Use my body while it´s still young


How can the stereotype of old people as eccentric or frightening be counteracted? Hege Haagenrud has been gripped by this question when working with the performance Use my Body while it’s still Young, in which older dancers re-enter the stage. 

Use my body while it´s still Young is a cooperation between Hege Haagenrud og Rebekka Karijord. The previous video with music by Karijord and Siv Ander in the leading role, was the inspiration to a full length performance where Haagenrud examines the topic further.

The choreographer believes that the old body has been deprived of its sensuality and demoted to substandard material – something that has completed its function long ago. Are we frightened by our own transience, she asks, is this why we tend to avoid the older body?

“It provokes many thoughts when we are no longer considered as the unique, strange, mysterious me, but more as a member of a group; sick people, cancer patients, or the elderly. You suddenly realise how degrading discrimination is – you’re a Muslim, queer, disabled – everything that we carry out every day: taking the special nature away from people and putting them into prison as a group.”

This is how professor in social medicine, Per Fugelli, describes life as a cancer patient, in an interview with Hege Haagenrud. The choreographer wants to use Use my Body while it’s still Young to redefine the obsession of our age with the contemporary, made apparent in the worship of youth, in the desire of the individual to remove physical evidence of aging. She has with her four legendary dancers aged from 65 to 79.

Gerard Lemaitre danced at Nederlands Dans Teater for more than 20 years, and performed in more than 120 ballets. He returns to the stage in Use my Body while it’s still Young, together with Brian Toney and Siv Ander – who have previously danced with the Norwegian National Ballet and the Cullberg Ballet and Aase With, former dancer with the Collage Dance Company.

They dance to music by Rebekka Karijord, played live on stage, The sound also contains stories based on interviews with Per Fugelli, psychologist Sissel Gran and others. 

The performance is part of the CODA festival 2015.
With support from Arts Council Norway, the Audio and Visual Fund

"Use my body" later performed at Dance Umbrella in London october 2016 with Nicholas Minns in  Brian Toneys part.