Recently I found out about Parkour. I think this sums up the “modern” form best:
Parkour is a non-competitive sport, which can be practiced alone or with others. It can be practiced in any location, but is usually practiced in urban spaces. Parkour involves seeing one’s environment in a new way, and imagining the potentialities for movement around it.
The video above is long (10’00”) but worth a full viewing. Once I got over the physical prowess and poetic, almost dance-like nature of it, I began to feel a sense of being uplifted. At first I thought it was just inspiring to see what people can do (courageously) with their bodies—which it is—but then I realized there was something powerful about seeing people navigate urban spaces in such an elegant and strong way. It’s a visual representation of the beauty of nature overcoming something so unnatural, and in many cases, ugly.
Some of the footage is shot at competitions and in natural settings, but much of it captures the “seeing one’s environment in a new way” and beautifully illustrates a freedom that I think people will always have over the cages they create.