Tuesday, Sept 6, 2011:Audience Spotlight

420People's Package shines a light on audience involvement

Spotlight on the Audience

There are the people who know what’s going to happen. And then there are people who are shocked and amazed when they see what’s happening.

Scott, from Texas, is one of the shocked and amazed.

“I was shopping [he got new shoes] and started wandering back to my hostel, and there it was,” he says. “It’s fascinating.”


What’s fascinating is the rehearsal he’s watching of Package, to be performed free of charge in the open air the next day by the contemporary dance group 420People. Scott is on a year-long, world tour, so he has some opinions about world culture.

“One thing people need to understand about today’s audiences of younger people,” he says, “is that they don’t want to stand in line, they don’t want to dress up, and they don’t want to pay a big price.”

Scott happened on the performance unexpectedly. And even this dress rehearsal met his three criteria.

Annie, visiting from Germany, also wasn’t prepared for the performance rehearsal. “Absolutely not,” she says, beneath a blue baseball cap. “I just walked past” and stopped to watch, she tells Opus Osm. “I’m not really surprised that it’s here,” she says. “There is good theatre, and modern performances, in Prague.”

Zdeněk sells Novy Prostor magazine every day in the plaza area outside The New Stage where Package was presented Aug 31-Sept 2. The jolly man who looks like a Santa has seen the rehearsals, so he knew what was going to happen. “It’s full of fun, of love,” he says.


At the actual performance Aug 31, the dancers reach out to a few members of the rows-deep audience and pull a few to the center of the action to dance. Sylvia from Brazil is one of the volunteers.

“I love dancing and participating,” she says after she returns to the crowd and catches her breath. “I love Prague. This is my second visit here, and I love this performance. It’s a different way of presenting the arts. We don’t have anything like this in Brazil.”


“It’s different, it’s interesting,” says Petra from nearby Prague. “It’s like a slow-motion film.”

Petra also knew about the performance in advance, but says she had no idea what to actually expect.


Pavel, a retired Praguer, can tell her.

“It’s something between dance and – and sport,” he says, reaching for just the right description. Pavel heard about the performance on the radio.

“It’s very nice,” he says.

“I would come again, if I had the opportunity.”

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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