Arab Today, arab today us circus boasts africanamerican roots global cast
Last Updated : GMT 04:30:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

US circus boasts African-American roots, global cast

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US circus boasts African-American roots, global cast

National Harbor - AFP

Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Makeba Gabriel imagined living a life of Carnival limbo dancing. Running away with the circus never crossed her mind. \"That was my dream, to be a dancer,\" said the 31-year-old star of the UniverSoul circus who thinks nothing of bending over backwards to crawl under five rows of open flames 10 inches (25 centimeters) off the ground. \"It wasn\'t to be with a circus. But it just so happens that I\'ve been with the circus for seven years, and it is a pleasure. It\'s really fun and enjoyable,\" she said. UniverSoul is among dozens of circuses that criss-cross the United States every summer, sustaining a form of live entertainment that dates back to the late 18th century. \"If you live anywhere in the United States within 30 or 40 miles of any primary or secondary market, you will find a circus,\" circus historian Rodney Huey told AFP. The grandest and most historic is the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the self-styled \"greatest show on Earth,\" while the Canadian-based Cirque de Soleil enjoys a strong following. UniverSoul is a smaller one-ring affair, but its heritage makes it unique. Founded in 1994 by pioneering rap concert producer Cedric Walker, whose hip-hop tours helped to make Run-D.M.C. and Salt-n-Pepa household names, it is the only modern circus with African-American roots. \"It was an opportunity whose time had come,\" Walker told AFP outside the UniverSoul big top on a breezy plateau overlooking the Potomac River outside Washington, where the circus is performing this month. \"There wasn\'t a family attraction I saw that reflected the urban lifestyle, the energy, the music\" of contemporary African-American culture, he said. \"It was pretty exciting and a lot of people did turn on to the idea of an urban show that was kind of funky, that had the fashion and the style and the cross-culture thing.\" UniverSoul has two units on the road hitting about 35 cities this year, with the one at National Harbor employing a cast of 150 entertainers and backstage crew, not to mention a menagerie of elephants, tigers and horses. While the 2,300-member audience at one recent Sunday show was predominantly African-American, drawn from Washington and its sprawling suburbs, the cast was truly international. Johannesburg native Daniel \"Lucky\" Malatsi, now 24, was nine years old, playing the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, when he joined UniverSoul. Today he\'s one of the co-hosts as well as a dancer and acrobat. \"When I first started off I was an acrobat and a contortionist, and I\'ve done numerous things ever since,\" he said. \"That\'s one of the great things with the UniverSoul circus. It taught me to evolve and not always be one thing.\" He travels with his wife, a former circus showgirl, and their three-year-old son, who he proudly reveals is \"on his way to becoming an acrobat.\" \"It\'s a fun life, traveling from city to city,\" he said. \"I have my family with me, so I have everything I need.\" His advice to those who relish running away with the circus: \"Get an education. Like me, I had to finish my schooling even when I was on tour... Then if you have talent, come on and join the circus.\" Unmarried and childless, Gabriel regards her troupe -- whose Caribbean Carnival acts blend wildly colorful costumes with towering stilt dancers and heart-stopping limbo feats -- as her family for most of the year. She makes limbo dancing sound so easy: \"It\'s all in the pelvis area. You must have a strong pelvis, a good pair of knees, and you\'re good to go. It\'s a piece of cake.\" Born into a Vietnamese circus family, the muscular Giang Brothers -- Quoc Nghiep, 24, and Quoc Co, 29 -- are hand-to-hand acrobats who studied circus arts in their native Ho Chi Minh City. Their crowd-pleasing signature stunt is a \"head-to-head\" balancing act, with one sibling inverted atop the head of the other. Young veterans of the European circus circuit, and award-winners at festivals in Italy and Cuba, UniverSoul is the duo\'s introduction to life on the American road. \"I think we will have a long time to stay here,\" said Giang Quoc Nghiep in halting English, his smiling brother nodding in agreement. \"This is a good country. Very nice. I like.\" Walker considers circus performers \"the most under-rated artists in the world.\" \"They do a lot. They give a lot. The circus is a reflection of life... I\'ve been with a lot of singers and rappers, but I\'ve come to be very fond of these artists for what they\'re made of and where they come from.\"

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today us circus boasts africanamerican roots global cast Arab Today, arab today us circus boasts africanamerican roots global cast

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today us circus boasts africanamerican roots global cast Arab Today, arab today us circus boasts africanamerican roots global cast

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today O'Leary: Could ground more planes

GMT 06:49 2017 Friday ,22 September

O'Leary: Could ground more planes
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Huthis stage defiant rally 3 years

GMT 05:29 2017 Friday ,22 September

Huthis stage defiant rally 3 years
Arab Today, arab today Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

GMT 11:31 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ministry seeks to improve education

GMT 14:49 2017 Sunday ,17 September

Ministry seeks to improve education
Arab Today, arab today All eyes on May as she prepares

GMT 10:16 2017 Friday ,22 September

All eyes on May as she prepares
Arab Today, arab today Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

GMT 12:01 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    

GMT 06:04 2017 Friday ,22 September

Mercedes pumps 1 bln euros    
Arab Today, arab today Intel chips loaded in Waymo

GMT 14:43 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Intel chips loaded in Waymo
Arab Today, arab today Youssra prepares for launching her  program

GMT 08:59 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Youssra prepares for launching her program
Arab Today, arab today France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 06:21 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

France hopeful of persuading Trump

GMT 09:40 2017 Tuesday ,19 September

Actress Ream Hhagag prepares for a new film

GMT 18:09 2017 Thursday ,21 September

China lifts 10-year travel ban

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 19:18 2017 Monday ,18 September

5,000 'Dieselgate' deaths in Europe per year

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 18:03 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Alarm over flesh-eating ulcer cases

GMT 07:00 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

A no-frills business success

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 12:46 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday