressed optimism about the eventual verdict, which won’t be known for several months, but added that the process had taken far too long.
“Starting this litigation, we realized that we had to take it to the end, whatever the end was,” Mr. Coman said.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Romania in 2001. But same-sex marriage remains a contentious issue in the country, with its majority Orthodox Christian population.
In early 2016, three million Romanians out of a population of roughly 20 million signed a petition calling for the constitutional definition of marriage to be altered, from a union between two spouses to one specifically between a man and a woman. In July 2016, the country’s Constitutional Court accepted the validity of the proposal, paving the way for a referendum on the topic, which could be held next year.
The case at the European Court of Justice, then, comes at an important moment for Romania’s gay community.
“People see it as a beacon of hope after 16 years in which no progress has been made in Romania concerning equal rights, in terms of legislation,” said Vlad Viski, the president of MozaiQ, a Romanian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group.
“A positive decision in the Coman case would also send a symbolic signal to society that L.G.B.T. people must be treated as citizens, that ought to be respected by the state, by institutions, by fellow citizens.”
       By s
     New York Time

August 14, 2017

Fashion Celebrity? Calls for Mass Execution of "Non" Heterosexuals

                    Gallery • ArtRon Griswold: Modern Handshows With Classic Touches!

I was going to post a picture of this hater, I felt I would rather put the picture of a duck for my own reasons but then I decided to post something universal to us all and it should make a man or woman, gay or straight say, ahh! comme c'est beau (French not Turk)

A Kyrgyz fashion-world celebrity has drawn criticism after apparently calling for the mass execution of "nontraditional" sexual minorities and prostitutes in the Central Asian republic.

In a Facebook post on August 10, Amina Yusurova 🦆 a fashion model and national director of the Kyrgyzstan World Beauty Congress wrote: "Round up all the people of non-traditional orientation and blow them all up on one island." 

She added that "women of low social responsibility" should be included "on that island."

It is unclear what prompted the digital outburst, but in it, the 29-year-old Yusurova suggests that such people damage the reputation of the country and its capital, Bishkek.

The term "nontraditional sexual orientation" is frequently used by detractors in ex-Soviet states to refer to gay, lesbian, and other sexual minorities.

'Intolerant, Bloodthirsty'

Yusurova🦆🦆 has provoked outrage in the past with comments targeting ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan, a country of around 6 million people that declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

A number of Yusurova's Facebook followers criticized her remarks, variously calling them "intolerant," "aggressive," and "bloodthirsty," and a Kyrgyz news website urged police to take action.

"You're setting everyone against yourself," Dzhamilya Turdakunova said via the social network.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Sumsarbek Obbo Mamyraly, a Facebook user from Bishkek.

Another suggested Yusurova "use her beauty to spread a different type of message."

One Facebook user wrote that he is "against" sexual minorities but that doesn't give him the right "to blow them up or take some other action against them."

Yusurova🦆 countered by saying that "these are my thoughts," while adding that she had the right to express her opinions.

Inciting Hatred?

The model, who has more than 6,100 Facebook followers, has previously urged Kyrgyz people to kick out ethnic Russians on the social network, according to local media reports. She has since removed that post.

Kyrgyz news website called on Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry and security services to "react" to Yusurova's comments, suggesting she has a history of offensive remarks.

Another popular news website,, suggested that Yusurova's "comments in the public space -- directly or indirectly -- fall under the article on inciting ethnic hatred" in the country's Criminal Code. 

Sexual minorities often face discrimination and harassment in Kyrgyzstan, where statistics point to a recent rise in attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

In 2016, Kyrgyzstan effectively banned same-sex marriages in an amendment to the Constitution stipulating that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

A bill criminalizing so-called gay "propaganda" is currently set for a final reading in the Kyrgyz parliament before becoming law.

