January 18, 2013
When we talk about ‘ambient’ acts in corporate event entertainment, we’re often talking about music – whether it’s laid back background music as mentioned in our last post or chill out music as played by a number of our DJs and Organic Jam, ambient music remains a popular request for events at which guests are encouraged to talk and network with each other. But we also use the word ambient to describe some of our strolling acts.
These acts differ from strolling performers - magicians, In The Style of Artists, Graphologists, iPad Caricaturists – in that they aren’t interactive, but instead act as a visual element of the event. Living furniture almost. Ambient strolling acts are a unique and visually stimulating way to make an event stand out, adding to the atmosphere in a way that’s unobtrusive and allows guests to carry on their conversation while still enjoying the performance. They’re also great for events that require a highly visual act, but where staging or rigging isn’t an option.
We’ve put together a quick list of some of our most popular examples to give you an idea of what ambient strolling acts can add to an event.
A perennial favourite with corporate event audiences, Contact Jugglers offer the eye-catching visuals of a traditional juggling show with none of the hurtling projectiles. One of the reasons contact juggling – or crystal ball manipulation – has proved so popular is that it can work pretty much anywhere; indoors, outdoors, in crowded spaces, static or roving around the event. They often work as a nice accompaniment to other acts too and most practitioners of the art are more than happy to theme their costume to any event.
We regularly feature our contortionists and hand balancing performers on stage as their jaw dropping flexibility and skill is reliably able to draw a crowd. But Contortionists also work brilliantly as ambient acts that people can enjoy as they move around a venue. Often performing a number of short sets (8-10 mins generally), our sophisticated circus performers’ controlled, elegant movement can really add to the atmosphere of an event.
With floating crystal balls and slowly twisting bodies already featuring in this list, now’s a good time to pick out something a bit more energetic. Our light dancers use custom made LED costumes to create ethereal dance displays that work exceptionally well as ambient acts as well as stage shows. Either dancing to their own backing tracks or the music playing during the evening, the light dancers offer an appealing midpoint between dance show and ambient act.
So far we’ve focussed on ‘ground based’ acts, which are great for adding unusual touches to an event without going through the hassle of production, staging and lighting that’s often part and parcel of booking stage shows. But sometimes it’s good to add an element of verticality into an evening’s entertainment and in these cases, Stilt Walkers are the perfect solution. In particular, themed stilt walkers can help to create a carnival atmosphere without getting lost in a sea of guests.
We supply a number of variations on the ever popular living statue, from living archways to body painted models. But none are quite as unique and unusual as Living Topiary. What appear at first to be static human shaped hedges, surprise guests by turning out to be... hedge shaped humans. With astonishingly detailed costumes, these strolling performers are sure to be a talking point for any evening but also help make an event feel quirky and inventive.
By Garreth Owen