|Cirque d’ Soleil — Bahamian style|
Guardian Lifestyles Reporter
Published: Jul 20, 2012
It’s creative, dynamic and authentically Bahamian with its fire dancers, acrobats, contortionists, stilt-walkers, knife throwers and clowns. It’s Emanji Circus Arts “Odruda” — an annual event that highlights the circus talents of young Bahamians.
The family oriented event will be held on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 at The National Performing Arts Theatre on Shirley Street with shows at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
“It will be like a Cirque d’Soleil Bahamian style” said Paige Nixon, a 15-year-old member of the circus. She and the other 50 people who make up the Bahamian circus have put together an unforgettable performance that is creative, dynamic and authentically Bahamian.
“We are excited to present this show to the public and show off our individual talents,” said Nixon, a contortionist, fire dancer and trapeze artist. “This is a show that lets us show what we can do and really bring light to what we are about. We have so many acts that will be going on from clowns, stilt walkers, fire dancers and even knife throwers. We all have a story to tell in our performances and we want the public to come out and watch us at our best,” she said.
For people not familiar with the mystique of Emanji they can expect a phenomenal, entertaining show, according to founder of the circus, Jarvis Grant.
And this time around he said the performances are new and even more vibrant than previous shows.
“Rather than perform with a specific theme, the different performances will depict short stories about the everyday lives of the performers,” said Grant. “We want to give the public a different experience this time around. It will be exciting and different. It will be a real variety show. You won’t be able to help but fall in love with the show.”
This circus event is timely seeing as it is summer and people are always looking for something to do that everyone in the family can enjoy as performers go outside of their comfort zones to perform stunts that are daring and different.
“Many kids dream of flying and leaping and just being close up to a circus and this is a great time to experience it. They [performers] are amazing and you will be intrigued by their talent and passion,” said Grant.
Although there are no lions, tigers or bears at this nontraditional circus there will be fascinating performances to keep people’s attention from start to finish, as each show is a new experience and nothing is ever done twice.
For the performers themselves it is a fascinating adventure that they get to participate in.
Circus newcomer, Menelik Thurston was thrilled to be a part of the show and couldn’t wait to see people’s reactions to the different abilities of the participants. Thurston who wears many hats for the performance — stilt-walker, fire dancer, acrobat and clown said it was the authentically Bahamian vibe of the show that drew him in and made him want to join the cast.
“From seeing the show myself a year or so ago I was fascinated and I knew I wanted to be a part of this. It’s so freeing and amazing. We work hard and the performances are just dynamic. It’s so cool what some of us can do. This is not just another performance and I really hope people will come out and support us. We are having so much fun just being who we are.”
Emanji Circus Arts presents “Odruda”
When: Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21
Where: The National Performing Arts Theatre on Shirley Street
Show times: 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 children 12 and under