The meaningful (elderly dancing) body – intertwined, border-crossing and at home




Having the possibility to experience meaning in artistic settings is a human right. However, several studies show that structures and norms may prevent human beings from participating in artistic and cultural activities. Moreover, it is not given that all forms of participation offer meaningful experiences, something which puts a great responsibility upon organizers of artistic events. The current study is based in a project where elderly people were given the chance to participate in processes of development and performance of collaborative contemporary dance. The specific aim of the study was to describe and analyse the phenomenon of the meaningful body based on a phenomenological approach. To get access to the dancers’ lived experiences, six participants were interviewed. The transcribed interviews were analysed in a phenomenological manner. The analysis resulted in three themes, which together describe the phenomenon of the lived body, namely: the intertwined body, the border-crossing body, and the body feeling at home. The themes are related to phenomenological philosophy regarding aging, awareness, existence, and aesthetic experience, as well as to art education situations and societal norms.

Keywords: elderly dancers, meaningful body, phenomenology, intertwinement, border-crossing, joy

Webpage photo: Anders Larsson 


Author Biographies

Cecilia Ferm Almqvist, Lärarutbildningen, Södertörns högskola

Cecilia Ferm Almqvist is professor of education and music education at the School of Teacher Education, Södertörn University.

Lotta Björkman, Lärarutbildningen, Södertörns högskola

Lotta Björkman is a PhD student at the School of Teacher Education, Södertörn University.

Petra Lundberg-Bouquelon, Lärarutbildningen, Södertörns högskola

Petra Lundberg-Bouquelon is a PhD student at the School of Teacher Education, Södertörn University.


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Nationella kulturpolitiska mål.

The European Agenda For Culture, 2018.

Äldre dansande kroppar




How to Cite

Almqvist, C. F., Björkman, L., & Lundberg-Bouquelon, P. (2023). The meaningful (elderly dancing) body – intertwined, border-crossing and at home . Nordic Journal of Art & Research, 12(1).