Location: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Thanks to: Henry Mathys & George Moolman from V&A Waterfront.
Mariposa y Gato Suave (Alejandro & Anahi) for the music.
Paul Bothner for the sound.
Shakti Shanti for dressing Lauren, Ben and Hunter.
Georgia Court & Catherine Esterhuizen for the footage and cinematography.
Graeme Essen for many of the pictures.
Sometimes random ‘thought-pops’ turn into something special. That’s what happened on an ordinary autumn afternoon in the Mother City. So random, we don’t even recall where we were driving at the time. In the car, coming from or going somewhere, the conversation of flash mobs came up and that ‘thought-pop’ made it’s way into the space.
Something like this:
L: “We should do a yoga flash mob”
L: “World Yoga Day”
H: “That’s soon, but yes” (it’s about 6 weeks away)
L: “Somewhere always busy …. V&A Waterfront?”
H: “Let’s do it”
As soon as the idea was out there, our minds were working a mile a minute with what it would look like, who would want to be in it, where and how at the V&A, we had just under 6 weeks – the idea was; A group of yogis descending upon the Waterfront, all emerging from the crowd in waves and flowing in beautiful synchronicity. This turned out to be a little more challenging than we thought; to co-ordinate around 50 yogis spread out across the Cape was wholly difficult.
Hunter sent an email that day, but if our memories serve us correctly, it was a Friday and so we didn’t expect to hear anything on the weekend.
Monday morning came and Lauren called the V&A Waterfront – asked for “someone in events management”. Henry Mathys was the person on the other end of the phone and what a gem he turned out to be (and everyone involved at the V&A).
Something like this:
L: “Good morning, I wonder if you know what a flash mob is?”
H: “Yes, I get about 2 – 3 requests a week to do a flash mob here”
L: “Oh” (Thinking of another angle)
L: Tells Henry about World Yoga Day and it would be in acknowledgement of this day
H: “Are you Almeida – I’ve just read and replied to your email”
L: “No, he’s my business partner – I’m calling in the same regard”
H: “Like I told him and everyone wanting to do an event here, you need to submit a proposal, but this sounds like something we’d be open to”
Lauren, not fancying herself as a great ‘proposal submitter’ (find a better word) decides to tackle it anyway and puts something together outlining the vision and finer details. Henry and George, and again, all that were involved at the Waterfront were very efficient and each email was responded to within a few hours; would very much like to do something with this team again.
The proposal was submitted at the end of Monday. Henry responded Tuesday saying it sounds good, he was going to run it by his team and surrounding retailers and get back to me. Wednesday we got the go ahead! Friday we met with Henry and it was all a GO! Efficiency and effortlessness.
We very quickly realised that this was a big deal with all the coordination and organisational efforts that needed to go into a synchronized flow. We had limited time to find the proposed +- 50 yogis, create a sequence, practice the sequence with the group, decide on the layout for mats that fitted with the Waterfront’s regulations, find and practice with the musicians in Stellenbosch(Jonkershoek). Time was thin and we had several aspects to smooth out. The support from the Yoga community was heart-warming.
We love being a part of this beautiful community…
All the challenges aside.
The Sunday before the flash mob(Tuesday) – we decided we needed a video shot of the Cape Noon Gun going off(for those who don’t know – every day except Sundays and public holidays, the noon gun sounds at 12pm. A thundering bang that moves across the city bowl. We got it, and would recommend to anyone to go and experience the noon gun firing. Monday presented the Cape with lots of rain and wind… The next morning, 21st June 2016, clear skies with a warm sun beating down, so blessed.
Musicians set up, random meetings with the participants to smooth over any questions or nerves. Noon gun boomed out and it was go time.
Anahi walked through the Waterfront with her didgeridoo, droning all the way to the stage. As she reached her perch on stage the first wave began, it was unreal. To see the sequence in synchronicity was something we shan’t forget for years to come. The smiles on the faces of the participants, the looks on the faces of the crowds – there are so many words we could use to describe this.
After it had ended, the many yogis dispersed into the crowds and went about their day.
The Nomads remained for some celebrations with a few participants as well as the official cinematographer – Georgia, as it was her birthday.
The next morning, we bought the papers and so wonderful to see such positive write ups from The Cape Argus and The Cape Times about the Flash Mob. The Flowing Nomads made it into the papers for the first time – a big moment!
The entire experience came together so poetically with the participation of so many people. This encounter happened in true PravAha essence.
Flash Mob Participants:
Sjaka S. Septembir
Meghan Van Rensburg
Sophie van ‘t Hof
Vida Sylvia Schiff
Natalie Moult McCulloch
Leila Nagdee Bhoola