Parkour is the Culture of Tomorrow
Yellow Peril Media is proud to support collaborative, multimedia Parkour artists Bullettrun in their pursuit to bring the exciting world of Parkour to the stage. The Kickstarter article below is written by Nadia Lesy, Bullettrun’s Artistic Director and Choreographer, who has contributed her videography expertise to our recent interviews with South African Artist Conor Mccreedy and Recording Artist Mike Alike.
Parkour is an extreme art form that challenges the strength and courage of its’ disciples, who call themselves “traceurs” or “freerunners.” These young men and women climb scaffolding, jump off buildings, dive down staircases and bounce across concrete in their quest for beauty and adventure. For the traceurs, the modern city is an enormous jungle gym and recess lasts forever. Groups of traceurs have been practicing their art in New York City for six years. For the last three years, I have been collaborating with these urban acrobats through my production company, Bullettrun.
In 2007, I produced a twenty-minute documentary featuring traceurs flying through the New York City landscape. Since then, I have regularly created video shorts that cover events and profile members of the Parkour community. These videos have been featured by well known, national Parkour organizations such as the American Parkour Federation and World Federation of Parkour and Freerunning. The videos also have a large following on Vimeo and YouTube.
My videos go beyond portraying the flashy moves of traceurs and freerunners. Each one is a shaped work of art — similar to say, a music video or dance performance. I choreograph, shoot and edit every video myself.
In addition to producing videos, Bullettrun also performs on the stage. In 2009, we were the first Parkour group to appear in the NY International Fringe Festival . Our performance recieved an, “Overall Excellence Award” from the Fringe Festival committee.
Later that year, we performed at the New York City Center during CTFD’s “America Dances!” jubilee, sharing the program with companies such as NY City Ballet and.the Isadora Dance Company. Although the NYC Fringe and City Center show were live performances, video played an important role in the choreography.
What started out as an MFA thesis project has turned into a long-term love. Sometimes I feel like I am like a tornado chaser, trying to keep up with a new art form that will shape the culture of tomorrow.
More than a “fad sport,” Parkour is an emerging culture; one very similar to hip hop in the late 1970s.
Financial support through Kickstarter will help to capture an art form that has just started its journey into the world In the upcoming year, I plan to produce bi-weekly video shorts covering the adventures of the Parkour community in the United States. These videos will serve to connect the growing Parkour community and inform the larger public.
I will also present excerpts of these videos during Bullettrun’s live performances, blurring the line between documentary, performance and experimental video.