By E. Schwaiger

This publication explores the nexus among gender, ageing and tradition in dancers practising numerous genres. It demanding situations present cultural norms which equate getting older with physically decline and attracts on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to discover possible choices for constructing a culturally valued mature subjectivity during the perform of dance.

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Extra resources for Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance: Finding a Balance

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Moreover, everything the individual enacts and communicates constitutes a form of distinction that can be traced back to these factors, and these forms of distinction are all centered on the body and the body’s modes of discourse and practice. Moreover, Bourdieu (1984) demonstrated that social inequality (and therefore class differentiation) is manifested through these embodied forms of distinction as they are lived in everyday life. Constructing Ageing, Gender and Self 17 To illustrate the ways in which class-based inequality is perpetuated, Bourdieu (1986) developed a number of key concepts, such as habitus, capital and social field.

R In this sense they ‘queer’ gender norms and 24 Ageing, Gender, Embodiment and Dance at the same time constitute themselves as ‘feminized’ males. In other words, they remain locked in the gendered habitus while subverting it from within. The analogy between bodybuilders and dancers is far from spurious. Like bodybuilders, dancers produce and maintain a highly visible physical body type and, while physical performance is important, they are also judged (although less explicitly) on physical appearance.

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.

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