Written by RFE/RL correspondent Farangis Najibullah

June 20, 2017

Russia is Blasted by the European Court on Its Anti-Gay Propaganda Law

 Russian Gay demonstrator is arrested by police in 2013

 Russia's "gay propaganda" law is discriminatory and encourages homophobia, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
The Strasbourg judges said Russia had discriminated against three gay rights activists who opposed the law. It was adopted in 2013, banning the promotion of homosexuality among people under 18.
The law "reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia", the ruling said.
Gay rights groups condemned the law.
Under the law, private individuals deemed to be promoting "homosexual behavior among minors" face fines of up to 5,000 roubles (£67; $85), while officials risk paying 10 times that amount. Businesses and schools can be fined up to 500,000 roubles.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay prejudice is rife.
Critics see the propaganda law as part of a state campaign to marginalize LGBT activists, whose work includes dissemination of sexual health advice. 
The Strasbourg court said the fines imposed on three Russian gay rights activists violated Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
According to the court, the legislation aimed at curbing the promotion of homosexuality was "not clearly defined" and was implemented in an arbitrary way. It "served no legitimate public interest", the court said. 

'Protecting morality'

Russia's justice ministry says it will appeal, arguing that the law is aimed "exclusively at protecting the morals and health of children". 

Arrest of Nikolai Alexeyev in Moscow, 25 Sept 2013Image copyrightAFP
Image captionOne of the gay litigants, Nikolai Alexeyev, has been arrested repeatedly

MP Vitaly Milonov, of the ruling United Russia party, who introduced the original bill into the St Petersburg parliament and which formed the basis of the federal law, told BBC Russian that the court's decision was "anti-national".
"It is absolutely harmful, and those who set up this decision are enemies of Europe," he said.
The three activists had been found guilty for protesting against the law in 2009-2012 - outside a secondary school in Ryazan, a children's library in Archangel and an administrative building in St Petersburg. The court rejected the Russian government's claim that such a law was needed to protect morality. 
It found that the government had "failed to demonstrate how freedom of expression on LGBT issues would devalue or otherwise adversely affect actual and existing 'traditional families' or would compromise their future". 
Such laws, the judges said, "embodied a predisposed bias on the part of a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority".
They ordered Russia to pay each of the activists' damages of between €8,000 (£7,000; $8,900) and €20,000.
One of the three, Nikolai Alexeyev, hailed the ruling as a "total victory", the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports from Moscow.
He had picketed a children's library, holding a sign declaring that gay people could also be great - and listing the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein as examples.

May 26, 2017

Trump in Europe Shows Zero Stamina, Falls Apart in Brussels

Click for video

(      The bull in the China shop              )

Losing, showing zero stamina and falling apart in the final days of his first “world-tour”, he has not quite started World War III, but is getting much closer.
Light assaults of other world leaders, first person to make Pope Francis show a ‘sad face’ so far, and other achievements of Boss Baby's first trip abroad as "the President"…
Emmanuel Macron may not be the largest fan of Donald Trump, and today he indicated it quite clearly. 

As the man approached the NATO leaders for their unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall memorials, Trump appears ready to shake hands or receive Emmanuel. Almost comically, Emmanuel pivots slightly, dodging Donald as he warmly greets Angela Merkel first. 
Donald Trump is “left hanging” with his hands open, body language suggests betrayal as he holds both hands outwards, empty, before remembering he is on camera, and the President of the United States.

Later that day, the two leaders had a ‘working lunch’, afterwards there was your usual photo-opportunity… Clearly, Emmanuel has been doing his homework, and was all prepared for Donald’s notorious grabby-hands… 
With a mischievous grin, Macron has ‘won’ this encounter. Donald Trump seems to wince in pain, and as soon as their handshake begins it is clear who is the stronger-man. Trump seems to be trying to escape the death-grip, but the French President is not letting go… He holds on for about 4-5 seconds too-long as Donald screams inside, before his sense of compassion lets the grumpy old man go. 
5 stars, will watch this on loop, and subscribe.
Later on, making an incredibly ignorant speech; one that Vladimir Putin must be very pleased with, decrying the “money that other countries owe” the United States in his errant understanding of the North Atlantic Treaty. 
“These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the Alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.
This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.  And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.  Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined.  If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves.” — Donald Trump

Not to finish on a sour note, Donald Trump shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro; Duško Marković aside as he spitefully forced his obese frame through the NATO leaders and heads-of-state… 

Duško was diplomatic about the incident, and pretended to not mind at all; stating that “it is natural” to reporters after the summit. He took the time to thank Trump for supporting the relatively small republics new membership into NATO…

I had predicted that his behaviour would slowly decline each day Donnie is away from his golden-toilet and favourite toilet-bed, and it has played out as expected… 
Highlights such as: Making the Pope sad, Melania’s hilarious hand-rejections, and “bullying” or egotistical actions were all quite predictable, yet still shameful for the leader of the United States to display. An incredibly stupid man, with far too much responsibility to handle… 

How much longer can the citizens of the free-world stand this circus act?
Follow us on Twitter, and check out our website for more breaking news and media.

