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‘Mother Africa’ embraces all your senses

Olayemi Odesanya | 1/2/2014, 10:45 a.m.
Dancers perform in new play “Mother Africa.”

This month, a new play debuted on 42nd Street called “Mother Africa.” It is the African Cirque du Soleil. The play is presented by Circus Der Sinne, meaning “Circus of the Senses.”

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Dancer shows off talent during performance.

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Performer dressed in African prints consisting of bazin and kitenge fabrics.

On the stage, the cast of performers, which includes acrobats, jugglers, hoop dancers, tap dancers, stilt dancers, contortionists and musicians, showed their talents. The performers smile and laugh with so much energy that they enlighten the crowd and encourage audience participation with clapping and even dancing. They try and make the audience feel like they are visiting Africa for the very first time. The show is two and half hours long, with one intermission.

In the first half of the show, they started with a man who did multiple tricks on different sized bikes. There were singers and tap dancers. There was a “lizard man” who was dressed in all green, and he was frighteningly flexible. Some of the moves that he made may be too much for some people to handle.

During the second half, two men displayed incredible feats of strength by balancing on each others’ head! Think about having 180 pounds on your head! There were also men who balanced on a number of chairs and other items and did exquisite moves on top of them. The youngest performer was Tomas Teka Alemu, a little boy from Ethiopia. He did flips on his partner’s feet and also broke the record of most consecutive backflips—31.

This talented cast is led by Winston Ruddle, known as “Papa Africa,” and they all come from his African Acrobatic Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Each performer was dressed in beautiful African prints consisting of bazin and kitenge fabrics. They moved effortlessly to the smooth vocals, the wonderful African beat and the powerful sounds of the djembe and mbira. This great show ends on Jan. 5, so try to get those tickets before time runs out!