How the Dailies Covered the ‘Hip’ Scene in 1966


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

March 10, 1966, Vol. XI, No. 21

Nude Dance: Reporter Gets Into the Act

Competition among reporters in this city is keen, and sometimes a man will do anything to get that all-important scoop. Consider this case of that avant-garde reporter hired by one of the dailies to get the inside dope on the “hip” scene. Apparently, it’s not enough just to get the facts. He believes in personal involvement.

Dancer Joseph Schlicter was featured in an “All Male Dance Concert” for a two-day engagement at the Bridge Theatre, duly advertised in The Village Voice. Schlicter’s choreography, in a dance called “Cube,” required him to appear onstage in the nude while encased in a large polyethylene sack.

In the course of the dance, his nudity was completely covered, a feat accomplished by his falling and rolling into little puddles of red, white, and blue paint. The nudity in “Cube” was mentioned prominently in the following day’s reviews by dance critics Clive Barnes in the Times and Walter Terry in the Herald Tribune.

Enter the avant-garde reporter in search of a story, who places a call to Schlicter requesting a personal interview after the second night’s performance. As Schlicter returns the call to the city desk, he is told to “Hang on, I’m on another wire,” before he can identify himself. Schlicter “hangs on” — and overhears the reporter filing a complaint with the local police precinct about the nude dancing at the Bridge.

A police raid on an East Village dance performance would have been a honey of a scoop for the hip reporter, but the second performance of “Cube” was cancelled.

The reporter later apologized to an official of the theatre, saying he had made the formal complaint to the police at his editor’s insistence.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]