Daring Acrobats and Jubilant Dancers in Mother Africa Circus’ Return to New Victory Theatre
By: Beau Jared
The Yule season is upon us and one of its treats is the return of Mother Africa Circus in an all new spectacular edition: My Home, direct from Cape Town’s largest township,
Khayelitsha. The troupe’s vibrant mix of daring acrobatics and African dance
and music captured a coveted 2014 Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical
Experience. It plays the New Victory Theatre through January 1. The troupe has
been acclaimed around the globe since its debut 16 years ago. A portion of the
company’s profits benefit village charities, including organizations engaging
HIV-positive children with circus arts.
Mother Africa: My Home’s diverse
cast of 26 acrobats, musicians, and dancers from different countries and
cultural heritages throughout Africa celebrates “the hustle, vitality, and
energetic atmosphere of everyday life in a South African township.” The stage
is transformed into a bustling marketplace filled with daring feats and
exuberant afro-beats dressed in a swirl of colorful native costumes.
Among the dozen acts are Ethiopian foot jugglers, a jawdropping body-bending
contortionist, African Gumboot dancers, and, showcasing Africa’s expressive
music and dance culture, a live band that keeps the party going with beats on
congas and strums of the kora,
Performers receive training at Tanzania’s African Acrobatic Academy, where meals and daily transportation are paid for.
Mother Africa: My Home is created and produced by Winston Ruddle and Hubert
Schober and co-Directed by Ruddle and Ulrich Thon. Choreographers are Clive
Madlala, Noluyanda Mqulwana, and Simon Nene. Costumes are by Tsendbyamba
Erdeneshoo and Tumaini Baraka Mrutu.
Tickets for Mother Africa: My Home are $13, $16, $22, and $36 for members, with full price tickets starting at $20 for non-members. Purchase at the New Victory box
office, online at www.NewVictory.org,
and by phone at (646) 223-3010. The show runs one hour and 45 minutes, with one
intermission. For information on show times and dates, visit www.NewVictory.org.
There’re noon performances
Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day; and an Autism-Friendly
performance on December 16 at 7 P.M. No performances Christmas Day.
Theatergoers purchasing tickets for three or more New Victory shows qualify for
membership benefits, including locked-in discounts, unlimited exchanges (up to
48 hours in advance), and access to a first-look purchase period for new shows.
The historic New Victory Theaatre, one of the first new anchors for the “new” Forty-Second Street, has been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and an Americans for the Arts Education Award for its “contributions to the cultural landscape of the city,”. It’s been honored with a Drama Desk Award for “providing enchanting,
sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and
for nurturing a love of theater in young people.”