Cirque Mother Africa opened last night in Newport Performing Arts Theater and will only run for 5 days (April 19-22, 2012) in Manila. It is a two-hour show with a 20-minute intermission.
Take note, it's not a Cirque du Soleil show. I had the impression that it was because of the term Cirque.
It's more like an African Variety Show featuring African culture through its music, costumes, dances, and circus acts. It integrates world-class circus acts you can see in Cirque du Soleil and music ala Stomp.
The highlights of the show for me are the following:
(1) The best performance is from the Master of Balance from Tanzania as he balances on a board on top of 4 wobbling, rolling cans.
(2) The most amazing act is from the Contortionist from Kenya, dubbed as the most flexible man in the world, who can stretch his body at impossible angles and smoke cigarette using his feet.
(3) The authentic African music by the eight-member band named InAfrica. They even play a 21-string bridge-harp called Kora, which is used in West Africa.
However, it somehow failed to connect with the Manila audience because:
(1) There's no running theme or story throughout the production. It's like a mashup of different African-inspired performances.
(2) The first part of the show is a bit dragging with the cliche circus acts (not to mention it started late for almost an hour).
(3) Most of the songs sound like chants, and it's a bit hard to relate to them except for the Africa song.
When we watched, there seemed to be a lot of errors as they performed the acts--which could be a turn-off or an added appeal because you know that it is more realistic and you have to keep your eyes onstage knowing that the performers could miss anytime.
Before deciding to watch it or not, you have to see this preview video of Cirque Mother Africa.
I would recommend that you watch it without any expectations because you'll get disappointed if you compare it with Cirque du Soleil shows.
If you love African music and performances, then don't miss seeing Cirque Mother Africa this weekend!
Date: April 19-22, 2012
Venue: Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT), Resorts World
For tickets, please buy it from Ticketworld http://bit.ly/Ixdl6H or call 891-9999.
For Group Bookings please call Peeya Delos Reyes +63 915 9275747
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Full Disclosure: We watched the show courtesy of Jeffrey Siy in behalf of the Manila producers of the show. We are not connected in any way with the production of the show.
P.S. Check out the "record-breaking" 50 back flips of the foot-juggling duo of Yonas and Tariku.