Editor’s Note: This is an update to that flash mob we told you about earlier. The writer was the organiser of the event.
Following the example of NYC-based drama group “Improv Everywhere,” an assembly of people gathered on Nanjing Road last Saturday at 3pm to “freeze in place at the same time.”
Although it was raining a little and many couldn’t make it on time, the event was a great success in terms of how Chinese and foreign passers-by immediately joined in the spirit of it all. In a matter of seconds, pedestrians stopped to take pictures, film, and comment on the crowd of 50-or-so people that had turned into stone in various positions.
The whole event was inspired by one of the Improv Everywhere YouTube videos in which over 200 people freeze in place on cue in Grand Central Station in New York. Their website shows over 70 different “missions” they have executed in 6 years.
Back in Shanghai, the police were baffled by the whole event and when they finally got their English-speaking agent on site, it was with a surprisingly friendly countenance that they told us that, although they “liked our beautiful body language(!)”, this kind of event was “not allowed under Chinese law”.
The group performed the “freeze” twice, once at 3 and then at 3.20 to allow late-comers to join in, creating some kind of chaos when the two mini tourist trains ploughing through the hordes of curious on-lookers came to a standstill. The helpless female driver shouting “Police! Police!” provoked waves of laughter from amused bystanders.
Performers from various nationalities, who had answered a Facebook invite, loved it such much that the word is it’s going to take place again later this year. Interested readers can become members by signing up with ShanghaiAdLib (a group created on the Improv Everywhere website).
A journalist from Shanghai Evening Post was also there and said there might be a short write-up about the event in Sunday’s edition.
Well, we loved the police officers’ faces so much we wouldn’t miss the second “freeze” for the world!
An article written about the event on a Chinese website already has received over 10,000 hits!