Special Edition - Collaborative Touch in Performance and Sport - LU Arts Roundtable
A special edition of Grappling Arts bring you this event from the LU Arts/Loughborough University festival Interface. Sport and artistic performance have a long, intertwined history. Despite this, they are so often regarded as separate. This roundtable event brings together five academics/practitioners with a view to reimagining that most potent of presences in sport and performance: the body. The contributors are Tom Dawkins (wrestler, as Cara Noir, contemporary performer and fitness coach), Claire Heafford (former UK gymnast and bobsledder, wrestler and performer), Dominic Malcolm (Reader in the Sociology of Sport and author of The Concussion Crisis in Sport), Gareth McNarry (Para-swimming lead at Loughborough Sport with a doctorate in swimming embodiment) and Claire Warden (Senior Lecturer in English and Drama and co-editor of Performance and Professional Wrestling). They discuss a range of interests and concerns including pain, discomfort, the fraught notion of work, touch and haptic communication. This event is part of Interface: a week of discussions and events that showcase interdisciplinary practice
Heather Bandenberg - Feminist resistance, performance art, storytelling
Welcome to the grappling arts podcast. Joining Claire and myself is the professionally unladylike writer and performance artist Heather Bandenburg. In her own words, Heather grew up wanting to be a writer, and then accidentally became a Lucha libre wrestler aged 21. Since then, she has launched herself fully into a series of adventures, including writing feminist narratives on wrestling; and bringing jovial violence to London's cabaret scene. We talk about anger as a creative force, wrestling as a form of feminist resistance, comedy, and of course Heather’s obsession with Cher. This episode with Heather was both fascinating and joyful to record and we hope you enjoy listening to it. Just a word before you listen into the episode, for those that may find such topics triggering, that the conversation contains reference to the experience of sexual assault.
Conor Heffernan - Wrestling, bodybuilding, and physical culture
This episode focuses on the many fascinating intersections between wrestling, physical culture and bodybuilding. Conor Heffernan is a formerly Assistant Professor of Physical Culture and Sport Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In September he will start a new role at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Conor’s research focuses on the meanings of the body in nineteenth and twentieth century Europe and the United States. This includes the study of gender, race, nationalism, food and childhood. Away from Academia, Conor is a regular contributor to health and fitness websites. At present, he contributes regular articles to Barbend.com as well as his own history of fitness website Physical Culture Study. We hope you enjoy the episode. If you do, please subscribe and leave a review!
Sam Benjamin - Acting, action movies, and wrestling
Welcome to another episode of the Grappling Arts. The guest for this episode Sam Benjamin. Sam Benjamin is an award winning actor known for his role in The War of the Worlds (2019), and his guest turns in Doctor Who (2005) & Peaky Blinders (2013). Recently he stared in the Netflix action movie I Am Vengeance: Retaliation (2020) along side former Wrestler Stu Bennet. As well as acting, Sam is also a writer, director, and of course a massive wrestling fan! We discuss Sam’s career, the intersections between acting and wrestling, and a selection of Sam’s favourite matches, including Goldberg verse Hollywood Hulk Hogan!
Sugar Dunkerton - Wrestling performance, matches, and storytelling