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.

chapter |10 pages


ByGabriele Brandstetter, Nanako Nakajima

chapter |18 pages


ByNanako Nakajima

part |2 pages

PART I The aging body in the late twentieth century

chapter 1|4 pages

The aching body in dance

ByYvonne Rainer

chapter 2|11 pages

Yvonne Rainer’s Convalescent Dance

Ramsay Burt
ByOn valuing ordinary, everyday, and unidealized bodily states in the context of the aging body in dance

chapter 3|5 pages

Dance is a metaphor of life

Johannes Odenthal Translated by Iain Taylor
ByAbstraction, ritual and utopia – the foundations of contemporary dance

chapter 4|10 pages

The flower of old age

ByTamotsu Watanabe Translated by Nikolas Scheuer

part |2 pages

PART II Alternative danceability: dis/ability and Euro- American performance

chapter 5|10 pages

The perverse satisfaction of gravity

ByAnn Cooper Albright

chapter 6|5 pages

Dancing the non/fictional body

ByJess Curtis

chapter 7|12 pages

Silent Rhythm

Kaite O’Reilly
ByA reflection on the aging, changing body, and sensory impairment as a source of creativity and inspiration

chapter 8|15 pages

Bodies’ borderlands: right in the middle – dis/abilities on stage SUSANNE FOELLMER

Susanne Foellmer
ByRight in the middle – dis/abilities on stage

part |2 pages

Part III Aging and body politics in contemporary dance

chapter 9|15 pages

Somatic politics

Petra Kuppers
ByCommunity dance and aging dance

chapter 10|15 pages

Old, weak, and invalid

Kikuko Toyama
ByDance in inaction

chapter 11|12 pages

Dance and aging

Janice Ross
ByAnna Halprin dancing Eros at the end of life

part |2 pages

Part IV Perspectives of interweaving

chapter 12|11 pages

Why are hands the last resort of the aging body in dance?

Mark Franko
ByNotes on the modernist gesture and the sublime

chapter 13|13 pages

Yoshito Ohno’s Figures of Life

ByNanako Nakajima