Temporality of the Dancing Body: Tears, Fears and Ageing Dears by Mark Edward and Dr. Helen

This paper examines and highlights the importance of valuing the body as it gravitates towards maturity (or ‘otherness’) refuting the myth that people do not or should not dance as they get older. It offers, as context, some of the common cultural myths of the ageing and injured dancer, and examines the career reality. It interrogates the shift from performance into dance creation of the ageing performer, and the prejudices that surround this process. Whilst ballet, as a dance form, will always remain subject to the authoritarianism of perfect technique, this paper suggests that issues in dance and the ageing body, physical scarring, psycho physical scarring and embodied knowledge are being addressed in the wider dance community, which appears at last to be moving on considerably in its appreciation of the mature mover and embodied arts practice.

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