An intimate ring draws the audience in to feed off the energy from the 90 minute mind-blowing, pure adrenaline of circus acts. Representing six African nations, Cirque Africa stays true to it’s roots, decking the richly coloured marquee with cobalt blue totem poles, wrapped in exquisite indigenous prints.
Not as polished or with the finesse of a troupe of Olympic gymnasts or Chinese acrobatic performers, Cirque Africa makes it up with plenty of sass, great gusto and infectious camaraderie. The strongman pyramid team exemplifies this, with each member, all from differing African communities banding together just like brothers.
With Ringmaster Papa Africa tying in all the differing personalities with his own infectious nature, he elicits roars of laughter from the crowd, all with just a whistle.
One of the standout acts were a duo of breakdancing contortionists who drew audible gasps from the unbelieving audience with their back-bending acts. Another featured Leul Belay juggling a boy, Nahon Wosene with just his feet whilst lying on his back. Yep, you heard right. Watching him juggling and throwing a small child up in the air and seeing him perform feats of acrobatics, landing perfectly every time is incredible.
But the stand out act was Emmanuel Laryea, who spins everyday items with her legs. It starts of with a mundane cushion. Then another cushion. Then another. And another! All four cushions spinning in perfect unison on each limb! She then switches to a large, brightly coloured barreled pot. What looks like a woman running on her back like a hamster in a never-ending spinning wheel, she flips, she throws and spins this pot all from her legs. Then when you think her act couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it does! Laryea then casually spins a table with her legs. Then a table with a cushion. A SPINNING TABLE WITH A SPINNING CUSHION!! Insane!
This is just a taste of what is in store for punters, brave enough to eschew traditional entertainment venues to discover a slice of real African culture, costuming, flair and beats. Backed by a live 8 piece band from Zanzibar and Zimbabwe, the music adds to the circus’ informal element - with the thumping bongo rhythm beating from the very heart of Cirque Africa.
With unconventional circus acrobatics, rhythm and music, this spectacle is not to be missed! Cirque Africa kicks off in Melbourne, running to July 19th before embarking it’s two year trek across Australia.
And like the ecstatic 6 year old boy screaming and jumping and whooping like a teenage girl at a Taylor Swift concert, Cirque Africa, described as “the greatest show from Africa” will guarantee to put a smile on your face!
For more information on the show and how to book tickets please visit www.cirqueafrica.com.au. Ticket prices vary depending on seating area.