One of the coolest experiences while being in Paris actually had nothing to do with doing the tourist thing and viewing the landmarks. What intrigued me the most was actually the locals and their street performances. From dancing to fire throwing, miming to being a statue, and more – performances in Paris were all over the place.
Check this guy out. He is literally in perfect “Seated” form… yet he isn’t sitting on anything but air. He stayed like that for a while too! I can’t even IMAGINE how much pain he must have been in. If you’ve ever tried to do wall sits before, I am sure you can relate. That sure as hell isn’t easy!
Honestly, I 100% thought that it was literally a statue when we first came upon this person. It was only when we got closer and saw him move that we clued in that it was a performance. This is just one example of some of the crazy awesome things that you can find while exploring the streets of Paris. Not what you would expect, eh? I know I sure didn’t. This isn’t something that I would have expected to see anywhere, and it is really cool.
We also came across this guy. He was going for a really long time, never letting the ball hit the ground unless he meant for it to happen as a part of the act. He was balancing the ball on top of his head, bouncing it, moving it across his head like you see here in the photo, even rolling the ball all across the length of his upper body from arm to arm. He would roll the ball up an down limbs, balance it, and just overall do really cool tricks.
This was very entertaining to watch, and it made things so much more exciting as we were exploring the city. It just goes to show that people use whatever skills that they have as a means of making a living out there. We don’t see this much where I am from, so I loved seeing the variation in performances and watching people earn a living by doing what they enjoy.
These pictures here demonstrate a group of performers that did a long dance routine.
This was probably my favourite performance that we saw in Paris. I adore the Step Up movies, as well as the Bring it On franchise. I don’t know what it is about dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading that draws me in – I just love it. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that I may as well have been born with two left feet because my coordination record has been terrible throughout my life haha. Regardless, when I heard loud music come on and people suddenly start dancing and break dancing, I felt compelled to sit and watch. And yes – I had to go and give them some money at the end because they were awesome.
And then there were the fire performers… Don’t get me wrong, I loved their performance as well. However, I feel as though my excitement around their performance was slightly overshadowed by my anxiety. I was scared for these people walking around swinging flamings things near one another. I was just waiting for one one those flaming sticks to hit someone, and I was nervous that somebody would get injured.These people are pros though, and they know what they are doing. This performance was actually just outside of an old church, and there was a large cement staircase nearby where locals hung out on weekends and drank. They were set up to perform in that area, and we took a break from exploring to check them out when we noticed the fire.
All of these performances were cool in their own unique way. I don’t have any pictures of the art, but I am sure you wouldn’t be shocked to hear about the massive amount of artists in the city. There was one street that we went down that probably had at least 15 different artists offering their services for money. You could get them to draw cartoon versions of yourself, portraits, and more. All right there on the spot!
If you are planning a trip to Paris, my advice is to explore the lesser populated areas. Visit the non-touristy areas as well to get a good feel for the culture and the city life. Performances were found in both the tourist areas and the more hidden areas that we found by chance, so just explore and see what you can find! I will say this though…
WATCH YOUR BELONGINGS.
This is a story for another time and another post, but Paris has a lot of thieves. I wore a small purse that hung by my hips, and my hand was firmly planted on that bag everywhere I went. This prevented anyone from being able to get into my purse without my noticing. Performances and stunts like the ones that I have described here can be really fun to witness, but you need to be cognizant of the fact that there are more than likely people in the crowd around you waiting for the opportunity to steal from you while you are distracted.