Your blogger is Darryl Butler. I’m in my seventies and started in contemporary dance in my mid-sixties. I live near Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia
I am writing this blog for the same reason that I dance, to share something of my own journey and to enter dialogue and sharing with like minded people and with those who would see themselves as audience, collaborators or interested others.
I came to dance late in life and after a lifetime of working in my head have decided work in my body through what is often called dance or could be called physical expression. My body has as much to offer as my thinking no matter how old I am. As well as dancing I am now doing choreography with a particular focus on dance for older bodies. What is an older body? Indeed.
Along with discovering dance I also discovered a love of performance that I had for too long left hidden.
I am finding these learning “mountains” and setting them in place in my path. Putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with the limitations and the doubts, I hope to continue climbing until my final curtain, even if there is no audience that will make the distance.
A motivating view, as a choreographer, dancer and performer is that I personally perceive and use my ageing body from the perspective of the here and now. Unfortunately like many others I have been conditioned to think of my body and what it can do from the perspective of some unamed younger person’s vantage point. The unfortunate part about this is that it sets me up to think in terms of loss and decline. I prefer, alternatively, to think in terms of opportunity and possibility. All bodies are ageing, all bodies have limitations. Equally all bodies, when we let them and work with them, embody opportunities and possibilities for expression. As we can discover and realise these possibilities, perhaps to entertain, inform, excite, puzzle or in some way stimulate something fresh and new in others.
And so I have resolved to dance and make dance in private and in public.
In my journey I am indebted to Tracks Dance Company , the two Artistic Directors, David and Tim, and to many others associated with the company, especially Jess and Kelly both recently holding the role of “Dance Animateur” at Tracks Dance and both having run Choreography Courses in the Development Program run by Tracks Dance.
Chookas to those who have choreographed on me or allowed me to choreograph on them.