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The Art of Street Performance

Themed Collections

08 November 2017

Posted by Marta Bescos

‘Busking’ comes from the Spanish word ‘buscar' which means ‘to seek’ - buskers are literally seeking fame and fortune. Street performance is a tradition that dates back to antiquity and is socially accepted in many different cities and locations around the world. It takes real guts, as artists perform in public spaces in front of locals and visitors for their gratuities. Performers seek to entertain through acrobatics, circus tricks, caricatures, comedy, dance, singing, juggling, mime, living statue, puppeteering or reciting poetry and many, many other forms of entertainment. Many buskers who take their jobs seriously work out a highly rehearsed and choreographed routine, honed and mastered after months of practice. We've highlighted some of our very best images of street performers around the world.

Mime artist in Prague

Mime artist in Prague Read less

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Joe Wakeford

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Living statue. Copper coloured mime street entertainer with top hat in Lisbon, Portugal.

Living statue. Copper coloured mime street entertainer with top hat in Lisbon, Portugal. Read less

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Sarah Lim

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Close-up of a man balancing on a tightrope in London's Covent Garden, the birthplace of street performance.

Close-up of a man balancing on a tightrope in London's Covent Garden, the birthplace of street performance. Read less

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Liwanag Sa Dilim

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A security guard walks past two entertainers wearing Mickey Mouse outfits as they take a break on Trafalgar Square in London.

A security guard walks past two entertainers wearing Mickey Mouse outfits as they take a break on Trafalgar Square in London. Read less

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Stefan Ferreira

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A street performer playing a homemade drum kit by Times Square, New York City.

A street performer playing a homemade drum kit by Times Square, New York City. Read less

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scott leonard photography

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Street performer Mighty Gareth during the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe

Street performer Mighty Gareth during the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Read less

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Picman

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A street performer rides a unicycle in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

A street performer rides a unicycle in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Read less

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John Greim

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Waiter falling street performer, Madrid, Spain.

Waiter falling street performer, Madrid, Spain. Read less

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rodwey2004

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A street artist wearing colourful jumpsuit and animal mask poses for a quick photograph.

A street artist wearing colourful jumpsuit and animal mask poses for a quick photograph. Read less

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Laura Prieto

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A street busker plays trumpet in the streets of New Orleans, birthplace of Jazz.

A street busker plays trumpet in the streets of New Orleans, birthplace of Jazz. Read less

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David Henderson

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A portrait of a street entertainer in London. The man is dressed in 18th century costume and is painted entirely in silver paint.

A portrait of a street entertainer in London. The man is dressed in 18th century costume and is painted entirely in silver paint. Read less

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robertharding

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Street performer busking with a fire filled tuba on Clink Street, near Borough Market, Southwark, London.

Street performer busking with a fire filled tuba on Clink Street, near Borough Market, Southwark, London. Read less

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John Greim

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A busking group of superb musicians perform for the crowds in Madrid, Spain.

A busking group of superb musicians perform for the crowds in Madrid, Spain. Read less

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Caron Badkin

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Living statue alongside the Mezquita walls, Cordoba, Cordoba Province, Andalusia, Spain.

Living statue alongside the Mezquita walls, Cordoba, Cordoba Province, Andalusia, Spain. Read less

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Gennadiy

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Music street performers girl violinist playing in spring park outdoor.

Music street performers girl violinist playing in spring park outdoor. Read less

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ldaphotography

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Street performer plays brass trombone just outside the main plaza in Prague.

Street performer plays brass trombone just outside the main plaza in Prague. Read less

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John Pistone

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Street mime dresses as Cockney flower girl performs in Covent Garden, London.

Street mime dresses as Cockney flower girl performs in Covent Garden, London. Read less

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Photo Fiori

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Showcasing hidden and raw talent on the streets of busy London while the tourists enjoy their afternoon walk.

Showcasing hidden and raw talent on the streets of busy London while the tourists enjoy their afternoon walk. Read less

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Tanweer

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African acrobats perform in Camps Bay, South Africa.

African acrobats perform in Camps Bay, South Africa. Read less

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robertharding

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Living statue of lovers embracing performs in Madrid, Spain.

Living statue of lovers embracing performs in Madrid, Spain. Read less

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John Greim

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Lizard on a bike street performer on the Thames South Bank below the London Eye UK.

Lizard on a bike street performer on the Thames South Bank below the London Eye UK. Read less

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Ashley Cooper

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Street performer carrying earth as Atlas in Athens, Greece.

Street performer carrying earth as Atlas in Athens, Greece. Read less

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Anastasia Fragkou

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A young acrobat seen suspended in mid air as he completes a somersault to entertain the crowds on Trafalgar Square in London.

A young acrobat seen suspended in mid air as he completes a somersault to entertain the crowds on Trafalgar Square in London. Read less

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Stefan Ferreira

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A live performer playing Mexican music on the street.

A live performer playing Mexican music on the street. Read less

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Dave Hewison

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Crowd of people watching street artist performing in a cyr wheel at Leicester square, London, UK.

Crowd of people watching street artist performing in a cyr wheel at Leicester square, London, UK. Read less

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William Voon

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Buskers perform rod puppets art show gig with live music instruments and singing in front of tourists on the street in Old Town Market Place square in Warsaw, Poland.

Buskers perform rod puppets art show gig with live music instruments and singing in front of tourists on the street in Old Town Market Place square in Warsaw, Poland. Read less

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Arletta Cwalina

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