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Her influence on Ludwig helped the push to overthrow the conservative Jesuit-led bureaucracy, but with Europe in turmoil, Ludwig abdicated and Montez fled. Having had her Bavarian rights annulled, Montez commenced a performance tour, taking the Spider Dance to the Californian goldfields, and then to the Victorian goldfields, where her performances and radical behaviour caused a sensation.

Eventually, she returned to America, where she lived penniless for a number of years before dying alone in her early 40s, in a New York boarding house. We've developed this piece where Lola offers a chance for a preview to the people of Ballarat of her Spider Dance as a bit of a teaser. It would be like a trailer in a movie house, I suppose.

Lola Dances

I would love to have been at that Of course, there's no film footage, or even photography that we can rely on in interpreting the dance. It did have a Spanish feel and she did train in Spanish dancing, even though she wasn't Spanish at all. The idea of her touching her legs was that there were spiders on her, and she had to try and shoo the spider out of her petticoat. So she was flicking, but the music got more feverish, and a big build-up in the climax is when she found it and she stomped on it.

The descriptions of the response of the diggers when they were showering her with gold nuggets - just imagine what that would be like today, if you had a performer on stage being showered in gold nuggets in appreciation. And the audience is either thrilled and going along with it, or incensed and out of their mind with moral indignation. Madonna might do, or any of the other women out there performing. But for the day, it was quite confronting. It was only very recent that women were being allowed to perform on stage, and the acting professionals performing arts were, you know, not much more than vagabonds and thieves.

So here's a person who is in a not very respectable profession, but who is also, if you like, blatantly flaunting So she was seen as being dangerous in that kind of way, although there was nothing that we would consider that was particularly lewd about her dancing. But she was definitely provocative. Lola Montez and her Notorious Spider Dance. I promised to open my theatre with an act of world renown. Apr 23, Dee Wy rated it really liked it Shelves: Though I found it difficult to read about Terry's depressing early life with a self-absorbed and abusive brother, by staying with the story I was greatly rewarded for my perseverance.

Rest assured there is a happy ending to this tale. It's just that Mr. Banis makes you work for it.


  • The Great Waves of Change.
  • Story credits.
  • Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis;
  • Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945;
  • ;
  • The Ransomed Heart: A Collection of Devotional Readings;

I have a feeling this is one of those books that will stay with me for a long while. Well written with memorable characters. May 17, Miz Love rated it it was amazing. Have you ever read a story that, as you progressed into it, you grew deeply attached to a character because your recognized yourself in them? The character could not surprise you because you knew them so intimately that you could predict every move, every tear, every smile, every pain.

Some kinetic connection endeared the character to you, making it impossible to separate the fictional soul from reality. Little Terry Murphy from Victor J. Or, as readers will also come to know and love him—his other persona, dancer Lola Valdez. Young Terry attracts a good deal of unwelcome attention from other men with his dark, fragile appearance, and his commute by foot from his dwelling to the dance studio where he practices is much like Red Riding Hood traversing through a forest of leering wolves.

Terry befriends a charismatic red-headed, emerald-eyed young Irishman named Tom Finnegan. Is it merely the craving of a gentle touch, someone who truly sees the little hero as a human, as a friend? The partner, a virile, rugged, extreme homophobic, rationalizes that the unavoidable circumstances—and the fact that women are a scarcity in Alder Gulch—naturally make it necessary to use little Terry sexually to satisfy a very lusty libido. All right, I already identified with Terry Murphy from the beginning of the book. Wanting something unattainable, but never really knowing what that something was.

Beautiful little Terry even began to convince himself that this odd sexual situation was a sort of love. If he gave himself unselfishly to this person who needed him so, somehow this was love in one of its forms. He was content with this, and—even at this point in the story—he began to draw confidence from this, from this illusion of intimacy that came with this partnering.


  1. Kiss Your Flabby Soul Goodbye!.
  2. Das ästhetische Experiment als Modell und Gegenstand des Musikunterrichts der Sekundarstufe I (German Edition).
  3. The Drinker.
  4. Kaiserin Adelheid: Vom Thronstreit bis zur Regentschaft (German Edition);
  5. Food in Shakespeare: Early Modern Dietaries and the Plays (Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity).
  6. During this most unusual relationship, Terry meets a young miner, Josh Simmons, who is the most handsome man our hero has ever seen. Terry is immediately in love. Driven by this powerful attraction, by some overwhelming need, Terry stalks Simmons, and one night, in the privacy of the dark, surprises the gorgeous miner with a sexual offering. We understand his hunger for love and it seems so very logical. And we, or this reader anyway, saw with raw clarity that Terry is not so different from most of us.

    Through a set of circumstances, Terry is thrown into a situation which ultimately turns out to be his human, emotional breakthrough. He replaces a female dancer in a saloon—makeup, dress, the whole nine yards—and is transformed into the stunning, sensual, spicy dancer Lola Valdez. He is an instant success. And this, his transformation, is where I fall hopelessly, madly in love with—oh, damn, yes, I have to admit it—the woman, Lola, right along with every miner in Alder Gulch.

    The story is Lola. It is Terry Murphy. I love them both equally. I relate to them both equally.

    See a Problem?

    They are every man, every woman. My heart soared, my heart ached—but in a delirious, happy way—when Lola danced on the stage, when love-drunk miners threw money at her feet. My gut wrenched with beautiful spasms when Lola Valdez—or Terry Murphy? Whether that love lasts is another matter, but you will believe it does happen.

    In this modern age, the philosophy for our own empowerment seems to be that we must NOT submit ourselves so, that it is demeaning, that sex must always be equal. Sometimes, in that need to fulfil our own emptiness, we do just that—we do not ask for reciprocation. We just take what we are offered and make do.

    I learned that from Terry Murphy. I learned a lot from Terry and Lola. It just is what it is. Yes, I've always loved little Terry. When I wrote the transformation scene, when he first danced for the miners, I was bawling like a baby, and I still can't read it without tearing up. That longing for love— don't we all know how that feels? Because what he felt, the power of the feelings he felt while creating these memorable characters were universal.

    The sadness, joy, love and beauty he felt are the core of life that we all have in common…as he said, the longing for love. While a painful though intriguing journey Terry endured, I still closed the book with a smile. Because his pain was not in vain. Apr 17, Elisa Rolle added it. Sometimes I would be able to have more words in English to describe a book, cause I really want to transfer to you the joy and the emotion I felt reading it. Lola Dances is not a simple book. It's a powerful novel, and it's strong but real. Terry is a skinny Irish guy in the Bowery of New York, with a dream: He loves all the thing that are artistic, like the opera he eavesdrops outside Castle Garden in Battery Park, or the beautiful dresses he sees on the stage.

    He has a Sometimes I would be able to have more words in English to describe a book, cause I really want to transfer to you the joy and the emotion I felt reading it. He has a lean body and he knows he can be a dancer. Even if he has to suffer the mocks of the other guys. But even if those guys moleste him, he sees among them a young guy, Tom, who looks at him with hungry eyes full of Terry doesn't know nothing about sex and even if he knows that in the Bowery there are places where men who want men can go, he has never imagined that someone could really want him.

    And so he is totally unprepared when a spoilt child of a wealthy family rapes him. He doesn't know how to react and decides to face him openly, but he ends being accuse of blackmailed. Tom helps him and he would be even willing to help him more, cause he has feelings for Terry, feelings that nor him or Terry can place. But Terry can't believe in the gentle eyes of Tom and he runs away.

    His brother Brian, even if he believes it's all fault of Terry, brings him on the wild moutains, on a miner small town. Here Brian takes Terry as a beaten housekeeper, and after some time, also him rapes Terry, and continue to do that for months. In his misery, Terry finds another dream to clinge to not fall apart: Joshua seems interested in Terry, but he can't move on the fact that Terry is a man. When life for Brian and Terry go worst than ever, Terry makes an hazard move: Success strucks immediately, and Terry manages also to have a night with Joshua, but the morning after he discovers that Joshua and Brian have left the town together and Terry is loney again.

    Years after she arrives in San Francisco, wealthy and beloved, and she finds again Tom But Tom is her first love, of it's Joshua who helds the key of her heart? And Tom wants Lola or Terry? This is a wonderful rides along the ups and downs of Terry's life, and you will feel sorry for him, but also happy for his fortune. Terry is a shy guy, and strangely he seems to acquire strenght when he wears Lola's dress: All the men in Terry's life, Tom, Brian, Joshua, will help to forge the man who will become Terry, but only the one who wants nothing from him if not is love, will be the one who will have him forever.

    Even if I'm not an expert of that part if history, I think the book is wonderfully detailed, and also the use of words is carefully crafted. For example it's tender to see the change in Terry's speaking from the poor boy of the Bowery to the dance star of the Barbary Coast. Sep 11, Brenda Maldonado rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Terry is a slight, effeminate boy growing up in The Bowery in the s. He dreams of becoming a famous dancer and pursues that dream with single minded determination.

    While his physical appearance and regular dance lessons make him an easy target, being the younger brother of one of The Bowery's toughest provides a modicum of protection. Somehow Terry manages to scrape a living, nurture his dream and remain innocent of the harsher realities of life until a rough encounter with an arrogant, wealthy young man brings an end to Terry's innocence and marks the beginning of a literal and figurative quest for success, happiness and ultimately freedom.

