Las Vegas, N.M — New Mexico Highlands University presents Cirque Zuma Zuma from Africa Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.
Cirque Zuma Zuma is the only performance troupe of its kind in the world and has toured for sell-out crowds in Europe, Australia and the United States. The performance at Highlands is in celebration of Black History Month
Often described as an African-style Cirque Soleil, Zuma Zuma showcases African culture through rhythmic high-energy performances in dance, acrobatics, tumbling, limbo, singing, and more.
A live musical score of traditional African music is an integral part of the Zuma Zuma show, along with elaborate costumes.
The university’s Office of Campus Life is sponsoring Cirque Zuma Zuma.
“Kenyan John Jacob’s idea to establish Cirque Zuma Zuma was brilliant,” said Margaret Gonzales, Campus Life director, “We are truly excited and honored to bring this superb African performance arts troupe to our campus and the Las Vegas community. It is sure to be a night to remember.”
Jacob founded Zuma Zuma in 2005 and is its producer. At 15, Jacob escaped poverty by touring the world as a skilled acrobat and circus performer. During his travels, he never saw an African circus show and made good on his goal of establishing one for artists from his continent.
“The thought of our rich African continent brings to mind at once mysticism, magic and excitement,” Jacob said. “We are the cradle of all cultures, the ultimate source for music, dance and ritual.”
Today, Jacob recruits talented performers from across Africa for Zuma Zuma and opened a training school in Kenya for the artists. His company includes 120 performers, with about 12 traveling for each show.
Historically, acrobatic, tumbling and limbo feats are deeply rooted in African culture, often taking place at celebrations and weddings.
Tickets for the Cirque Zuma Zuma are $5 general admission and free for children under 10 years. Highlands University students, faculty and staff with valid ID are free.