Yamoussa Bangoura and Kalabanté Productions’ electric circus show, Afrique en Cirque, is inspired by daily life in Ghana and by African culture in a broader sense. If its aim is to give the impression of a continent that is electrifying, artistic, and beautiful, then this show succeeds in bucketfuls. A high-octane performance of physical prowess and joyful celebration, Afrique en Cirque possesses an energy, physicality and electricity that are out of this world (all the more impressive when their very last performance of the Fringe has just as much adrenaline as the first).
The riotous speed of the show never drops, not even for a moment or during changeovers. Every action is performed like a dance, accompanied by a never-ending soundtrack that morphs traditional instrumentation with hypnotic jazz. Every costume is immaculate and every pose is struck to perfection, all meaning that the performers look absolutely stunning from the first minute to the last. The cast whip the crowd into a frenzy, perfectly balancing comedy and stunning stunt work for maximum effect. By the end, Afrique en Cirque erupts into a fanatical party, eclipsing almost any other circus show for sheer atmosphere.
One of the show’s most impressive feats is how it puts new, subtle spins on acts you have likely seen before. The performers all act, position, and move differently during routine moves in ways that you are unlikely to see elsewhere. A physics-defying contortionist threatens to steal the show, while an act where the acrobats are dressed like construction workers points towards the continent’s more contemporary, globalised outlook. It is a show that offers more variety than you could hope for, a feat made all the more impressive by the relative lack of equipment.
A stunning hour of circus, dance, and music, Afrique en Cirque will stay with you for a very long time. A breathtaking and colourful hour of danger and wonder set to such a lively beat is a guaranteed winner, and the inevitable standing ovation is the bare minimum that such an incredible show deserves.
Afrique en Cirque has now finished its run