Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Street Performers

Street performers can be found lining the streets of many Polish cities. From guitar players, breakdancers, and human statues to clowns and vampires, performers tried to capitalize on the summer tourist population. Some performed near their homes while others traveled short distances by train to busier and more profitable cities.

What all seemed to have in common was a little creativity and a lot of patience. Some could be found performing throughout the entire day. One guitar player in Sopot was nearly famous to the locals who had seen him performing in the same general area for years. Another spoke English after 3 years in an English prison. He was a native Pole and performed in Sopot for supplemental income.
While some performers seemed to take their time "on stage" lightly, others took their work more seriously. One middle aged man playing accordion and dressed as a clown, would stop and gesture at the hat by his feet if tourists made an attempt to film or photograph his performance before paying.
Street performers, in all their many forms, provide a dynamic and often changing cultural landscape for tourists and locals alike. Whether in the busy streets of Krakow or a quiet alley in Sopot, performers play a lasting role in Polish cultural life.

The building in the background is called "The Crooked House" and is part of Sopot's eclectic atmosphere.


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