Dancing young… Dance and youth / youth of dance
This study day, the sixth held by Lyon 2 University and the Passages XX-XXI research team, supported by and in collaboration with the Dance Biennale, will consider the relationship between dance and youth.
The practice of dance was traditionally assigned to young people and, as shown in the oldest Quattrocento treatises, was reserved for them as a priority – strength, grace, health, vigour and physical ability being the prerogatives for engaging in it. In the doxa, dance was often directly associated with youth. At balls, with their social function, or in the theatre, with the aesthetisation of the bodies of Giselle, Romeo and Juliette, youth was literally staged by dance, which thus helped to introduce the model of a socially and aesthetically agreed corporeity. Within the scope of the ball, the big changes that took place after the Second World War, with the development of the record industry and the growth of the nightclub, the age group invited to take part was heavily restricted again. Within the scope of dance theatre, however, postmodern and contemporary research has often made the critique of the standardised bodies of tradition – slim, beautiful and, precisely, young – one of its main topics: not only do older dancers stay on stage but, as in Kontakthof (2000) for ladies and gentlemen aged over 65, elderly amateurs are invited too.
This study day – far from seeking to reassign dance to a specific age group, or wanting to reconstruct the history of this analogy – proposes the opposite: to use the term “jeunesse” but examine it as an age group, primarily as an outlook and an issue. While the idea is therefore, on the one hand, to explore how an age group thinks, practises, devises and considers dance, the intention is also to envisage dance’s relationship with its own youth, and to examine the characteristics of “jeune création” today, whether or not it is work by young artists, in respect of the new perspective on the world that it might afford us. So, there are various paths to explore: circulation and transmission of the social practices of dance today; forms and approaches of young creators; and new choreographic work intended for young people and schools.
Under the direction of Paule Gioffredi, Axelle Locatelli and Claudia Palazzolo and supported by the Passage XX-XXI research team at Lyon 2 University and the Lyon Dance Biennale.