history of artistry in Artistic Gymnastics

Dance educator, Circus and Gymnastics choreographer Chris Houston put together a research paper for an undergraduate degree titled The Art of the Sport.

Here’s an excerpt:

… A significant area of research that merits further investigation is the exclusion of the women’s compulsory program. This program demanded that the gymnast perform fundamental skills with the highest form of precision possible. These routines distinguished the technically proficient gymnast from the gymnast with poor form and substandard artistry.

The floor routine required exquisite dance technique, superior flexibility, and exceptional acrobatic execution. Each nation brought their own ‘flavor’ in the presentation of these exercises; they tried to stylize the movements to look different from other countries.

The interpretation of the routine allowed each gymnast to demonstrate their unique personality – it encouraged the individual’s artistry.

In 1996, the compulsory program was cut. Since its removal, there has been a gradual decline in the execution of dance …

Download The Art of the Sport as a PDF.

What is artistry?

Click PLAY or watch some of Chris’ work on Vimeo.

Bboy Kill

Slow mo Air Flare variations.

(via Christopher Sommer)

jump turns

Tired of watching questionable Gymnastics turns?

Dancers Andrei Batalov and Leonid Sarafanov show the real stuff. :-)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube

Thanks Vadim.

Twin City Twisters warm-up dance

Arabian Punch Front linked to this brilliant choreography. :-)

Watch it on Facebook. This one won’t embed for some reason understood only by Facebook.

Polina Semionova – ballet solo

Polina Semionova … is a Russian ballet dancer who is currently a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. …

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

(via Ellen Konert-Dowling)

Thought of You – Ryan Woodward

This beautiful dance animation got me thinking …. Could a computer judge artistry?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (2010)

I actually prefer the music in a variation on Facebook. (VIDEO)


Maria Paseka – Floor

Seems to me this is exactly the kind of FX routine that has so long – until lately – been criticized as “American“.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Maria is no classic Russian gymnast. :-)