Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Street Performers

One of my favorite parts about Chicago were all of the street performers. On Friday night I walked from the Drake Hotel down the Magnificent Mile and saw a number of different performers. I saw painted people in statuesque poses, breakdancers, tap dancers, artists, and drummers. Here's a little sampling for you.

Though, I respect the art of man mimicking mannequins, it seems like a giant display of "time out" to me. They were probably really naughty kids. Still, though.

I saw these guys about a block away from the from the statuesque poses.

One of my favorite set of street performers was this band of brethren beating the bottom of five-gallon paint drums. I was walking on the other side of the street when I heard the noise and crossed the street to see what it was. Blogger broke down the resolution of the videos, so you can't really appreciate how fast the drumsticks are going, but if you ever see me with my laptop, ask me to pull up this video for you, so you can see how insanely fast they're drumming. I guess if you're going to sell your soul, being a really good drummer wouldn't be a bad skill to acquire in the bargain.

And of course, the classic street performance–the break dance. I saw these guys right after I saw the two drummers in the first video. The Asian guy that dances second was standing on a box as I was walking by, and was talking to the crowd as his comrades rolled out the faux-wood floor. He shouted to the crowd, "We are here to break dance for you! Please, please, do NOT try this at home. Try it at your friend's house!" (buh dum, CHHH! wakka, wakka, wakka) He continued, "Now, if you either like what you see or can't do what we're doing, we want you to CLAP and put money in the hat! If for some reason you don't like what you see, or you can do what we're doing...we still want you to CLAP and put money in the hat." I kept waiting for him to explain the option of just recording the performance and posting it on your blog without putting money in the hat, but he never brought it up, so I just did it.

Every time I see break dancing I can't help but think of hearing about when mom signed up Johnny and Joseph for break dancing lessons and how they ran away half-way through the first lesson and hid behind the vending machines after getting scared when their teacher started spinning on his head. I also think about the Would You Rather? question about break dancing and how under the "things to consider" section it asks, "What's past tense of break dance? Break danced? Broke dance?" Hmmm...I should probably go out to my car and find the question so that this would actually be funny, but I'm not gonna. I still love you, though (depending on who's reading).

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