By E. Schwaiger
This e-book explores the nexus among gender, aging and tradition in dancers working towards quite a few genres. It demanding situations latest cultural norms which equate ageing with physically decline and attracts on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to discover choices for constructing a culturally valued mature subjectivity during the perform of dance.
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Additional resources for Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance
536) distinguish three forms of habitus in their fieldwork study of the Royal Ballet (individual, institutional and choreographic), and seek to “understand the balletic body as a series of cultural practices”. Moreover, the ballet habitus is embodied by the dancer, with an accumulated history of movement constituting her or his bodily hexis (Turner and Wainwright 2002). For example, evidence of a durable way of walking is the characteristic ‘duck walk’ of the trained ballet dancer, whose turnout of the hips (and therefore feet) over many years of practice has been permanently inscribed on the body.
For Lytton, ‘embodying the soul of the swan’ originally gave form to the concept of timeless, transcendental beauty; however, repetition over time leached this concept of meaning. 36 Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance Another form of embodiment, and one that has significance for the study of mature dancers, is Jose Gil’s (2002) theorizing of American choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dancer’s body as a ‘virtual body’, a body composed of a heterogeneity of (organic) bodies, and one that not so much lacks a core (body-self) or a central point of origin for movement but possesses the potential for multiple cores, multiple points of balance – what Gil (2002) refers to as a metastable point of balance.
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. Richardson’s study investigates the practice of extreme bodybuilding among men, a practice that he terms as ‘queer’. He uses the term ‘queer’ in its broadest sense, not as a synonym for homosexual or as subverting heterosexuality, but as a means of subverting normativityy in gender performance, “as something that describes mismatches or incoherencies between sex, gender and sexuality” (Richardson 2004, p.