Nocturnal paradox: how breakdancing reveals the potentials of the night

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This chapter is an exploration into how breakdancing (‘breaking’) can be a vehicle for understanding the inherent tensions and dualities of the night, or what I term the ‘nocturnal paradox’. It moves beyond hegemonic discourses and regulations of night-time culture that are increasingly focused on its economic valorisation to show how breaking – an activity in Sydney (Australia) that exists outside economic transactions – can offer a means to experience and navigate the nocturnal city in new ways. At a time when the strict regulation of lockout laws has spurred a slow decline in the economic-viability of nocturnal cultural activities in Sydney, breakers utilise the empty urban landscape to freely experiment with creative expression. This chapter moves beyond the often-limited and paradoxical framings of night-time culture to show how breaking reveals the potentials of the night.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNocturnes
Subtitle of host publicationpopular music and the night
EditorsGeoff Stahl, Giacomo Bottà
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319997865
ISBN (Print)9783319997858
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePop Music, Culture, and Identity
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
VolumePart F1525
ISSN (Print)2634-6613
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6621


  • Popular Music
  • Culture


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