TNE Editor

Sequoyah Institute showcases Cirque Zuma Zuma

Published 2/17/18

Jalen Porter

TNE Writer

The Sequoyah Institute is showcasing several events during the spring semester. This month the Sequoyah Institute will provide an event with a different scenery called Cirque Zuma Zuma. The event is part of the institute’s performing arts series. Members of the NSU Drama Department and the Sequoyah Institute are working together to bring the performance to NSU.

Cirque Zuma Zuma is an African circus performed by African Acrobats International Inc. It is the source for all music, dance and rituals. It is an African-style cirque du soleil, and this will bring something new to the American audience. The show will feature talents mixed with skills connected with a variety of African arts.

“I believe that this will be an educational and entertaining event for all,” said Hannah Truitt, Sequoyah Institute employee. “This type of performance doesn't come around very often, so that makes it unique for our community. Combining cirque de soleil with African culture is sure to be a hit.”

The Cirque Zuma Zuma performers attend training schools located in Kenya and Tanzania. Many producers have recruited cast members from the training school to perform at shows such as the new City of Dreams in Macau. They have performed in other locations such as Europe and Australia. The shows are filled with talented members who will give the audience nonstop action. Their performances include human pyramids, chair balancing acts, foot juggling, tumbling, hoop diving, a contortionist and a Rolla Bolla act.

Contortionist often falls in the category of front benders. They flex their spines forward in a number of strange and exotic ways. It includes wrapping their feet behind their head while walking on their hands as if they are a human crab. They can also bend back in certain ways and slip certain bones in and out of their natural locations. Rolla Bolla is similar to a one-man seesaw that allows a person to balance on a flat board with a cylinder underneath it. Performers will juggle objects while balancing on the board.

“This event will be a unique experience for all,” said Robin Pursley, College of Liberal Arts dean. “It is a show that will be captivating and very fun for audiences of all ages. We certainly do see opportunities to see who likes this event in our area.”

Cirque Zuma Zuma is unlike performances previously brought to NSU by the Sequoyah Institute. It will expose those in attendance to a new style of entertainment.

“I never heard of Cirque Zuma Zuma until I saw the flyers in the UC,” said Tori Peterson, Tulsa senior. “I searched them on YouTube and watched a few of their performances, and I was amazed, so now I have to see it live when they come to NSU.”

The Sequoyah Institute plays a major part in the educational experience offered at NSU. It was founded by a Cherokee educator in 1985. For the performing arts series, it is important to include shows that are entertaining and diverse. Outside of the classroom the institute fosters cultural development. The Sequoyah Institute also has beyond-the-stage and live learning programs and lectureships while also being the home of the River City Players.

The Sequoyah Institute gives students and the community the opportunity to experience a diverse performance. The event is free to NSU students. Tickets range from $8-22 for adults, seniors, alumni and NSU faculty and staff. The performance is at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20 in the Center for the Performing Arts at NSU in Tahlequah. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

For more information, email Truitt at Tickets are being sold at the Sequoyah Institute located at 500 North Muskogee Ave.


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