Cypher - space, meaning and movement in Breaking / University of Turku

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Friederike Frost - Vortragender, 05.10.201706.10.2017

Cypher - space, meaning and movement in breaking

This paper explores culture-specific teaching methods for cultural practices such as breaking within a formal education setting, instancing the course “Breaking for school” at the German Sport University Cologne within Sport Teacher Education.
Breaking emerged as element of hip-hop culture in the 1970s in post-industrial New York City (Pabon 2012). It is realised in the cypher, which creates the space for exchange and competition (Johnson, 2009), and is the place where dancers embody and express cultural meaning (Hall 2013) through movement. Therefore, the cypher offers possibilities for a culture-specific teaching of breaking movements and meaning, and specific values like performativity, agency, and each-one-teach-one.
The analysis is based on practice theory and activity theory approach, literature research, field observation and expert interviews. Breaking is considered as cultural practice (Rose 1994), apparent through meaningful movement, realised within the cultural field of the cypher. Cultural traditions of African diaspora are discussed as basic principles of movement aesthetic, realisation, and meaning; reinterpreted by contemporary influences (Rose 2014; Schloss 2009) and global circulation, and expressed and situated within the cultural field.

Keywords: breaking, cypher, movement and meaning, dance education, cultural practice

References
Hall, Stuart (2013): The Work of Representation. In: Stuart Hall, Jessica Evans und Sean Nixon (Hg.): Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. 2. Aufl. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications, ?
Pabon, Jorge “Popmaser Fabel” (2012): Physical Graffiti: The History of Hip-Hop Dance. In: Murray Forman (Hg.): That's the joint! The hip-hop studies reader. 2. ed. New York, NY: Routledge, S. 56–61.
Rose, Tricia (1994): Black noise. Rap music and black culture in contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England (Music/culture).
Rose, Tricia (2014): A Style Nobody Can Deal With: Politics, Style and the Postindustrial City in Hip Hop. In: Tricia Rose und Andrew Ross (Hg.): Microphone Fiends. Youth Music and Youth Culture. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, S. 71–88.
Schloss, Joseph Glenn (2009): Foundation. B-boys, b-girls, and hip-hop culture in New York. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

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