Athletic bodies have long been represented in figurative art, but sustained performative explorations of the act and action of running are a more recent phenomenon. Artists are responding to the emergence of recreational endurance running as a global mass participation sport and its increasing visibility as a body-cultural practice, as well as the possibilities running opens up for engaging with the broader ‘sport spectacle’. How are theatre and performance makers employing running bodies and how is this contributing to emerging inter-disciplinary dialogues around running and its cultures?
This is far from an exhaustive account of contemporary practitioners who have used running bodies in their work. Others include: Martin O’Brien, getinthebackofthevan, James Steventon, Blast Theory, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Marnix de Nijs and MAP Office (Gutierrez + Portefaix), Ahmed Basiony, Nestori Syrjälä, Katye Coe and Hetty Blades and Burn the Curtain.
Extracts from Endurance Running as Gesture in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
Andrew Filmer, Aberystwyth University
Filmer, Andrew. “Endurance Running as Gesture in Contemporary Theatre and Performance.” Contemporary Theatre Review, vol. 30, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 28–45. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1080/10486801.2019.1696322.