Street Performance Vocab

True story.

Two days in a row I see the same busker on the subway. A rapper. The first time I gave a sigh of disappointment… Why? Cause the last time I’d heard a rapper on the subway I was annoyed with his deafening music. Yet, this time I was smiling. Why?

The guy performs his rap fully freestyled. Yep, he improvises. He mentions almost every passenger:) Both times I was among the first ones as I was with a huge suitcase and he said something about having my suitcase prepared. Actually, it was empty:)

He rapped about a guy with an e-scooter, a girl with ripped jeans, a cat in the box, a kid with a football (he named him a professional football player), a little girl in a beautiful skirt, calling her “princess”.

It is really entertaining. Both times he gained some smilesapplause from a lot of passengers and a good sum of money, I’d say! One guy didn’t have cash and offered the rapper a cig, but the busker refused it, thanking the guy and saying that he didn’t smoke.

    Have you seen a new word in the story?

    TO BUSK – to perform in a public place and ask for money from people passing by.
    A person who does it is a BUSKER.

      Buskers can sing, dance, and? Sometimes we want to tell our friends what street performance we’ve just seen,
      Especially the ones that surprised or disappointed us. But we don’t remember or don’t know what these performances are called.
      Let’s learn them today!


        or BALLOON MODELLING is the shaping of special balloons into different shapes. I’d like to learn how to do it. Seems to be not that hard.

        What would you call people who do it?



         – the practice of “hypnotizing” a snake (usually,
        a cobra) playing pungi.

        Yet, snakes can’t hear music. They move like that cause see
        an artist and pungi as a predator, a threat, and respond to it accordingly.


        – a performance in which an artist (PUPPETEER) manipulates a puppet to make us believe it’s alive.


         – a performance in which an artist passes a sword through his mouth to his stomach. 

        Such performers are called SWORD SWALLOWERS.


        – swinging of special weights (poi) through different patterns. 

        POI ARTISTS use different types of poi, for example with fire.


        Do you remember PUPPETEERIN? Yet, if the actor creates the illusion that his voice comes from a puppet, this art has a different name: VENTRILOQUISM or VENTRILOQUY. A performer is known as a VENTRILOQUIST.

        a cobra) playing pungi.

        Yet, snakes can’t hear music. They move like that cause see
        an artist and pungi as a predator, a threat, and respond to it accordingly.


        is always a dangerous activity. The performers only reduce the risk of injury and death using the proper technique and the correct fuel.


        – a performance in which CONTORTIONISTS demonstrate their extreme flexibility.


        is an artist who poses as a statue or a mannequin usually with statue-like makeup.


        – when a person escapes from restraints or traps. People who do it are called ESCAPE ARTISTS.

        Here are the things these performers usually escape from.

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