Conversations on change: A project about women, dance, and aging

Mary Fitzgerald, Eileen Standley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The authors, ages 57 and 61, reflect on the cross-cultural performance piece, Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging Project as they compare sociocultural contexts of dance and aging in the U.S. and Japan. Fitzgerald and Standley pose fundamental questions about what it means to grow older as a woman in the field of contemporary modern dance by interweaving their own dialogue with narrative from interviews with six Japanese women dancers, ages 45-79. Through a somatic lens the authors examine how ideas about aging intersect and diverge across two cultures; how getting older affects women dancers' understanding of the body, dance making, spirituality, teaching, and legacy. The authors postulate that aging dancers within contemporary dance can enrich the art form as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDancing Across the Lifespan
Subtitle of host publicationNegotiating Age, Place, and Purpose
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030828660
ISBN (Print)9783030828653
StatePublished - Feb 4 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cross-cultural
  • Dance
  • Japan
  • Somatics
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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