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"Dancing and the age / 50+"

The image of the elderly in society and especially in the performing art of dance has changed considerably over the past few decades. The perspective and acceptance has become far more open, the judgement of age more difficult. The transition from junior to senior is fluid and can no longer be determined solely on the basis of a few external attributes such as appearance, strength, flexibility, technique, stamina or even fitness.

Nevertheless, many dancers around me have the feeling that they belong to the scrap heap, that they can no longer move and express themselves on stage as they used to. Be it due to physical limitations, their own internal pressure of expectation or a lack of appreciation and support from various institutions and subsidisers on the outside. As a result, they are often no longer able or willing to fulfil these needs themselves and put them into practice.

During my career, I have seen numerous performances danced by professional dancers over the age of 40, 50 or even 60. Be it the NDT3, the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the Berlin ensemble DanceOn or the revival of the 1992 choreography "Die Erde ist gewaltig schön..." by Judith Kuckart's Tanztheater Wuppertal, by Judith Kuckart's dance theatre Skoronel, which has experienced a revival on stage with the old cast thirty years later.

There were works that touched and fascinated me because - sometimes obviously, sometimes subtly - the age of the performers played a major role in the creation and message of the work. Be it because of the more mature experience, the more nuanced articulation, the more finely crafted expression, the sure instinct for the right timing or the more stringent expressiveness inherent in these performances. Not always in the works themselves, but rather in the presentation and execution, which gave the pieces a special charm that I would only have experienced to a limited extent with younger dancers.

I myself have been in the 50+ generation for a few years now. The desire to be on stage and not just choreograph or teach, but also to make a statement through performance and dance, is undiminished. Nevertheless, I still have various questions:

- What makes a dancer 50+ special?

- What makes the difference to create something for the stage with artists of this age, to experience them dancing on stage?

- What themes strike a chord with the times?

- Are there unique selling points for us "seniors"?

- Where do I locate my artistic work and perspectives?

- Why do I still dance?

- What might I be afraid of?

In order to develop as an artist - especially at 50+ in dance - you need to continuously and self-critically observe your own statements, the stylistic devices you use and their relevance. In this day and age, even topicality and uniqueness. This is a challenge that you can overcome and should keep at it.

So keep on dancing and creating.

See you soon and goodbye!


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