Three police men, one promised mayor and a bunch of random men hanging around the public square, all watching the computer screen in confusion, while me and Amanda are trying our best to make them understand one concept: PARTICIPATION!
It’s been easy to arrange the Chicken Dance so far. Easy in the sense that people have been in contact with flash mobs, and art performances before. YouTube has been great at spreading these, but until last week, YouTube was banned in Turkey.
Perhaps that’s why the concept isn’t as well spread here?
I summarized the story (keep on reading) and will now fold it out for you: Last week we tried to arrange the Chicken Dance in Bergama. As you probably can guess, we failed pretty hard.
But not without a fight!
We had gotten a note written in Turkish that told the story and our mission. Now, more confident than ever we handed it over to the men that spent their days in the public square. They looked at it, perplexed and snatched the note from each other. Some of them talked to us, and then after a short while one man claimed that it was in fact illegal to arrange the dance in the public square.
– “Problem with Police, girls and boys dancing together, here!”
– “Oh, really? Why is that?”
He didn’t answer “why”. The whole group kind of shrunk as we questioned the idea, the law and his words. We crossed some kind of line here.
– “Where can we find the police station, so that we can ask them for permission?”
He pointed at a building that was very close to the square.
With another man accompanying us, we walked over to the police station. Meanwhile the man (who spoke German) said things like:
– “Das ist sehr gut! Bürgermeister ruft das Volk, alle zusammen und jeder wird dann tanzen!” Meaning that the mayor probably would summon the town for this dance. Our hope was higher than ever!
At the police station we were sent between 4 different inspectors and then after 45 minutes we had our official permission and one inspector that tried his best to help us arrange the Chicken Dance. He tried convincing his co-workers, people on the streets and the men in the square. There was a limitation to this though: He would not dance with us himself.
No one else would either. They started talking about getting a local musician that could play for us (we insisted that we’d just sing instead) and then we showed them the video. On our computer.
– “This is in Brasov, Romania. And Bratislava, Slovakia. Varna, Bulgaristan. Stockholm, Sweden. Visby, Gotland. Warsaw, Poland. And now… Bergama – with you, in Turkey! Come on now, dance with us!”
And then. They all just turned away… and slowly… walked away from us… as if… they didn’t see us anymore.
We see four possible solutions to this:
- Contact the mayor in each city before trying to arrange it. But that would kind of defeat the liberating feeling of free participation, wouldn’t it?
- Change from “random people” to “young people” who got something to win by making weird stuff such as participating in a public dance. Youth is more rebellious by nature. The old men have had their fun and seem rather safe and secure with their lives and positions.
- Contact artists who are into doing stuff like this all the time.
- Start off the dance with more people that you’ve gathered in advance. This is the approach that we’ll try out in Antalya.
We’ll let you know how it goes.
Do you have any suggestions or feedback on the Chicken Dance?
Write a comment and tell us!