The Promise of Movement:
Arts and Athleticism

Within the realm of physical and athletic culture in the past decade there has been a growing trend towards both a discourse and practice of Movement. Within this area of my research on the relationship between arts and athleticism I have focused on the practices and cultures associated with dance in hip hop (b-boy/ b-girl, break), parkour, and capoeira. I have sought to examine the current investment in a language of movement with an emphasis on play and improvisation, rather than exercise or fitness. This turn from fitness to movement is often framed within a critique of the modern technocratic world - a devitalized world. 

 

I have focused my research in this area around the following themes: (1.) Narratives of desire - seeking freedom through movement. Whether it is bodily freedom in the sense of moving in ways one did not have access to before or it is a psychic freedom to think differently about one’s own body and physical practices; (2.) Inventing Nature and the Primal through a discourse of movement. There is a growing trend towards the promise of the primal to invoke vitality and playfulness in mind and body; and (3.) Movement, ethics and aesthetics. parkour, capoeira, and breakdancing for instance, offer a way of interacting with one’s environment, a way of living one’s life in relation to the self and to others. 

© 2020 by Dr Charity Marsh