Calle del Arco Street Performers

Calle del Arco Street Performers

During these last few days I’ve spied two different mimes performing on the Calle del Arco. The only way I can really tell the difference between the painted faces is the height of the two characters: one is tall and the other is quite short. Both seem to be a hit with onlookers: adults and kids alike. The two seem to have similar tricks as well, which include shaping colorful animals from tubular balloons, asking someone from the audience to slingshot what seems to be a giant yoyo, and teeter-tottering on a small unicycle. In all honesty, the acts aren’t overly impressive – especially when you’ve encountered them on a number of occasions. Nonetheless, each time I see one in action, I stop to watch. I’m not just watching “Coqueto y Cortito”, as I have fondly named them. I’m also watching the people. Whether it’s Coqueto o Cortito, each invariably bring smiles to the faces of passersby and that’s something I’ll never tire of appreciating. Try as I might to engage these two in conversation, I can never get a peep out of them. Not to say that I’m surprised a mime won’t talk…

text and photos by Laura McNamara.

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