Acrobatics meet music and dance from across Africa in a show coming to Coe College Feb. 11.
Cirque Zuma Zuma, a theatrical circus-style ensemble, will perform at Sinclair Auditorium as part of Coe’s Marquis Series of lectures and performances.
Performer and group spokesperson Eve Kawadze said the goal is not just to entertain.
“We want to bring through the African cultures in our performances so it is educating as well,” she said. “We have a unique style.”
She said they often encounter people who think of the diverse African continent as monocultural, and so they are excited to showcase performances from several different countries, such as Zulu dances from South Africa and kora music from West Africa.
“We have come across people who think Africa is one country, so we have different African countries and languages being presented and coming together,” she said.
The song and dance is mixed with acrobatics, contortion, balancing and other elements popular in cirque-type shows. Their signature element is a human pyramid at the end of the show.
“The show is quite breathtaking ... it is high energy,” she said.
Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, she has been with the group since 2017. Cirque Zuma Zuma has schools in Kenya and Tanzania, along with a scouting program that travels the African continent. The cast hails from several countries, with around 15 members performing on this tour. The group has toured internationally for years and was in the semifinals of the “America’s Got Talent” on NBC in 2011.
Kawadze said she enjoys touring for the chance to interact with audience members.
“It’s the response we get from the people — the way we have managed to impact the audiences when we give them a taste of our culture,” she said. “I want people to look forward to a breathtaking performance. We are ready for them and are excited to meet them on the day of the show.”
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If you go
l What: Cirque Zuma Zuma
l When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11
l Where: Sinclair Auditorium, Coe College, 1220 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
l Cost:$10 to $15
l Tickets: (319) 399-8600, coe.edu/box-office