Because of everyone’s extremely busy work schedules, the group was only able to have one legitimate rehearsal. It took place at 10:30 p.m. on a Tuesday for about an hour and a half. After that, we sent the music to most people, along with a description of the dance moves. I heard of people practicing on their own in their living rooms or on back porches. And for a busy group of mostly non-dancers, I was pretty impressed.
We decided to premiere it at a company party. So, while it would be public, it would still be a more intimate performance venue. Only some company members knew this would be happening. We had an approximate start time and a cue song (there was already a lot of dancing going on at this party). Prior to our performance time, everyone had butterflies. We would secretly all walk around and say to each other things in passing like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so nervous” or “I think I’ve forgotten all the moves.”
Our cue song came on, everyone began the first choreographed dance moves, and a cheer erupted from the crowd. The birthday girl knew what was happening immediately, and began dancing and jumping in excitement.
Apparently, it was a huge surprise and a huge success.
The organization of this flash mob was, in fact, a theatrical production. We had initial conversations on concept, choreography sessions, rehearsal and performance. And afterward, it was all anyone could talk about. Similar to a theater performance, it lives only in its moment. We can reminisce, look at pictures and even the video that was thankfully captured, but, like a theatrical moment, you have to be there to really experience it.
Brittany Lesavoy is secretary of ArtsOtsego, the alliance of Otsego County arts organizations, and director of public relations for The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. Column ideas may be sent to email@example.com. ‘Around The Arts’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/aroundthearts.