Get Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance PDF

By E. Schwaiger

ISBN-10: 0230359086

ISBN-13: 9780230359086

ISBN-10: 1349325155

ISBN-13: 9781349325153

This publication explores the nexus among gender, getting older and tradition in dancers training numerous genres. It demanding situations current cultural norms which equate getting older with physically decline and attracts on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to discover choices for constructing a culturally valued mature subjectivity throughout the perform of dance.

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Additional info for Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance

Example text

Mauss Constructing Ageing, Gender and Self 19 (1973) cites as an example distinct cultural variations in the locomotory act of walking, which are not ‘natural’ in terms of being individual, but rather constitute a social idiosyncrasy. Bodies are thus inscribed by everyday activities, and these include class, ethnic, racial, gendered and sexed experiences. Moreover, Mauss (1973) maintained that techniques of the body (and therefore the body-subject) can be distinguished by factors such as sex and age, which supports my argument that it is by the performance of our bodily inscription of everyday activities that we mark ourselves socially in relation to gender and age.

Rose 1996, p. 183). The implications of this position are that any form of movement, from the highly stylized vocabulary of classical ballet to the way individuals walk and gesture in everyday social life, reflects culturally and d historically constructed rather than ‘natural’ or ‘innate’ understandings, or expressions of one’s movement habitus. Whether occurring in a performing context or in social life, body movement, comportment and presentation generally have been argued to signal the social status of the body that produces them (Bourdieu 1984; Hanna 1988).

Here it should be noted that, in addressing the fate of the ageing dancer, Hanna follows the tradition of failing to distinguish dancers by gender and includes male and female dancers in one homogeneous collective. Where she does specifically deal with gender inequity in dancers’ subsequent career choices, she has been accused of resorting to a type of essentialist, liberal feminist conception of gender (cf. Daly 1989). Moreover, Hanna’s universalizing rhetoric reflects a naturalized and widely shared cultural belief that the overarching cause of retirement for dancers is an irreversibly diminishing physical capacity for strength and endurance.

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Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance by E. Schwaiger


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