Not With My Body Ya Don't! Ageing Performers and the Habitus Turn

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the negotiation and renegotiation of ageing within western contemporary dance. The writing moves away from longer standing traditional notions of what constitutes best performance practice and technically embodied techniques that ultimately result in a reconceptualising and reconciling as the body ages. It explores how engagement with dance needs to be more nurtured and specialised as dancers grow old(er), questioning the relationship between the performer and the performance and by doing so challenging the cultural understandings of performing longevity. It is becoming increasingly apparent that engaging with dance is beneficial to athletes and older people alike: many recent studies affirm this (Sofianides, 2009; Gayvoronskaya, 2010; to name but a few). The issue, then, of older dancers leaving the profession becomes even more nonsensical. This paper challenges the common cultural myths surrounding the mature mover (too old, waning stamina, reached your peak) as well as delves into and questions the cultural and educational expectation of 'dancing your age', challenging the normative expectations and popular representations of the dancing body.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2013
EventTheatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Performance and the Body working group - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20136 Sep 2013

Conference

ConferenceTheatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Performance and the Body working group
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period4/09/136/09/13

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