In New York City, especially in the epicentre of its cliche, spectacle is not in short supply. When we took The Spinto Band to Times Square on a rainy day in May, we knew that the usual wonder, surprise and happy accidents of our method would be mutated by the circus side show that awaited… what remained to be seen was how.
Times Square is a kind of no-fly zone for native New Yorkers. Its pedestrian walkways are dominated by tourists attempting to distill a hard-fought experience of a storied city from a single stroll. They are used to spontaneous performance, engagement, interaction and, unlike most other areas of an urban centre, willingly accept it, even seek it, knowing well that the intent of the performer is not simply to please, but to gain compensation, emotional or monetary, by their public display.
Chloe, Katherine and the men of The Spinto Band then, with their performance for us and for themselves, become a forgery of sorts in the environment. Their dance and song are meant as an expression free of exchange. Briefly, they give of themselves, and then just as quickly as they have arrived, they leave, requesting nothing. In a sea of authentic salesmen of kitsch, they are the impostors.
Away from the social adventures of crowded hotspots, there are songs left to explore, and Chloe and Katherine are unsated in their mischief, so we make stops along the way to let the band play for the dancers and the dancers move for their own enjoyment. They close a loop of performance and audience for our cameras. Any who happen upon it in the streets can take it or leave it. This is not a busking display… it is the expression of the start of friendship.