SHOPPERS were treated to a surprise pop-up dance routine and a glimpse of sunshine as a group of performers threw some dramatic shapes in Worcester city centre today (Saturday).

The striking exterior of the Guildhall was bolstered by the presence of 10 dancers aged 14 and above from Dancefest's Fusion performance group, who presented Hats and Books and Arts is Here! to mark Joseph Beuys' Artist Rooms exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Dressed in black and white, wearing bowler hats and carrying placards they made their way to and from the Foregate Street attraction with an eye-catching performance sandwiched in-between.

Many of Beuys' most exciting works were performances and this inspired Dancefest and Worcestershire dance worker Elizabeth Crosswell to create the pop-up pieces.

Elizabeth said: "It's been fantastic for Fusion to work on this project. The dancers are experienced at creating dance from all sorts of varied starting points and for unusual spaces but taking concepts from Beuys' work has made us all think in a new and exciting way, and the dance we have created is quirky, powerful and dramatic."

Karey Parons, Dancefest's administration and marketing officer, added: "I think it has stretched them but they have got an awful lot from it. It's really upped their performance levels."

Joseph Beuys is often considered to be one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century and has acted as an inspiration to the likes of Damian Hirst.

Fusion also gave another performance of the piece, which was set to music, upon their return to the art gallery.

The Artist Rooms: Joseph Beuys exhibition runs until Saturday, February 1 and the art gallery and museum is open from 10.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday with free entry.