Zuma Zuma leaves audience in awe

Photo by Dustin Cox
Photo by Dustin Cox
Photo by Dustin Cox
Photo by Dustin Cox

Cirque Zuma Zuma dazzled its audience with a unique and culturally rich show Tuesday at Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Hoag Recital Hall. The auditorium was filled with more than 400 students and community members who came to see this “African style Cirque du Soleil” performance, and drinks and dessert were provided for those who attended the free event.

Zuma Zuma performers flew 12 hours to reach Pueblo for their performance. Members of the group hail from Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa. In addition to the  circus performers, there were five band members who played during the entire show.

Zuma Zuma brought high energy and impressive talents to the university stage. These included juggling, singing, dancing, contortionists and displays of strength.

One performer from Zimbabwe showcased his incredible coordination by balancing a ball, a candle holder, and glass bottles on a stick held in his mouth.

Jugglers used regular balls, pins and even hats. Some juggled up to seven balls simultaneously at a fast pace, and audiences were in amazement at the flawless feat.

Performers also included the audience in a couple of acts, which provided a roar of laughter. Many of the children watching the show were dancing and clapping, which demonstrates that Zuma Zuma brought something to the table for all age groups.

The show was not only entertaining for the crowd but was also an educational opportunity. The acrobats and singers taught about African culture through dance, music and performance.

During one act, dancers approached the stage in yellow work boots, hard hats and head lamps. They showed the audience a dance from a time when their relatives were miners in Africa.

The lead male vocalist told the audience that, although working in the mines was a tough job, to get through those long, grueling days the miners would dance, stomping their feet in rhythm while clapping and singing.

There was never a dull moment in the Cirque Zuma Zuma performance. Audience members were constantly applauding, laughing or gasping at the impressive talents of the performers, and as people exited Hoag Hall and headed home for the night, they talked about the unforgettable show they had just seen.

CSU-Pueblo student Kelsey Lovato said, “This is so awesome. I wasn’t even going to come, but I am so glad that I did.”