By Stirling Campbell

May 14, 2017

Portugal Wins Eurovision Song Contest with Salvador Sobral

Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday, marking the first time that country has won the contest since 1964. The winning song, "Amar Pelos Dois," had been a favorite through last week's semifinals.
In his acceptance speech, singer Salvador Sobral railed against what he called "disposable music," saying he thought his win was "a victory for music with people who make music that actually means something." After his win, Sobral reprised the winning song as a duet with his sister Luísa, who wrote and composed it.
Sobral first performed his winning ballad bare-bones, stripped of many of the larger-than-life on-stage (and off-stage) treatments associated with Eurovision. There were no backup dancers or pyrotechnics; a stage manager urged audience members in the arena not to cheer as Sobral's quieted performance began. Another relatively rare feature of this year's winner was that Sobral sung in Portuguese, not English, which often hampers a country's shot at winning. The last non-English winner was in 2007, when Serbia's Marija Šerifović won with "Molitva."
Kristian Kostov, of Bulgaria, came in second with "Beautiful Mess."
Eurovision began 1956, with seven countries from continental Europe competing. The contest has since grown to into a mega-production; this year's show featured acts from 42 countries, including non-European countries like Israel and Australia.
The winner is determined through a mix of voting from viewers at home and the opinions of music industry professionals from each represented country, through a complex format intended to maximize the chances for a dramatic reveal of the winner. The competition's rules, like finding the baby in a king cake, have the winning country host the following year's contest.
This year's contest was in danger of being overshadowed by politics, however, despite the rules generally discouraging political overtures.
Ukraine, the winner of last year's competition with a song that referenced the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars during World War II, was viewed as thinly-veiled criticism of the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Ukraine and Russia have publicly sparred over the win since.
Julia Samoylova, intended to be Russia's Eurovision envoy this year, was banned by Ukrainian authorities from entering the country after the host country learned she'd performed in Crimea without permission from Ukrainian authorities following the territory's annexation in 2014. After failing to convince Ukraine to reverse its decision to bar Samoylova, Eurovision organizers gave Russia the option to have her perform remotely or for Russia to choose a different artist, an offer rejected by the Russian channels which selected her. In a statement quoted by the Tass news agency, Russian representatives said the offer "clearly runs counter to the very essence of the event."
The detente wasn't Russia's only Eurovision controversy in recent years; 2014's contest saw the country's entry booed, a reaction to Russia's laws around LGBT rights. That booing continued, to varying degrees, through subsequent years.
Aside from the political imbroglios, Eurovision has for most of its existence been known for its oddball performances — and this year was no exception.
Romania's entry, "Yodel It!" by Illinca and Alex Florea, indeed had, as the title suggests, a fair bit of yodeling, which also featured rap as well as regular singing.
Jacques Houdek's "My Friend," from Croatia, was a duet, fairly common in Eurovision. But here, Houdek's partner was himself, with Houdek dramatically pivoting each time he switched voices. Not to mention the fact that he did all this in two languages — and neither Croatian.
Italy, a favorite to win this year, ended in sixth place. Francesco Gabbani's "Occidentali's Karma" was staged featuring a man in a gorilla costume dancing on the stage — a nod, the singer said, to anthropologist Desmond Morris' book The Naked Ape, which helped inspire the song.
Moldova entered "Hey Mama," by the Sunstroke Project, a band whose exuberant saxophonist became the "Epic Sax Guy" meme when the group first brought it to Eurovision in 2010. Moldova's entry this year was about an overprotective mother-in-law. The band is, no doubt, hoping "Hey Mama" will manage to go viral as well.
For its part, the diminutive Balkan nation of Montenegro brought "Space," by Slavko Kalezić, who donned a mesh shirt, sparkly pants, and danced around the stage waving his unnaturally long pony tail in a circle. He did not make it to the final.
Next year’s contest is scheduled for May, in Portugal.

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