Leyden Academy celebrates seven-year existence with dance performance

Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing was established in November 2008 on the initiative of Vereniging Aegon, with the mission to improve the quality of life of older people. To achieve this, Leyden Academy offers trainings, conducts research and initiates developments in the field of vitality and ageing.

On Wednesday 11 November, Leyden Academy invited its employees, supervisory board, partners, followers and inhabitants of Leiden for a special dance performance, HARY+++++.

Prior to the performance Peggy Olislaegers, director of the Dutch Dance Days, talked about the meaning of ageing in professional dance and her wish to bring alternative images in this utopia of a perfect society.

In HARY+++++, choreographer Dario Tortorelli lets the performers move as if in a hypnotic dream. Older dancers move around their own axis in slow motion, wearing sculptures. The torsos break open like egg shells and fall from their skin.

After the performance the audience had the oppertunity to express their opinion and ask questions to Olislaegers, the choreographer and the dancers. It was clear that the attendees were impressed by the performance, each having his or her own interpretation. Most saw a signal of breaking free from society’s expectations, and that we should be happy with who we are: as an individual, connected to others. Some wished the performance was faster and more active, others saw true beauty and vitality in the slow and controlled movements. Yet, everyone was unanimous about the power of the performance.