Originally posted by citibob:
But if people are doing it at the age of 70, I'm sure you'll figure out what it is and how do it in your 30's.
People do not dance Bharata Natyam into their 70's (although former great dancers often teach well into old age). It is not unusual however to see dancers in their 40's and 50's and much older on the stage, they may struggle a bit with the more demanding "pure dance" items but their abhinaya is usually sublime. My guru is well into her forties and still performs, choreographs and tours as does HER guru, who is well in her fifties! No-one criticises them for "looking" too old, or being "wrinkly" or putting their "health" at risk (they both have strength and stamina of women half their age) or "taking opportnities" from younger dancers!
Asian cultures generally venerate their older people and younger dancers watch older ones with awe and inspiration instead of sniping that they "should not be performing at their age".
I see my future perhaps more in Bharata Natyam than ballet, although I firmly intend to perform ballet, perhaps with a regional company or with other non-"professional" but talented dancers and hopefully teach as well, and nothing anyone can say will make me feel differently. I have a talent, which due to less than ideal parenting, was not discovered as a child.
You need a parent to take you to class and pay for your lessons as a child. My mother's response to the suggestion of taking me to ballet classes at age 6 was "Whatever for?" and "How much will it cost?" and "It would be a waste of money". Sad but true. I had to wait nearly three decades to discover I had ability at dance and now that I have I am not prepared to take second best!
I have been already given a lot of "helpful" advice such as that it is "pointless" to want to study dance at my age, it is "pointless" to want to sit exams and it I am "too old" for pointe work. Well, since starting ballet last year I have passed my Chechetti Grade 4 with 72%, started pointe very successfully and am dancing the role of the Prince in our (all-girl!) ballet-school recital of Cinderella.
So much for it being pointless!
Tell me I can't and I will simply try harder to prove you wrong.
And as for it being "reality" that an older beginner such as me has no future due to her age -well, reality is what you make it. If all ballet-lovers changed their attitudes and prejudices and were more open to the different qualities an older beginner can bring to dance than a dancer who has studied since age 6, then it would not be "reality" that older beginners can not become professional!
This world has changed greatly in 100 years. Advances in health care, surgery and medicine, nutrition and living standards mean that people live longer, have healthier lives and are able to accomplish more than would ever have been thought possible 30 years ago let alone 100. It is no longer acceptable to expect someone to choose a career at 16 and stick with it until 60, people want more than that. If you're not prepared to change with it then you'll get left behind.
Anyway I have nothing more to say on this subject.
<small>[ 10-26-2002, 14:43: Message edited by: Kate ]</small>