Staging Age pp 165-189 | Cite as

Old Dogs, New Tricks: Intergenerational Dance



More than any other medium, dance can seem to neglect and even abhor the aging body. A major factor in the neglect of the elderly by concert dance1 is the tendency to think about older bodies as being in a process of decay. Expectations of physical infirmity are a part of the “degrading, even contemptible myths” about old age, as Anna Halprin enumerates in her introduction to Liz Lerman’s Teaching Dance to Senior Adults:

Old people should be dignified and circumspect.

Old dogs cannot learn new tricks.

Old people are closed minded, set in their ways, slow, and senile.

Old people are ugly.

There is no future for old people, so why teach them?

Old people don’t want to touch or use their bodies.

Old people aren’t interested in sensual or sexual experiences.

Old people like to sit and be quiet. (vii)


Senior Citizen Aging Body Movement Phrase Senior Adult Laban Movement Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Valerie Barnes Lipscomb and Leni Marshall 2010

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