Yvonne Rainer on aging

January 11, 2014

In fact, the evolution of the aging body in dance fulfills the earliest aspirations of my 1960s peers and colleagues who tore down the palace gates of high culture to admit a rabble of alternative visions and options. Silence, noise, walking, running, detritus — all undermined prevailing standards of monumentality, beauty, grace, professionalism, and the heroic. It is high time to admit the aging body of the dancer into this by now fully recognized and respected universe. Aging is the ultimate goal and hurdle, one that I myself must confront. So I tell myself,

Yvonne, keep on reading your texts, but continue to dance, aches and all. Farewell to mewling “I no longer dance.” Dance, girl, dance, and to all who observe me, I challenge you, “Pity me not.”

Granted, I shall need a little empathy from my friends.