1st Edition

The Aging Body in Dance A cross-cultural perspective

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    What does it mean to be able to move?

    The Aging Body in Dance brings together leading scholars and artists from a range of backgrounds to investigate cultural ideas of movement and beauty, expressiveness and agility.

    Contributors focus on Euro-American and Japanese attitudes towards aging and performance, including studies of choreographers, dancers and directors from Yvonne Rainer, Martha Graham, Anna Halprin and Roemeo Castellucci to Kazuo Ohno and Kikuo Tomoeda. They draw a fascinating comparison between youth-oriented Western cultures and dance cultures like Japan’s, where aging performers are celebrated as part of the country’s living heritage.

    The first cross-cultural study of its kind, The Aging Body in Dance offers a vital resource for scholars and practitioners interested in global dance cultures and their differing responses to the world's aging population.

    Introduction, Gabriele Brandstetter and Nanako Nakajima

    Overview of the Aging Body in Dance, Nanako Nakajima

    Section I: The Aging Body in the late 20th century: American Postmodern Dance, German Dance, and Japanese Dance

    Yvonne Rainer, The Aching Body in Dance

    Ramsay Burt, Yvonne Rainer’s Convalescent Dance: On valuing ordinary, everyday, and unidealised bodily states in the context of the aging body in dance

    Johannes Odenthal, Der Tanz ist eine Metapher des Lebens (Dance is a Metaphor of Life)

    Tamotsu Watanabe, Flowers Blooming in the Time of Aging


    Section II: Alternative Dancability: Dis/Ability and Euro-American Performance

    Ann Cooper Albright, The Perverse Satisfaction of Gravity

    Jess Curtis, Dancing the Non/Fictional Body

    Kaite O'Reilly, SILENT RHYTHM: A Reflection on the aging, changing body, and sensory impairment as a source of creativity and inspiration

    Susanne Foellmer, Bodies' Borderlands: Right in the Middle. Dis/Abilities on Stage


    Section III: Aging and Body Politics in Contemporary Dance

    Petra Kuppers, Somatic Politics: Community Dance and Aging Dance

    Kikuko Toyama, Old, weak, and invalid: dance in inaction

    Janice Ross, Dance and Aging: Anna Halprin Dancing Eros at the End of Life


    Section IV: Perspectives of Interweaving

    Mark Franko, Why are Hands the Last Resort of the Aging Body in Dance? Notes on the Modernist Gesture and the Sublime

    Nanako Nakajima, Yoshito Ohno’s Figures of Life



    Gabriele Brandstetter is Professor of Theater and Dance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focus is on: History and aesthetics of dance from the 18th century until today, theatre and dance of the avant-garde; contemporary theatre and dance, performance, theatricality and gender differences; concepts of body, movement and image. Winner of Germany's most prestigious research funding prize, Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize 2004. Since 2008 she has been co-director of the International Centre "Interweaving performance cultures." 

    Nanako NAKAJIMA

    Nanako Nakajima is a dance researcher, dance dramaturg, traditional Japanese dance teacher Kannae Fujima, a Jacobs Pillow Dance festival 2006 Research Fellow, visiting scholar at Tisch School NYU 06. She is currently a fellow of International Research Center »Interweaving Performance Cultures«, Freie Universitaet Berlin and lecturer at Aichi University, Japan. She curated and organized international dance symposia entitled "The Aging Body in Dance" in Berlin (2012) and in Tokyo (2014), and gave lectures on aging and dance at various venues including Dance Congress 2013.

    Make(s) important contributions to age as it pertains to dance.
    Megan V. Nicely, The Drama Review, Volume 62, Number 3, Fall 2018