Clowns and Street Performers Dance in the Rainy Streets of Beirut

by Hannah Punitha on Dec 10 2008 3:13 PM

Clowns and Street Performers Dance in the Rainy Streets of Beirut
Clowns and street performers danced in the rainy streets of Lebanon's capital on Tuesday bringing holiday cheers to the shopping district.
Thirty performers from Germany, Italy, Morocco and Lebanon donned rainbow-coloured wigs and red plastic noses to put on a show, as frustrated drivers blasted their horns.

Some clowns walked on stilts as others danced, juggled, blew balloons and took pictures with the crowd that gathered to watch the show under pouring rain in mainly Muslim west Beirut.

Tuesday's performance, which fell on the second day of the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and in the runup to Christmas, was the culmination of a week-long workshop in Beirut on street performances.

"It is meant to introduce street performances and comic relief as a way to deal with tense situations and conflict," said Tonnie Selwood Choeiri, one of the organisers.

"They were taught about the history of clowns and the role of madness in society," she said.

This holiday season sees Lebanon in recovery after three years of unrest, including a string of assassinations, a devastating war with Israel, a 15-week battle with Islamists, civil strife and a debilitating political crisis.

"They brought back some smiles and happiness to us," said Ibrahim, a 27-year-old passer-by. "They gave us a sense that the holidays are upon us."


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