Posts Tagged ‘training’

Scholar’s Corner: DANCING COMMUNITIES

hamera

Finally, I arrive at a book that is explicitly about dance: Judith Hamera’s Dancing Communities: Performance, Difference and Connection in the Global City (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Although this book does not have quite the coherent structure or unified argument of the previous two, it does accomplish something that I called for in my previous post: It places ballet and Pilates training (among other examples) side by side and examines them each as embodied practices, rather than segregating them on account of dance’s public role as one of the “performing arts” and the status of Pilates as a personal rather than public practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Scholar’s Corner: YOGA BODY

singleton

Today’s book is Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton (Oxford University Press, 2010). This is one of the first scholarly works on yoga in its modern “postural” form, as distinct from studies of Hindu religions and yoga more broadly conceived. In coining the phrase “modern postural yoga,” Singleton points to the current focus on asanas that dominates discussions of yoga in the United States. He traces the development of this focus to the early twentieth century and shows how the what is now called “yoga” may owe as much to modern European physical culture as it does to ancient Indian religious practice.

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Teaching as a Primary Practice

Imagine if teaching were a central value, a touchstone of our culture. Imagine if pedagogy were considered a core practice, perhaps even the most central practice, and the achievements of art and science were understood as secondary to the transmission of knowledge, including embodied knowledge.

Focusing on teaching as a primary practice puts the emphasis on the long term. It also tends to deemphasize what individuals may be capable of through talent or luck, and points instead to what remains possible over time (from generation to generation) because of the care invested in hundreds or thousands of unique teacher-student relationships.

That teaching is not currently valued in this way  is everywhere apparent, not only in the continual encroachment of standardized tests on primary education but also in the lack of financial support for projects of teaching and transmission. Grants for performance have been steadily shrinking Read the rest of this entry »

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