The Flash Mob phenomenon is a relatively new thing made possible by the internet and other social media.
It’s a marvelous concept in which, by pre-arrangement, a group of people come together in a public venue in order to perform (usually) music or dance. According to Wikipedia, it is “a group of people, who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, before quickly dispersing.
They are often used for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression and are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.” What distinguishes it from other forms of theater is the pre-arranged group of individuals who enters the chosen venue dressed like the general public, in a variety of clothes, and often inconspicuously carrying props or instruments.
They first mingle with the crowd, who is clueless about their presence or that anything unusual is about to break loose. Then, one individual begins the performance by carving out a central niche in the middle of the crowd, and either dancing or playing an instrument or even doing acrobatics. Soon, another one or two join in, and gradually, as the show gets fully underway, more and more members of the crowd join the performance, which can then become quite elaborate with routines or intricate music.
The bystanders, who are not part of the presentation, at first are amazed, and then amused, and finally end up taking video, stills, and/or putting their kids up on their shoulders to watch.
The venues that I have seen, mainly on Facebook, have included a plaza in Spain where Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was performed (including chorale), an enclosed market in Scandinavia where a song and dance routine was performed, and even an outdoor parking area in Russia where a wedding party was entertained, with the bride and groom ultimately performing in their midst as well.
The show is well-rehearsed and carefully choreographed, and of those I’ve seen, often mid-way through, a group who has been dressed as street guards, supermarket staff, and even soldiers have joined in. As surprising, fresh, and satisfying as these performances are, they are particularly Aquarian because they are distinguished from regular theater by the lack of demarcation between the audience and the performer.
It is only when one of the “bystanders” suddenly joins in and performs the routine perfectly from that point onwards that others realize that even the person standing next to you in the audience might in fact be a participant.
Why is this Aquarian?
Because in the Aquarian Age, the group becomes more important than the individual. The glamorization of the ego is overshadowed by the elevation of the group’s unity. Regular people become the stars, and the blurring of the line between performer and audience becomes the meaning that we are all one. Aquarius celebrates the common person (regular people) so the group – its skills, its talent, its precision to act as a single unit – becomes the featured thing.
In the Aquarian Age, although there will always be individuals who rise to prominence or lead the many, there will be much more attention paid to everyone’s fifteen minutes of fame. From the starring role that the unique individual plays in life’s drama, to the fact that pulling people out of their isolated aloneness and into their belonging to something bigger and multiple is the ticket!
Flash mobs, in their most positive expression, not as gangs but as bundles of delight, are an expression of the new trend, and just one of several innovative developments sparking our human evolution. I’ve never been lucky enough to be in a public place where suddenly a small group of people begin a well-honed performance that grows larger as I watch, but I can certainly imagine the utter delight of witnessing this novel concept.
Judi Thomases is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire online magazine.
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