What is ‘age’? I realize that sounds like a stupid question, but depending on how you define the word, it can mean many different things. Depending on what end of the spectrum you look at the aging process from, it can appear frightening, exciting, dangerous, lousy, wonderful, or many other things. So why do we look at those of different ages with such judgement?
Ageism is one of the last ‘isms’ not being discussed very widely in contemporary society - and we wanted to figure out why. Why do we assume those vastly younger and those vastly older than us are less capable? Why are so many elderly people taken advantage of, abused, ignored, and lonely? Why do we spend our entire adolescence waiting for society to finally recognize us as this ever elusive thing known as an ‘adult’, only to find that the moment we achieve that status, we suddenly long for our younger years because maturity has lost its shine? What prevents us from being comfortable or satisfied with our aging process? Is it all just a fear of death? Is it all just a form of denial that we too came from ignorance and we too will one day die?
That’s a lot of questions. It is a BIG topic. We know.
Getting Old Sucks started from a conversation about how age affects our behavior and our physicality. As physical performers we constantly talk about the timelines of our bodies, the time we have left before our instrument begins to break down - signaling the decline of our careers. A circus artist or a dancer doesn’t have to quit at 30, but the hurdles certainly start to stack up. Injuries become lasting, pains are more intense, fatigue sets in earlier and lingers longer. What does that look like in 30 MORE years?
We wanted to explore the idea that what we do professionally is inherently temporary, that our careers will need to take a turn at some point. Accepting that is part of every mover’s career, and in many ways, every human’s journey. Accepting that gracefully is a thing only a fraction of people do. But we hope this process will bring us and you closer to an understanding, or at least an awareness. As we continue to develop story, text, and choreography, this project continues to spark conversations about death, financial hardship, pregnancy, injury, families, history, and so much more. Writing in detail about all the topics ageism affects would fill a bookshelf. Even after nearly 2 years of development, I’m still not certain I have any final answers about my own aging process, but I do have a renewed sense of respect for those both older and younger than me.
I hope this show can communicate that, and if we’re lucky, spread it beyond our audiences. I’m grateful to have been able to work with such a giving group of people from such a large range of ages and life experiences. This work would not exist without them - and where it goes from here? Well… que será, será.
Scott Dare is one of the directors of Getting Old Sucks. Getting Old Sucks is a new danztheatre work that explores what aging means and looks like. This work has been in the making for nearly two years. Mark your calendars and get your tickets.
February 22 - March 3
Friday & Saturday, 8pm