Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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UPAC presents Cirque Zuma Zuma

Cirque Zuma Zuma acrobat performs a chair routine. Photo credit: ELIZABETH PULANCO

Elizabeth Pulanco/ Winonan

Winona State University’s UPAC invited Cirque Zuma Zuma, a group of African acrobats and performers, to provide entertainment for the evening of Friday, Nov. 7. The performances showcased the talents of all the performers while also shining light on African culture. The performers were from different regions of Africa, including Zimbabwe and Kenya.

The night started with a drum interlude performed by the group’s leader. After the introduction, a group of performers began dancing and doing flips. While doing the flips, they would catch each other and begin to form their bodies into elaborate poses.

A Kenyan acrobat balanced himself on top of a group of chairs at one point in the show. After each chair, the performer would go into a handstand before placing another chair on top of the stack. By the end of the act, he had balanced himself on top of four chairs. The placement of the chairs raised some questions regarding how they maintained balance, because if one chair was off in placement, the performer could fall and injure himself.

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Senior Maryann Thompson said she had a few ideas of how the chairs could have stayed in place.

Thompson said, “They must’ve had nails or magnets in the chairs to keep them from moving.”

Another performer’s talent was balancing objects on a long stick while holding it in his mouth. He balanced a number of objects like bottles, a candleholder and tennis balls on the stick, all while maintaining his composure. He was also able to lift various things with his mouth, like a ladder and even a fellow performer.

Besides the different entertainers, the show also featured audience participation.

During one act, a group of acrobats invited members of the audience to join them in a limbo contest. Later in the show, spectators were invited to play one of the African drums with another performer.

Sophomore Anna Bestul found the incorporation of African culture to be an enjoyable feature of the performance.

Bestul said, “The acrobats were awesome, but I really liked the fact that they added culture to the show.”

The performers used several elements to incorporate their culture in to the performance. African style clothing, music and even stories about Africa were a few of the included educational elements.

The grand finale of the show was an acrobatic performance. After the acrobats performed, the rest of the group came out and joined them in a dance on the stage. Audience members even joined them on stage as they closed out their performance.

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