As collaborative researchers during the conducted workshop series, given by a Charlotta Öfverholm, offered for people 65+, we conducted four studies. The first one focused the choreographer, and the second one on the participants’ experiences, the third one will focus on experiences among women from Norrbotten, and the fourth on upon the creative process toward a performance.
Hitherto, research regarding music and dance in relation to elderly people can be divided into three focus areas, namely treatment, therapy, and well-being. Still, it seems to be important to focus on the role of the teacher in such settings, and partly to enlighten artistic dimensions of music and dance as forms of expressions available for elderly people from an equality point of view.
Two studies have so far been conducted, based on the first workshop week which took place during one week in Sweden in the fall 2016 with 25 elderly non-professional dancers. The analysis of the first study resulted in four themes which show that the choreographer influences possibilities for participation regarding how workshops are designed and what inputs that are given in the process, what atmosphere that is created, how the participants are to use their bodies, and how dance as artistic form of expression is offered.
The result of the second study, can be presented in four themes, which constitute the ground for a discussion about dance as an aesthetic and democratic form of expression among people 65+, namely; A functional body with impetus to move, To embody dance as a form of expression, To use dance as an artistic art form in aesthetic communication, and Dance reflections. It can be stated that elderly dance participants in the first case are and should be treated as all other human beings, but their comprehensive experiences and awareness of how their bodies function, has to be taken care of and given space. It’s a human right to express oneself in and through artistic forms, and the task for the choreographer is to create functional, safe and encouraging circumstances.