Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Ageing and Dance

  • Susanne MartinEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_257-1


Dance holds an interestingly multilayered position in relation to age and ageing. Western theatre dance, in particular, has often focused on youthful physicality and, as such, takes part in an unquestioned marginalization of older bodies (Dickinson 2010; Lipscomb and Marshall 2010; Schwaiger 2012). However, artistic dance, specifically contemporary dance, is also a site for inventing ways of experiencing and presenting human bodies in movement beyond the normative understandings of beauty, prowess, and youthful virtuosity (Benjamin 2010; Brayshaw and Witts 2014; Hoghe 2005). As such, contemporary dance has a unique potential to question or dismantle stereotypical body and age-related images and values that are not only a part of dance but also our everyday culture (Cooper Albright 1997; Nakajima and Brandstetter 2017; Ross 2009).


The number of “age-critical” (Martin 2017, p. 14) or “anocritical” (Maierhofer 2007, p. 23) publications within dance studies is still...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sarah Falcus
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Music, Humanities and MediaUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK