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February 23, 2021

Pro wrestling isn't just body slams and violence -- it's also art

Professional wrestling has historically gotten a bad rap as neither being a respected sport nor form of entertainment. To most, the pervading image of wrestling may still be beefed-up, baby-oiled behemoths like Hulk Hogan or John Cena competing in staged fights, or the over-the-top, spandex-clad comedy theatrics seen in Netflix's hit series "Glow." Pro wrestling's merits as a legitimate sport have long been debated, but can this curious confluence of kitsch characters and Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics be considered art? In the 1950s, French philosopher Roland Barthes wrote an essay likening wrestling to theater -- the staged spectacles acted out in the ring presenting an allegory for good versus evil. In modern day, critics have compared wrestling's dramatic storylines to the televised soap opera, itself an extension of theater. Adam Abdalla, the lead creative behind art and wrestling journal Orange Crush, said that in the past, he's brought visual artist friends to watch wrestling shows with him. "(They) have told me, 'This is better than any performance art that I've been to,' because of just how visceral it is, the way wrestlers put their bodies on the line and just the choreography of it,"...More?

source: cnn.com


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