Our stereotypes of older people can span everything from physicality to personality but perhaps one of the most pervasive is: ‘old people wear beige’... we set out to challenge this stereotype.Read More
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 was the starting point for our latest 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.
Between August and November 2019 Hannah Robertshaw (Programmes Director) worked in partnership with local dance artists and organisations to devise the flash-mob style dance piece. The choreography was 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 adult performed ‘Beige’ for the general public in White Rose Centre, Leeds. City Centre. ‘Beige’ was also be presented at Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless festival on 24-26 October.