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In this article, the performing body is considered via a three-pronged approach involving affect theory and affective science, a scene from King Lear, and long-distance running. Inspired by the chiaroscuro of painting, this variety and mix of sources act as a methodological device to shed unfamiliar light (and shade) on the elusive topic of affect. While ‘body’ is viewed from the perspective of ‘bodyworld’ to denote constitutive and reciprocally shaping human–nonhuman relationalities, the ‘performance’ that occurs in bodies is analyzed in terms of a ‘drama of affect’ to signal the activity that germinates and circulates at various levels of consciousness in human behaviour, whether aesthetic, athletic, or daily. Frank Camilleri is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Malta and Artistic Director of Icarus Performance Project. He has performed, given workshops, and published various texts on performer training, theatre as a laboratory, and practice as research. He is the author of Performer Training Reconfigured: Post-Psychophysical Perspectives for the Twenty-first Century (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Performer Training for Actors and Athletes (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
The new sport organizations were part of a much larger phenomenon: in the second half of the nineteenth century, voluntary associations moved like wildfire around the planet, jumping from continent to continent within only a few years even when travel could take weeks or even months. Physical education emerged as a professional field in the 1880s, and its practitioners used classicism to legitimize their craft, claiming that mens sana in corpore sano was an ancient Greek ideal. German gymnastics were preferred in military schools worldwide, modeled after the admired Prussian military. British sports were preferred in schools modeled after the British public schools that prepared young men for capitalism and colonial service. The commercialization of soccer and the huge global audience ultimately made Fédération Internationale de Football the only sport organization with enough wealth and power to rival the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 1988 the IOC finally opened up the Olympics to professional athletes.
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