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Physical Culture By Vertinsky, Patricia

DOI: 10.4324/0123456789-REM1786-1
Published: 26/04/2018
Retrieved: 12 June 2024, from


The obsession with physical culture apparent throughout the tense and formative modernist movement extended well beyond sport, games, and purposive exercise through gymnastics, body building, and posture exercises to a wide range of holistic health practices and a variety of dance and expressive activities disseminated across the globe. Scholars have shown how an extended community of North American and European actors, dancers, physical educators, and physical culture teachers at the turn of the 20th century created a spectrum of ‘body cultures’ that responded and contributed to social modernity and artistic modernism. These occurred within multiple contexts, including theatre, dance, fashion, medicine, labour, sport, and exercise, and collectively crafted and visualized a ‘modern’ body, ready for work, play, and self-expression.

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Vertinsky, Patricia. Physical Culture. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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