Ballerinas and Pixies : A Genealogy of the Changing Gymnastics Body

Barker-Ruchti, Natalie. (2009) Ballerinas and Pixies : A Genealogy of the Changing Gymnastics Body. The international journal of the history of sport, Vol. 26, H. 1. pp. 43-61.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5253600

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Until the late 1960s, women's artistic gymnastics consisted of mature women performing gentle ballet-type exercises that were emotionally expressive and graceful. During the 1970s, however, the gymnasts' performances and bodies changed dramatically. Young and sexually undeveloped gymnasts began to execute acrobatic- and risk-driven routines that consisted of complex air-bound combinations of gymnastics elements. The trend to acrobatics emerged in the former Soviet Union. Within this specific political context, a highly competitive, ambitious and ingenious sporting atmosphere fostered the development of the acrobatic trend in the Eastern Bloc countries and later in the West. Analyses of the 1964 and 1975 International Code of Points (Code) and specific descriptions of the physical appearance and winning floor routine of Czechoslovakian Vera Caslavska at the 1968 Olympic Games and that of Romanian Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 Games, demonstrate the differing gymnastics styles. Interviews, academic literature, popular texts and Internet sites help explain the developments. Michel Foucault's genealogical research methodology and 'analytic' of modern relations of power assist in this pursuit, revealing a particular history of social change.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Sport, Bewegung und Gesundheit > Bereich Sportwissenschaft > Sportwissenschaften (PĆ¼hse)
UniBasel Contributors:Barker-Ruchti, Natalie N
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Frank Cass
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:24
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:37

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