Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thriller Flash Mobs

The Creative City Project came about as a result of a conversation between Cole Nesmith and Terry Olson, the Director at Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs. The Creative City Project involves gorilla style performances in public spaces every day of the month in October.

The Orlando Ballet had a Thriller themed flash mob on October 12th in the Plaza Theater Courtyard in Downtown Orlando at noon as part of The Creative City Project. I arrived a bit late and there was a crowd of people in business attire milling around the plaza. A 7-11 which recently opened in the plaza was packed. I was afraid I had missed the flash mob but  Robert Hill, the company's artistic director let me know that there would be three more performances about every 15 minutes. Each performance would be just three minutes. That would be a challenge to catch an entire cast dancing in three minutes. I felt I had bit off more than I could chew.

I climbed the stairs for an aerial view of the staging area. Suddenly I was surrounded by the entire ballet cast all dressed in black. They were posing for a photo in front of the Plaza Theater marquee and resting before the next performance. In the bright noon light they tended to look more like cheerleaders rather than zombies. I considered sketching them, but they went back downstairs just as I started. A woman's piercing scream shifted my attention to the courtyard. She ran to the center of the courtyard, screaming the whole time. People turned to look concerned. Then Michael Jackson's Thriller boomed from the sound system. The entire cast danced as zombies and ghouls. People kept gathering to watch. Then as Vincent Price laughed, the performers disappeared. The flash mob was used to help promote Vampire's Ball which will run from October 19th to the 21st. The show is advertised as being frightening, erotic, and campy. I saw a preview from last year's show and it looked amazing.

Tonight after 6PM at the City Arts Factory, Yow Dance will also be performing a Thriller Flash Mob as part of Dia Des Los Muertos and Monster Factory. At this flash mob, everyone is being encouraged to join in. So put on your best zombie attire and get out and dance! There will be makeup artists at City Arts Factory in case you need some extra gory wounds.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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