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Do Older People Really Wear Beige?

Fri 26 April 2019
Part of: Ageless | Dance On | In Mature Company
new feature Beige image Young at Arts - Feast of Music & Dance - Morley - 26 Sep 2015 (c) David Lindsay (92)

Our stereotypes of older people can span everything from physicality to personality but perhaps one of the most pervasive is: ‘old people wear beige’. In 2019 this stereotype is alive and well. A quick google image search of the words ‘older person’ yields a plethora of smiling faces decked out in beige clothing.

The visual stereotype of older adults wearing beige may seem relatively innocuous but when we attach negative connotations to the colour (The Urban Dictionary defines ‘beige’ as “a person that is normal to the point of being bland.”) what impact does this have on how we see older people in our society? What would happen if we reimagine older adults as colourful, strong, active, creative, playful, entertaining and daring?

This is the starting point for our new performance project ‘Beige’. Funded by Leeds Inspired, ‘Beige’ is a humorous new dance work which takes a playful look at older adults and challenges stereotypes around ageing.

Over the next few months Hannah Robertshaw (Programmes Director) will work in partnership with local dance artists and organisations to devise the flash-mob style dance piece. The choreography will then be taught to over 100 people who attend the many fantastic dance classes for older adults taking place around the city, including our Dance On sessions.

On the 1st October 2019, to mark International Day of Older Persons, 60 older adults will perform ‘Beige’ for the general public in Leeds City Centre. ‘Beige’ will also be presented at Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless festival on 24-26 October.

To get involved in ‘Beige’ as a performer you must be over the age of 50. Please contact Adie Nivison on 0113 2595713 or adienivison@yorkshiredance.com to find the nearest dance session to learn the choreography.

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