Soulja Big Top

A typical circus may be fun for the kiddies and their parents, but it’s usually a little on the white-bread, hokey side. There’s not much in the way of cool or stylish. So how can you add a little funk, hip-hop, or, dare we say, soul, to the goings on under the big top? Do what adolescent suburban white kids do — take your lead from Black America. Cedric Walker figured this out more than 15 years ago when he founded the UniverSoul Circus. His dream of “hip-hop under the big top” took off in cities with large populations of African Americans — Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore — but the show expanded to over 30 cities internationally. And though its roots are definitely in black culture, it has expanded to incorporate performers and audiences of all kinds. The show combines traditional acts such as lion taming, elephant riding, trapeze, and clowning with modern, funky sensibilities, including dance-offs, acrodunk (stunt basketball), Chinese aerialists, and an ample supply of Beyoncé and hip-hop.
Feb. 1-6, 7:30 p.m., 2011


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