Both modern sport and the traditional circus were crystallized in the context of the 19th century's new industrial order, its class structure and its predicaments. This paper explores the significances of an acrobatic act performed in the late 1970s, in a British circus, by alluding to sport and to 19th century dynamics. It suggests that while modern sport involves the body in play, the circus entails a textualization of the body. While in sport, bourgeois order and cosmology are naturalized, in a circus they are illusionarily transcended through the spectators' experience of "authentic" selves. The paper also deals with 1970s circus as an encapsulation of the nostalgic attitude, and points to the conditions of the traditional circus in the post-modern age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)