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Monday 27 July: The Advantage of Age - an open forum for dance artists 60+

Facilitated by Cecilia Macfarlane

As a ‘thank you’ to those artists who have worked in the community dance field for some time People Dancing are delighted to be able to offer this day-long opportunity for older dance artists (aged 60+) to come together to share skills, knowledge, understanding, ideas, inspiration, and a sense of adventure that comes with the advantage of age. The day will be structured on the ‘open space’ model, where contributors shape the content of the day through a shared and collaborative process. The day will start with a sharing of experiences (any format including dance, photography, text, film, spoken word etc), move on to an adventure in experimentation and exploration and conclude by sharing thoughts, ideas, movement, discoveries and the formation of a manifesto or key aims for the Advantage of Age. 

The Advantage of Age consists of a small group of older dance artists who came together at the People Dancing 2019 Summer School who want to ensure that dancers do not become invisible as they become older. Instead they celebrate their passion, experience, ambitions and diversity as they explore and adventure together.

Participation requirements:

There is a nominal charge of £10 to cover refreshments for participants attending this event. Participants must be aged 60 or over on Monday 27 July 2020.

Please also note: Ten travel bursaries will be awarded, each worth £30, for people attending The Advantage of Age open forum for artists 60+.

Back to full programme and application forms 

Cecilia Macfarlane biography

Cecilia Macfarlane trained as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dance and as a dancer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. She is an Oxford based independent dance artist with a national and international reputation for her work in the community. Cecilia is the founding director of Oxford Youth Dance, DugOut Adult Community Dance and Crossover Intergenerational Dance Company, now Crossover Intergenerational Dance Projects, and co-founding director of Oxford Youth Dance Company. She was a Senior Lecturer in Arts in the Community at Coventry University for nine years and is now a guest lecturer at six British Universities.

Her work is based on her passionate belief that dance is for everyone; she celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of each dancer. As a performer Cecilia is continually curious about expression, how movement can communicate so powerfully to others without the need for words. Her work is highly influenced by her studies with Joan Skinner, Helen Poynor, Deborah Hay and most recently Anna Halprin.

Cecilia continues to work at home and abroad to bring generations and communities together to realize their potential through dance. In 2016, Cecilia celebrated Oxford Youth Dance’s 30th Birthday with a year of events in Oxford, culminating in an archive event and the launch of her book, co-written with Ruth Pethybridge, ‘Any Age, Any Body, Any Dance’ published by People Dancing. Additionally, in 2016, Radio Four produced Dance Your Life Away, a feature length documentary with many voices from Cecilia’s career in Oxford.


Cecilia Macfarlane (right), People Dancing International Conference 2017, Glasgow. Photographer: Rachel Cherry.