Wanted: The will to fly

2010-04-16 12:55

Who are the traceurs?
The traceurs (male) or traceuses ­(female) are the people who practise parkour. Mostly people see people doing crazy jumps and stunts from insane heights. What many don’t realise is that it takes years of practice and experience in order to do them. Also, parkour is more than these insane undertakings.

What’s the idea behind Urban Expressions?
My idea as director is to get behind the facade that most people see – to peel back the layers and see what actually makes parkour. Essentially, parkour, or PK as we know it, is the act of moving about through an environment in the most ­efficient manner possible.

Within our own community, we find it difficult to describe PK as a sport. It is more of a discipline that frees you from the bonds of traditional dictated movement paths. More, PK is a journey, a journey back as well as forward. It’s a journey back to the time when you were a child and the world was your playground. It’s a journey forward ­because the philosophies and journey you take are completely your own. You have complete control over where you are going and what you are doing. PK is there to show us that even the spark of childish play in the backyard can be fanned to further our mental, spiritual and physical world.

How will spectators see Urban ­Expressions?
I have chosen an area at Wits that ­allows the traceurs freedom of movement, but also allows the audience to watch it from about three sides. Otherwise, if the audience had to ­follow the traceurs, they would never be able to keep up.

How does one try his/her hand at parkour?
The best thing to do is log on to www.parkour.co.za and get in contact with traceurs in your area. Training sessions are held just about every Saturday, mostly at Wits but sometimes we do train in Sandton and Golden Harvest Park. There are plenty of tutorials and links available on the website. There are also two Facebook pages. Search for “Parkour South Africa” or “PkJOZI”. The best way to learn is to go to a training session with other traceurs. Learning by yourself can be dangerous. Even the simple movements that we do in Urban Expressions have taken years of training in order to get them right.

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