    It is a wonderful saga about a gay man's journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It is not a "pretty" story, but rather a gritty, no nonsense tale. The author does not shy away from portraying the ugly realities of life, not for shock value, but because every scene adds a layer of meaning to Terry's character and builds the foundation for the new person Terry becomes. I admit that half-way through the book I had to put it down for a while to relax a bit.

    The impact was that strong! The cast of characters is varied and well written, even secondary characters manage to jump from the page. There is no one evil villain, or maybe there are several. That is to say, the author populates the story with real people, flawed people, and real people can be worse that the worst villain. Banis' crowning achievement in this book is the way the character of Terry Murphy is developed. Every event, every interaction, every scene leads to the transformation of Terry and the forging of Lola.

    It's ironic that a man not only survives but succeeds in what was the ultimate man's world through awesome girl power. Yet it works because Lola is not a "costume".


    • Understanding Karmic Complexes.
    • The Decision To Go Public (German Edition).
    • The Other World;
    • Le cercle des concepts disparus: Philosophie et science(s) de léducation (AFIRSE) (French Edition).
    • A Good Prospect [Going for the Gold 3] (Siren Publishing Menage Amour).
    • .
    • The Ancient Master of the Obvious - An Alchemists Book of Secrets.

    Terry and Lola are one but they are not the same and this distinction is masterfully crafted. Terry is grounded in the ugly realities of being a gay man in the "wild west", he wants to be loved and to love in return. Lola draws power from her beauty and strength from Terry's history. She loves her audience and her audience loves her. Without Terry, there could be no Lola and without Lola, Terry wouldn't have survived. From New York's Bowery through the western mining towns and ultimately to the Barbary Coast, Terry Murphy will pull you into his story, wring your heart and squeeze your soul, and just when you think you can't take it anymore, he'll show you that life is what you make of it, and with a little effort you can make it something you enjoy, even something you love.

    Thank you Victor J. Banis, for this magnificent story and one absolutely amazing character I won't soon forget. Lola Dances gets a spot in my best-of-the-best shelf for its absolutely incredible portrayal of a man who becomes a woman and a woman who just happens to be a man in 19th century America.

    If you haven't read Lola Dances, go buy it now! Apr 11, Vicktor Alexander rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Terry's story of his transformation into Lola Valdez was so heartbreakingly beautiful that I was hooked from the first page until the last one. Though this book is filled with angst, horror, betrayal, violence and Terry, who is told more than once that he's not a "real man" and is more woman than man anyway, is accosted more than once, I still found myself addicted to every line. Every word in this book, when woven together with Victor's delicious talent and skillful pen had the power and the cap Terry's story of his transformation into Lola Valdez was so heartbreakingly beautiful that I was hooked from the first page until the last one.

    Every word in this book, when woven together with Victor's delicious talent and skillful pen had the power and the capacity to pull me deeper and deeper into a time in our history where gold and riches were all that most men cared about and being "queer" could get you hanged.

    I gasped and growled and laughed and applauded as I read this book, literally. The writing so accurate that I felt as if I too were sleeping in a crudely made cabin out in the wilds of Alder Gulch, trying to make my fortune by finding gold on someone else's claim. I worried for Terry, an innocent, hauntingly beautiful young man, who's naivete almost gets him arrested and killed and does get him brutalized repeatedly throughout the pages of this book. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you are looking to read a book filled with pink bunnies, fluff, sunshine and roses, this is not the story for you.

    If you are looking to read about the strength of the human spirit, a young man's journey to finding and living his truth, his struggle through the mires of poverty, the ravages of mining camps and being a cross-dresser, being transgender, being himself, when either of those things would surely see him killed brutally; if you're looking for a story about a young man's quest to find love, true love and finding it first in himself and then in the man who was always his true love and finding out that in true love is true acceptance, well then, this book is the book for you.

    I wish that I could hug Terry and congratulate him. I wish that I could dance and sing with Lola and be in awe of her presence. I wish I could hug Victor J Banis and thank him for writing such an amazing book. The ending was so perfect, so Banis, very well done. View all 3 comments.

    Aug 29, Kayez rated it really liked it. I read the premise and thought A cross dressing dancer in the old west? How is that going to work? Answer it worked very well. He longs to be a dancer, even going without food to pay for his lessons. Unfortunately Terry attracts the wrong kind of attention, a rich patron corners him backstage and rapes him.

