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Kenya Acrobats balance, audience limbos

Posted by Administrator on March 31, 2010

Seng Kiat Khor/ Staff Photographer.Also, they used each other to balance and perform acts involving human strength and teamwork.

Seng Kiat Khor/ Staff Photographer. Also, they used each other to balance and perform acts involving human strength and teamwork.

The Kenya Safari Acrobats performed hundreds of tricks to a packed house last Thursday at SCSU.

Hailing from Kenya, this troupe of seven performers jumped, kicked, straddled and balanced everything from a knife-wielding limbo bar to each other – sometimes five at a time.

Roslyn Udairam, Chair of UPB perfoming arts committee, assisted in the organization of the event.
“About a month ago, Roslyn contacted me about these performers from Kenya,” Gebremicael Gebremariam, president of the African Student Association (ASA), said.

They believed this act was necessary and worked on achieving that goal.

The Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) “No Hate” campaign was also involved in the performance.

“Attending events like the Kenya Safari Acrobats and attending the nights that ASA are supporting helps promote pluralism of culture at SCSU,” Sean Groomes of RHA, said. “Which is basically the active involvement in other cultures.”

The performance began with a voice over a loudspeaker announcing to all: “You are about to embark on an exciting African adventure- please keeps hands and feet inside the auditorium at all times.”

Peppered with more jokes, the monologue continued to set the scene for the upcoming performance.

The acrobat team performed daring and challenging moves such as balancing on chairs and lying on a bed of huge nails and being stepped on. Seng Kiat Khor/ Staff Photographer

The acrobat team performed daring and challenging moves such as balancing on chairs and lying on a bed of huge nails and being stepped on. Seng Kiat Khor/ Staff Photographer

The monologue described a lone traveler on a journey into African wilderness who learned of natural resources and the disappointing realization of no tacos.

This traveler’s dream was to create an African circus and convince natives to participate which is where the performance and story began.

A performer dressed in safari garb then emerged and began interacting with the audience, miming asking for directions to the stage.

Once the performer reached the stage, several others joined him and they mimed tying him up with a rope.

The rope became a skipping rope and acrobats began jumping and flipping to the music.
After rope-skipping, two female performers took the stage and danced.

Soon, they retreated to the back of the stage as the five male performers set up a limbo bar, inviting the audience to limbo.

Almost 20 audience members of varying ages did the limbo with assistance from acrobats.

Once the audience members left the stage, the ordinary limbo bar was replaced with a bar holding five downward-facing knives. One male acrobat lowered the knife-bar to less than a foot above the ground and managed to dance under unharmed.

Following the limbo dance was a two-person set of tricks in which performers took turns alternately balancing on and holding up one another. After that set, the acrobats did various flips, leaps and jumps through a set of two narrow hoops.

The rest of the performance featured such stunts as climbing a set of up to five chairs balanced atop four glasses set on a table and a bed-of-nails stunt involving a performer being sandwiched between two beds of nails while another walked across the bed on top.

The grand finale was a series of acrobatic tricks involving all five male performers. The men balanced all together on one another in more than ten different formations, each involving only one man with both feet on the stage.

Throughout the performance, the narrator continued with the story of the African traveler, with his challenges among the natives and his eventual luck: he had an African circus, the Kenya Safari Acrobats.

Once the acrobats had left the stage and the audience in thunderous applause, the voice came over the loudspeaker once again, finishing the traveler’s story: “…and the audience gave the Kenya Safari Acrobats a standing ovation!”

Source: University Chronicle-St. Cloud

The Kenyan acrobats will be performing at the University of Arlington on April 8th from 7pm to 8pm.-Jambonewspot Editor.

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