By E. Schwaiger
This booklet explores the nexus among gender, growing older and tradition in dancers practising a number of genres. It demanding situations present cultural norms which equate growing 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
Seizes power by operating outside the system which would judge her on the femininity of her appearance. Her inscription, her body becomes the site of struggle over the power to divine beauty. This is a struggle which women win through becoming bodied as theyy have defined. What is represented by Tate as a personal choice is in fact achieved by a practice that moulds a ‘cross-dressed’ body type which juxtaposes body codes of femininity and masculinity. This results in what Richardson (2004) sees as a form of ‘queering’ normative representations of gender.
While Wolff aligns ageing (for female dancers) with the antithesis of a culturally understood ‘ideal’ body, there is some promise in this, as she cites the ageing body as one of a number of potential sites for radical transgression of this ideal (Wolff 1997, p. 88): What happens when the female body is affirmed and displayed, in defiance of the dominant ideals of the ‘perfect body’, acknowledging the reality of actual women, the diversities of shape and size, the functions of corporeal existence (eating, excreting, menstruation, sex, pregnancy, aging, illness)?
79). Consonant with Bourdieu’s position, class delineation and conflict are defined and maintained through a socially inscribed ‘taste’ that masquerades as a natural preference: “This judgement of taste is not consequent upon particular behaviours, but is motivated initially by the mere self-presentation of the embodied subject. Nothing need be said or done: class-based judgements can be made entirely on appearances” (Cranny-Francis 1995, p. 83). She notes that these judgments, which also delineate gender and age, are manifested through attitudes, values and practices learnt within a person’s home and institutional cultures, and are made on the basis of corporeally inscribed characteristics of individuals, what Mauss (1973) termed techniques of the bodyy (Cranny-Francis 1995, p.
Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance by E. Schwaiger