    Terry had never given any thought to such a thing and is unprepared for the fact that now the Great book. Terry had never given any thought to such a thing and is unprepared for the fact that now the man is stalking him. In the 's there wasn't anyone to turn too or to protect him.

    He finally turns to his brother, and they flee like so many west in search of better things. They don't find it, instead they end up in mining town. The situation goes from bad to worse for Terry, his brother abuses him nightly and he falls in love with a neighbor. He doesn't stop though he wants to improve his life and he makes his own opportunities. Terry becomes Lola and she is no mans doll. As Lola, Terry dances his way through mining towns, earning acclaim, admiration, and a more than steady income.

    His secret must be keep though, no one can see beyond the surface and see Terry. Lola finally reaches California and runs into an old friend who knew Terry, who longed for Terry. More Reviews - http: Jul 23, Arzu rated it it was amazing Recommended to Arzu by: This is a great read. I don't want to spoil the book for you, but I can tell you this. Terry is a little skinny Irish boy who wants to be a dancer, but because of his effeminate looks a wealthy stranger rapes and afterwards accuses him of blackmail.

    He and his brother Brian run away to the mountains and join the Gold Rush. The situation goes from bad to worse. Brian abuses Terry every night and Terry fels in in love with Joshua. Because of unforeseen circumstances, one night Terry dresses up and This is a great read. Because of unforeseen circumstances, one night Terry dresses up and becomes Lola Valdez, the rose of the miners, singing, dancing and performing from stage to stage in different little mining towns. Lola finally reaches California and meets Tom again, a friend who knew Terry and longed for Terry before he became Lola.

    Throughout the book, you witness how Terry transforms from the abused little boy to the confident beautiful Lola. Terry goes trough immense emotions and finally finds love. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly!! Aug 21, Eon Beaumont rated it it was amazing. This book surprised me greatly. I have to say I may be biased as I heard Victor read a passage from it and being an avid proponent of cross-dressing and drag it moved me profoundly. Taking that into account, I identified greatly with the main character Terry, though I can't imagine the things that he was subjected to over the course of the story but Victor explained his characters' thoughts and viewpoints so well that I wasn't upset or incredulous at any point.

    Culture Victoria

    I totally understood the motivatio This book surprised me greatly. I totally understood the motivations and opinions of the characters. I was pleasantly surprised by the end and very happy that things worked out in a way for Terry.

    Auditions for Emily's A-Troupe - The Next Step Extended Dances

    This book was wild and unpredictable. A fantastic read from start to finish. I love this book so much. I found myself engrossed in his story, his pain and everything that he went through. The ending was so perfect, it felt like a movie.

    Lola Dances by V.J. Banis / Victor J. Banis - FictionDB

    This was my first Victor J. Danis book and it will not be my last. Jan 09, Madison Parker rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was a bit impatient when I first started reading this story, as I was expecting Lola to appear right off the bat. But looking back on it, I think the pacing was just right. We needed to experience the events leading up to Lola's emergence. Oh, my heart goes out to Terry. So naive and lost, looking for love without really knowing what it meant or how to find it. So much hurt, but not realizing at the time how he was being hurt or why. As I was reading, I cared so deeply for Terry a I was a bit impatient when I first started reading this story, as I was expecting Lola to appear right off the bat.

    As I was reading, I cared so deeply for Terry and was so fearful that someone would discover his secret. It was very suspenseful, and I found myself very much surprised by certain turns of events. I didn't feel the story was predictable at all, although the ending I was hoping for did in fact occur. I wasn't certain that it would, and I was preparing to kick Terry's arse By the way, Terry's first encounter with Tom Flannagan was so sweet and so moving. They didn't even get to first base, and yet, it felt very intimate. I loved that scene. I found this book a little hard to get into at first but all of a sudden I found myself engrossed in the story and desperate to see what would happen to Terry next.

    At the beginning of the story, Terry is barely making ends meet and trying to achieve his dream of becoming a dancer.

    Lola Montez

    His life is about to take a turn for the worse and events force him and his brother to flee their home for the annonymity of the West. The story follows Terry through a number of years as he learns more about who he i I found this book a little hard to get into at first but all of a sudden I found myself engrossed in the story and desperate to see what would happen to Terry next.

    The story follows Terry through a number of years as he learns more about who he is and what he wants and deserves from life. His journey is at times heartwrenching but eventually he discovers Lola and he blossoms. I found myself rooting for Terry and angry over his low sense of self-worth. The results of this low opinion of himself were sometimes hard to read but somehow they were all a necessary part of his journey. The book ended just a little too soon for me but other than that I have no complaints. View all 6 comments. Jul 01, Tj rated it it was amazing Shelves: At first I had a really hard time getting into the story.