OLD MEN DANCING: WISE AND STILL GORGEOUS (DO NOT RESUSCITATE) choreography by Bill James, Marie-Josée Chartier, D.A. Hoskins and Allen Kaeja (Bill James/Atlas Moves Watching/Free Fall). Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West). March 26-27 at 6:30 pm. $15. 416-973-4000.
Think performing dance is just for the young?
Check out Old Men Dancing, a Peterborough-based troupe whose members are guys between 50 and 75, people without formal dance training.
“I saw them when I moved to Peterborough,” says Canadian dance legend Bill James, “and knew that I had to work with them. I’ve created three pieces for the company so far.”
Known for staging works in unconventional spaces, James is now focusing on dance that comes out of a specific community a 2005 piece in Peterborough featured 400 dancers of all ages.
“I’ve done a lot of work with non-dancers in schools and community-arts groups, and I love the way they pick up ideas and move in an unaffected way. I started training the men in the company, stretching them so they wouldn’t injure themselves, and provided enough of a technical basis so they could perform fairly complex movements.”
With the help of choreographer Allen Kaeja – who’s contributed a segment to the Free Fall evening, as have Marie-Josée Chartier and D.A. Hoskins – James involved the men in contact dance, which he sees as an easy way for non-dancers to get into performing.
“Weathering, my piece, is based on weather patterns, something I’m more aware of now that I live in the country. But metaphorically, it also has to do with the weathering of the body as we get older, both the interior and the exterior.”