The Kenya Safari Acrobats took the stage on Saturday Feb. 14 in Wadsworth Auditorium. The group acts as an artistic ambassador for Kenya by exploring unique circus-style entertainment. The show began with an announcement informing the audience members that they were about to embark on a safari in which an American “outsider” would act as a guide. This introduction prepared the audience for a fun and layered outline of several Kenyan circus traditions.
Some of the acts blended humor with simple objects—and with impressive results. One act involved jumping rope. After cracking a few jokes and pretending not to know how to jump rope at all, the performers got down to business. In addition to doing flips, the performers skipped rope while lying down and sitting on one another’s shoulders.
One of the most notable entertainers of the night continuously performed extraordinary handstands. At one point, he stacked a total of five chairs on top of one another—some upside down, some on an angle—and held a handstand on top of it all. Just as he had put the stack together, he then took it apart one by one. The same performer also did handstands on pedestals, impressively bending his feet over his body to grab a hat and place it on his head.
Some portions of the show were almost painful to watch. One performer lay on a bed of nails while another stood on top of him. While doing the limbo, a performer managed to squeeze underneath the lowest possible limbo stick. He did so with knives hanging over his head, adding a spirit of anxiety to the stunt.
A few acts were less exciting than the rest. Exhilaration hit a low point when one of the female performers bent several pieces of metal with various parts of her body. This was striking at first, but the act soon grew repetitive and dull.
Although there were a few pitfalls, the night ended on a spirited note. The entire group came together for an energetic finale. Some of the acrobats demonstrated high-flying flips while others skillfully showed off their human stacking abilities. While one acrobat remained on the ground in a bridge position, the other four members stacked on top of her to make a human pyramid, executing the move without a single slip-up.
This show demonstrated that the Kenya Safari Acrobats are an undoubtedly talented group of performers. Through a series of impressive feats, the group showed off its acrobatic talent as well as its authentic style and humor.