When is it no longer acceptable to dance? Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless Festival continues to push boundaries

Ageless Festival returns to Leeds on 12-13 July 2024, featuring an eclectic mix of new performances, inspirational talks and exhilarating workshops.

11 June 2024


Ageless Festival returns to Leeds on 12-13 July 2024. Over two days Ageless features an eclectic mix of bold new performances, inspirational talks and exhilarating workshops from critically acclaimed dance artists who are reimagining age through dance.
Ageless features new work and workshops from internationally renowned artists alongside performances by older dancers drawn from local communities in Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.
Yorkshire Dance’s Creative Director Hannah Robertshaw asks, ''When is it no longer acceptable to dance? Ageless is about challenging the stereotypes of who gets to perform. Over the last few years there’s been an explosion of exciting new dance performances exploring age, many created by older choreographers and featuring older performers. 
Our Ageless Festival was born from a desire to shine a light on this work and bring groundbreaking dance artists to Leeds giving audiences the chance to experience their work in the North of England.
In the third edition of the festival, we’re celebrating bold, beautiful and dynamic older bodies. For example Ageless 2024 features Christine Thynne who is an emerging artist in her 80s. She defies stereotypes of older women through the sheer physicality of her new show Mechanisms which sees her perform within a precarious structure on stage.”
Headlining Ageless on Friday night is a double bill of new work. Mother by Susan Kempster is an intergenerational duet asking ‘how can the dynamic of a mature woman and a young man avoid the narrative of a mother and son?’
Lisa Kendall’s new work One Woman Wrestling Invites... explores 33 years in dance. Lisa is joined by dance pals Rachel and Leen as they navigate this critical impasse, wrestling with what was there and what is now.
On Saturday Ageless hosts the final performance of 40/40 by Two Destination Language. 40/40 explores Katherina Radeva’s 40 years as a woman, a migrant and an artist. From the little girl dancing at her parents’ student parties, to the teenage rhythm gymnast who was body-shamed, to the creative who refuses to be categorised.
This is followed by Carl Harrison’s Apocalypse Wow! a cabaret game show for the end of the world. Hosted by punk drag alien Niche Lorraine and starring the audience as the contestants.
On Friday night Celebrating Participation triple bill, unites and celebrates the creativity of older adults in the North with works created by community dance companies including Performance Ensemble from Leeds, Third Bite Dance from Sheffield and Liverpool’s Men!Dancing!
As well as performances, Ageless will feature dance workshops led by iconic older dance artists including a masterclass with Susan Kempster who teaches her signature partnering method. Funmi Adewole Elliott explores storytelling through African urban dances: Fuji, Juju and Afrobeats. And Christinne Thynne, who discovered dance late in life, leads a playful physical workshop creating precarious structures – something you don’t want to miss.
Ageless hosts talks across the weekend with Dutch artist Katja Heitmann, Christine Thynne, Gillian Dyson Moss, Susan Kempster and Funmi Adewole Elliott.