I am psyched for the return of the UniverSoul Circus to Buffalo.
The first year it was here -- yikes, I just looked it up, and it was back in 2003! -- I went to it, with three friends, on the spur of the moment. It was a riot. All I could think was, it was like going back to vaudeville days, around 1910. The UniverSoul Circus operates the way I believe circuses did back then. They pull into town and they pitch a tent wherever they are able to pitch a tent. And the crowds come.
The circus has one ring and a lot of old-time vaudeville humor. There was a skit revolving around a mule that kicked anyone who tried to ride it. The elephants were so close you could smell them. There were tigers too! Above is a picture of the Tigers of Soul performing with the UniverSoul circus here at Martin Luther King Park in 2008. Our photographer Derek Gee took the picture. Hahaha... I love the look on the face of the tiger on the left.
I hope those bars on the cage are strong!
What I remember most were the gymnasts and tumblers and contortionists. They were wonderful. There was one couple who did a magnificent kind of dance while climbing up and down two ribbons. I remember just sitting there with my mouth open, looking up. There were times I could not believe what I was seeing. They were that good.
The ringmaster joked afterward: "Couples, lovers, don't try this at home. You will save your romantic moments for Home Depot."
I was in love with the show's atmosphere. The show that year was in Martin Luther King Park and here we were, this big crowd, all sitting there fascinated. Little kids, teenagers, old people. There were people going around hawking popcorn. The music, I guess they had some hip-hop, but it ended with an old-fashioned gospel show. It was a night that I have say I will always remember.
The year after that, the UniverSoul circus pitched the tent on the site of the old Sattler's, across the street from the Broadway Market.
This year they will be at UB's South Campus, from July 7 to July 10.
I can't wait!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
taggedDance | Music | Theater