The Zuzu African Acrobats Take The Stage at SUNY Oneonta

Zuzu Acrobats

Lex Valluzzi, Staff Writer

This past Monday, February 19th, 2024, Oneonta was greeted by the amazing Zuzu African  Acrobats at the Goodrich Theater in the Fine Arts building on campus. 

The acrobatic troupe, hailing from the east African country of Tanzania put on a spectacular  interactive performance that had audience members cheering and jumping out of their seats. The  troupe incorporates traditional African music, culture, language and dancing into their  performances that adds another layer of intriguing entertainment to enjoy.  

Monday night’s performers included four men who performed a series of complex flips, intricate  balancing acts and impressive feats of flexibility and strength. The performers started the night  off strong by playing some upbeat traditional African music, teaching new dance moves and  playing a game of limbo. Volunteers were pulled from the crowd to participate in an increasingly  difficult game where the bar kept getting lower and lower. Students were very eager to  participate in this wonderful introduction. 

The men went on to show off their skills to the crowd in a series of individual acts before  gathering for the finale. The first individual performer, a man named Abraham dazzled the  audience with his juggling of three bowling pins. Abraham then upped the ante by adding  additional bowling pins. Juggling a total of five pins and dancing as he did it. If you think this  got people jumping out of their seats in applause, wait until you hear about the other men.  

The troupe had set up plenty of props to use during their performance. Jump ropes, hula hoops,  and a set of parallel bars that aided in showing off their complex stunts. Another performer, a  man named Abdallah, made the crowd watch in amazement as he displayed his contortionist  skills by bending and twisting his body to fit through a small metal tube. He was accompanied by  a fellow performer who did his contortion tricks while balancing on top of a set of small blocks. 

However, a real highlight of the performance that had the audience on the edge of their seats was  when one of the performers had gathered a collection of four chairs and proceeded to stack them  on top of each other. The chairs were stacked to a height where the performer needed to retrieve  

a ladder to be able to climb on top of them. He then impressed the audience with a jaw dropping balancing act that had members of the crowd’s hearts skipping a beat.  

Audience member Nicholas Keller stated “He did a handstand. On top of the chairs. He jumped  up there before I could even process what was going on. No hesitation, no fear.” 

Finally, for the closing act all the men gathered to build a human pyramid that included doing  more complex handstands and using each other’s heads for support. A finale that left the men  with a roar of applause and a standing ovation at the end.  

The night finished off with the performers teaching the audience a few words in Swahili and  some fun facts about their home country right before the Zuzu African Acrobats said good night  to SUNY Oneonta.

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