Friday, December 24, 2010
Flash mobsters make their mark on Dallas-Fort Worth
The latest was a performance of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and you can expect more flash mobs in 2011.
DALLAS Flash mobs are a trend in improvised performance art that have caught the eye of the media recently -- and Dallas has its own group of artists who perform off-the-wall, entertaining flash mobs. The Dallas Flash Mob is committed to doing one flash mob per quarter to surprise North Texas residents.
Flash mobs around the world are used sometimes for promotion and publicity, but mostly they're just performed to get a rise out of people. You may have seen the YouTube video of 200 singers who gathered to perform the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah in Connecticut. It was re-done by another group in Canada and has garnered more than 25 million YouTube views.
The largest flash mob to date, and perhaps one of the most well known, happened in 2009 when a group of about 21,000 people successfully pulled off a choreographed dance while popular music group the Black Eyed Peas performed on stage. The show was part of a party in Chicago to kick off the 24th season of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
"I thought it was pretty cool and that it would be a lot of fun to do something like that around here," says Jeff Mcbride, the person responsible for the concept and organization of Dallas Flash Mob. "I have a goal to best the record held by the Chicago flash mob by doing one of our own with at least 22,000 people."
“The 12 Days of Christmas” Flash Mob in Frisco
For the latest step towards that goal, almost 100 members of Dallas Flash Mob met at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco to surprise holiday shoppers by caroling "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in the food court.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" flash mob seemed to go off without a hitch. Mcbride was the first to start singing. He belted out the first verse solo and held a miniature tree above his head, symbolizing the pear tree. As the song progressed, other members of the flash mob stood up and joined in; two people for the two turtle doves, three for the three French hens, and so on. They held fun props of some kind that related to each verse. The four calling birds held mobile phones high in the air. The 12 drummers had real drums. The audience was obviously delighted, as many laughed and smiled, and some even joined in the singing themselves. The group had a quick round of applause afterwards, and then everybody just went about their business, presumably a little bit happier and filled with more holiday spirit.
Mcbride is a Dallas native. He is a happy and confident young man who says he can pull off a flash mob because he is good at organizing people and is a self-starter. He taught himself how to do magic some time ago and performed as a magician for three years. During that time, he says he learned how to enjoy being on a stage and gained a knack for it. (For his day job, he works in IT.) In May 2010, he created dallasflashmob.com, and those who want to participate can sign up to receive email notifications about upcoming flash mobs.
"The website got off to kind of a slow start when I first launched it," says Mcbride. "Only about 50 to 75 people signed up at first." But in the last four weeks, he has watched those numbers shoot up to about 680 registered flash mobsters.
Methods of sharing information vary from group to group. The trick is to get the word out without giving the general public any clue of what's about to happen.
Dallas Flash Mob recently hosted a successful marriage proposal. The plan was to have the flash mobsters simultaneously fall to one knee and hold up a long-stemmed rose while the man popped the question. But the word leaked out, and the girlfriend heard that there was going to be a flash mob at the very place where she was planning to go with her boyfriend that day. She even told him that she wanted to make sure they got to see it. Luckily, that was the extent of her knowledge; the proposal went off without a hitch -- and she said yes!
Mcbride's new agenda is to come up with creative new flash mobs each quarter. "I don't know what we're going to do for the next big one," he says. "Maybe something to do with St. Patrick's Day will be our next one with a holiday theme. But, it's all about having fun."
Pegasus News Content partner - The Assignment Desk, DFW
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