Nelken Line ‘Flash Mob’ Planned On Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Do You Want To Feature In A Flash Mob Style Event On Gold Hill? Locals and visitors are being encouraged to head to Gold Hill on Tuesday morning to take part in a ‘flash mob’ style event, being filmed for Shaftesbury Fringe.

Organisers hope the video will be shared thousands of times online and ‘go viral’.

St James Street resident Lizzie Sykes, who works a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University, is arranging a ‘Nelken Line’.

Volunteers who congregate on the iconic hill will be encouraged to make four simple gestures, representing each of the seasons.

“There’s a chilly wintery one and a spring movement, where little grass shots grow. For summer, you make a sun shape with a hand movement. Autumn is represented by a leaf falling from a tree,” Lizzie says. “You don’t need rhythm or coordination. It so simple, it is hard to get it wrong,” she adds.

Filmmaker Michelle O’Brien will coordinate the action, calling out each season as the group descend Gold Hill, accompanied by Louis Armstrong’s ‘West End Blues’.
The late German choreographer Pina Bausch devised these movements in her ‘Nelken’ show. There’s a tutorial video on her foundation’s website at

Lizzie is hoping for a good turnout, although she says the movie will look great, “whether there are five or a few hundred” volunteers on the day.“ The more, the merrier,” Lizzie says.

Videos of groups performing Nelken lines in China, Cyprus and Ireland have been posted online and Lizzie was involved in a recent event at Hengistbury Head.
The finished two-minute movie will be played in a Shaftesbury shop window during Fringe 2018, between 28th June and 1st July.

You’re welcome to join Lizzie for the rehearsal at 10 am on Tuesday 3rd April on Gold Hill. The actual video shoot takes place there at 10 am on Saturday 14th April.