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The Beauty Of Street Theater

The Beauty Of Street Theater

Cities are cultural wonderlands. They offer a number of ways to express your art or see art. You might be a painter or sculptor, attend arts and crafts shows, make jewelry, attend poetry readings, or visit museums. A cultural activity that is becoming more and more popular is watching or participating in street theater performances.

What Is Street Theater?

Street theater is a type of performance where people play in public spaces without a paying audience. You’ll find them on shopping center lots, in car parking garages, in parks, and on street corners. The actors are either individuals or part of a group or troupe. Sometimes, they use the public spaces to promote their mainstream performances. For the most part, street performers earn their living through the generosity of people watching them. However, occasionally, they will be hired to perform at festivals and children’s shows or parades. These performers use few costumes and props so that they can easily travel to new locations. Since they have limited budgets, they also often buy used clothes and other accessories.

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The beauty of watching street performances is that they can appeal to all people regardless of their economic status. If you can’t afford tickets to the local stages, you can pull up a chair and watch a street performance.

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Street performers have various reasons why they use public spaces as their stage. Some might be not accepted by mainstream theaters or might be working their way up to those prestigious theaters. Robin Williams, David Bowie, Jewel, and Harry Anderson had their starts doing street performances. Others might choose street performances to make a statement either socially, politically, or artistically.

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7 Top Street Performers Worldwide

If you are interested in watching street performances, you might want to check out these troupes on your travels around the world. You might want to start with Spiderman, a performer who climbs skyscrapers as featured on CNN. Here are a few of the others.

  1. Anu Worlds: This German troupe is popular for its poetic theater in public spaces. The troupe has been performing for 10 years. It performs in tunnels, parks, and churches, among other places. When the members entertain, they invite the audience to imagine other worlds and to experience those worlds through their performances.
  2. Free Street Theater: In Chicago, you will be entertained by the Free Street Theater. Since 1969, the company has provided an outlet for youth, adults, and professional artists and scholars to create performances that look at artistic form, language, and the meaning of humanity. It is a part of a network of theaters in Chicago.
  3. Commedia dell’arte: This troupe began in Italy in the 16th Century. It began modern-day improvisation and scenario performances. The name means Comedy of Craft, which is the shortened version of Comedy of Craft of Improvisation. They rely on outdoor performances on temporary stages, and use a number of props.
  4. Guerrilla Theater: From its humble beginnings in 1965, the San Francisco Mime Troupe has turned into Guerrilla Theater. The troupe’s goal is to perform publically on topics that promote “revolutionary sociopolitical change.”
  5. Sarwanam Theater Group: This troupe is based in Nepal. The nonprofit group has been operating since 1982. Sarwanam is known for using few artificial props on the stage or none at all. It is proud to be an alternative from traditional and conventional theatre in Nepal. Although conventional theater was the most popular before Sarwanam came on the scene, it isn’t now. Sarwanam performs for the common people in the country, which is the largest population. It has given performances in conjunction with the Asia Foundation. It is also organizing a 10-Minutes Play Festival that promotes dedication and imagination over formal training.
  6. Close-Act Theater: The international street theater company Close-Act Theater is based in the Netherlands. It has a partnership with designers, actors, dancers, choreographers. and musicians, along with an audience of 5,000 to 10,000 people.
  7. Welfare State International: Head to Great Britain for this group. The experimental theater group was founded in 1968 by John Fox and Sue Gill. The members are radical thinkers and performers who celebrate all forms of art.

These are some of the most amazing street theatre groups out there. You can watch their acts on YouTube and other online platforms, but there’s nothing like catching it live.

Featured photo credit: Christian Spies via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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