Cirque Africa comes to Armidale

UNUSUAL MOVES: Cirque Africa contortionists Lazarus Gitu Mwangi "The Snake Man" and Soliana Ersie perform on stage. Photo: Ackaiusz Rejman.
UNUSUAL MOVES: Cirque Africa contortionists Lazarus Gitu Mwangi "The Snake Man" and Soliana Ersie perform on stage. Photo: Ackaiusz Rejman.

AFRICA will come to Armidale in the form of acrobats, clowns and contortionists.

Cirque Africa was created by Zimbabwean born German citizen Winston Ruddle.

Co-owner Lindani Berman said the circus is more than a cultural experience.

“What our show’s about, it’s about actually celebrating the happy side of Africa,” he said.

Determined to show there’s more to Africa than the poverty and other struggles Australians often focus on, Mr Berman wants to share the unique artistry, raw talent and humour of the African people.

With artists coming from Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Kenya, the show will feature a number of different cultures and performance styles. 

A live band will perform original music as performers strive to amaze with their flexibility, strength and bravery.

“It’s all tied in, it all flows together,” Mr Berman said.

“It all just becomes one, I think that’s what makes the show so beautiful.”

A former acrobat himself, Mr Berman and business partner Winston Ruddle came to Australia with the Amazing Zimbabwe Brothers troupe.

Cirque Africa was born out of an underground acrobatic school in the Kinondoni district of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which started in 2003.

It has since become the launching pad for many of Africa’s most well known acrobatic circus acts.

The pair look for raw talent throughout the continent and fine tune performers’ skills for each production.

“It’s the first time the show’s toured in Australia. It’s been a two-year tour and this one whole year, we’ve been touring big cities doing sold-out shows in pretty much 95 per cent of the theatres throughout Australia,” Mr Berman said. 

Some of the best performances have been in country towns and regional Australia, he said.

“We can’t just come to Australia and say we showed everywhere in Australia when we only showed in the major cities,” he said.

“There’s actually lots to take away. Most people when they leave the show, they’re very, very pumped.”