normal day in a supermarket, people rushing and doing their shopping thinking
of the load of work ahead; and while you select your fruit, the person next to
you in the green apron turns around and starts to sing, full voice, sings one
of the famous opera arias, and all of a sudden from all directions, people come
and join in, and you as simple customer, are literally mesmerized. People all
around are transfixed in their motion, stop in the middle of a sentence, and
listen to something which they can’t believe is true.
scene in a shopping mall in Bavaria: young people in traditional dresses start
singing among crowds of people, from the balconies, coming down the elevators, and
sing Bavarian pop, and many of the customers stop, look around and their facial
expression changes from non-communicative to absolute joy.
so I could go on, similar scenes in public places among tourists, all of a
sudden, musicians come out of the shade into the middle of a place with their
chairs and instruments and start making music, classical music.
in Cyprus I have seen classical dancers perform ‘water’ in the middle of the
street in the buffer zone to attract the attention of the people to not waste
are invited to contribute their poems for a street activity, in Berlin
thousands of poems on slips of papers were poured like rain from helicopters
flying over the roofs of the city, the same idea was done in Cyprus, also
across the green line in Nicosia, thousands of poems were released from giant
balloons onto the streets, I still have some of those slips of poems in my
have often enough reported on these happenings, performances, surprises
suddenly springing up in the middle of people. It keeps fascinating me. It was
only this spring in Nicosia that people from Tango Clubs in North and South
Nicosia started dancing outside the Büyük Han, down Arosta Street, across the
checkpoint and down Ledra Street, and people stopped and watched, and some
courageous started dancing themselves. Great scenes.
also the visual arts are in it, but they have always done street art as long as
I can think back, but to show their art in supermarkets as video films or as
installations between stands with vegetables that is new. Artists painted the white washed walls along
the highway between Girne and Lefkosa, not so long ago, this spring, they spent
an entire day under the scorching sun. Actors and actresses step down from the
stage and make their point about something, in the middle of the street, often
to protest against something.
all come and touch the public, literally,
they want the close contact and the immediate answer. Opera and
classical music brought to the people in the street who most probably cannot
afford to go to the theatre in the European cities. The performing and visual
arts are no longer a holy distant golden calf on a pedestal, it is stepping
down and mixing, they are with us.