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Posters showing people dancing were among the first ever produced. Since then, many great dancers, along with many simply good ones, have appeared on posters. Two great ones from the 1991 Merce Cunningham Dance Company flying high above. Found here.
The 1920s and 30s produced a lot of amazing dancers, and a lot of great posters like the above four all found at the equally amazing International Poster Gallery, here.
This for the Baseler Ballett is pure poster art. By Herbert Leupin.
A little tribute to the hokey pokey by Picasso in 1961
Two for the Montreux Jazz Festival featuring people dancing by themselves, as people do at festivals. Jazz and otherwise. From International Posters, again.
Twyla Tharp above left is a modern master. Giselle was first performed in 1840 and is still going strong.
The two above posters are for an annual dance concert at Randolph Macon Women’s College. Nice. Seen here.
And the above is calendar of posters for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Go here.
If you want to pick up a nice dance poster, you can find them at auction. The above bunch sold at a Swann Galleries at auction in April 2010, seen here.
If you’d like to get into the act and do a bit of dancing yourself, there are lots of places to shake a leg and learn new steps. And you can also enter competitions in all sorts of places-including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (!).
First you might want to get your feet and knees in tip top shape at a dance camp. extreme or otherwise. And one day….
People at outdoor music festivals are usually a pretty happy bunch. But no one seems to get as happy and yes mellow as people at FOLK music festivals. Look at the two above seen here and the hoola hooper below seen here, all at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in Australia.
Folk festivals seem to occur just about everywhere that folk can be found. In North America, there are hundreds every year and each one seems to develop a personality of its own over time, though always remaining within the framework of being a laid back/come as you are/easy does it/beads and musk/natural food and fabric/rainbow colour/smile the whole time/love fest.
These people above are at the bliss fest kc in Kansas City. If that weren’t the actual name of the festival, people would probably call it that anyway.
This is the folk fest in Canmore Alberta. Stilt bliss. Get high on 2 by 4’s. Photo from here
England has lots of folk festivals too. This is a shot of a recent gathering of the Cambridge Folk Festival, seen at the bbc.
Still at the Cambridge Festival, this is one of the performers last year, Eliza Carthy. At folk festivals, it seems, the people on stage get blissed as much as anyone in the audience. Seen again at the BBC.
Still in England, these folks above are at the Bromyard Folk Festival in Shropshire. No, they don’t actually look blissed, but they are, they are. Especially the guy on the right inside the brown dinosaur suit. See here
This lady above is attending the Fairy Folk Festival in Sonoma California. She’s as mellow as a kitty cat who’s just finished eating an entire sockeye salmon. More here
Getting extremely happy, inside and out, at folk festivals did not start with the 1960’s as you may have thought. This banjo player is performing at the Folkways Festival in Arkansas in 1941. Found here.
Lets head back to Australia, this time to the amazing Woodford Folk fest, image here
Another day at the Woodford, which is held in late December, early January to see in the new year in high summer in Australia. High summer got muddy this time, image here.
Woodford again above , here’s their website
Wherever you see the words folk and festival , in any country, you will find people having the time of their lives. It may only last a few days, but it shows us what we could be. Maybe we need folk musicians on every street corner in every town and city all year long, to get us to stop awhile and bliss out. Image above from here.
Based on a quick hike across the internet, there are a great many humans who make their living by performing amazing acts that require extraordinary balance. Above couple are pros, from here
I can’t say I understand why people do it, or why we want to watch. But they do and we do. Watch your chairs if this bunch comes for dinner. Seen here.
Above are Japanese firefighters honouring their predecessors, long ago, by climbing up on bamboo ladders, as they once did. Reported here.
I don’t think these are steelworkers on their break high above the streets of Manhattan. But they may be.
At the moment, Asians seem to have most of the spotlight for amazing, gravity defying acts of balance.
But the desire to show off in front of others by not falling when you should cuts across all cultures, it seems. These two are in Ivory Coast, on stilts, impressively.
Jean Monti Highwire and Sway Pole Show is based in Germany–or rather a hundred feet above Germany. Jean comes from four generations of circus and highwire entertainers. See here
Nick Wallenda is even higher, and he’s a seventh generation gravity defier. This ride on a bike set a record. Story here.
More of the Wallenda family, who are bound to encourage a few more in the crowd to give it a try, despite a terrible fall by the family while performing at a circus in 1962.
I guess I’m willing to concede that the will to challenge gravity by climbing up on someone or something, whether it is a few feet above ground or a hundred, is something that exists in all of us, at least for a while . Nice photo above by George Tice, 1966, of an Amish boy having a go, seen here.
And like all widely and strongly felt human desires and capabilities, some will make art of it, something beyond daring, something beyond comprehension, something beautiful and deeply moving. This is Philippe Petit. Above. More here.
Circus posters from another time and perhaps another planet.
All above from a site called Hearing Voices, which they say “is the largest collective of independent radio producers this side of the semi-planet Pluto” They did some circus stories for radio and found posters at the Library of Congress site, here. Other pics of the L of C here
Above photos of nice circus posters from Princeton University collection, go here. for more
Two very nifty posters above selected from a collection by t. sutpen
If this inspires you to go to a circus this summer, remember, what you find there can sometimes be a little unusual, if not downright creeeepy. But GO.
Here comes the weekend, time to park the car and get out on the street. I hope your street has some street performers, like the above who were hired by Lancaster University for a special science/art event called Metamorphosis. See here.
Look what they had on the street in Tokyo: Eye heads. From the BBC here (click 3)
These “mysterious street performers” have outfitted themselves as horses…with a baby buggy. Can’t wait to see what they do. From here.
There are streets in Lithuania too, and street performers, in white. Things. Here.
Some street performers stand out from the crowd by trying something new. Like being invisible. This guy, or at least his clothes, can be found here
And then he, or a relative, showed up here, this time only visible to kids.
This man from Germany is suspended or hovering or levitating above the street. It’s a trick, and a very good one . Seen here.
These street performers squeeze into the doorway of a house in Rouen, France, as part of Austrian artist Willi Dorner’s Bodies in Urban Places project. Seen here.
But most street performers follow the trails blazed by others and give the crowd what they expect. Like a fire eater seen here.
Or these well balanced acrobats seen here.
Spain seems to have all the classic forms of street performance, with a few creative fluorishes. This “statue”, sitting, is from here.
Still in Spain, this man serves up his head for lunch. From here.
Street performers have to sleep too. Might as well make it a performance–this in Barcelona, which seems to have become THE street stage for people who want to take theatre to the streets. Found here.
Street performance is as old as the streets. This photo was taken in Paris in 1948 by a young Richard Avedon. See it here.
Still, I think we may be living in the golden age of street performance. Maybe due to tough economic times forcing creative people on to the pavement. Above is SWOON! 4 daredevil Australians telling a story of love, loss, joy and freedom up on high flexible poles. See here
So make sure you get out and support the performing artists. They’re as close as a street near you . Above seen here.