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Photo credit: Tim Pethel

From jaw-dropping stunts and aerodynamic aerialists to fearless fire breathers, stilt dancers and stars from around the globe, UniverSoul Circus will celebrate 30 years as its show-stopping cultural extravaganza returns to Houston. Opening June 13, the interactive “Family Reunion Tour” will bring together big names from five continents all backed by the infectious beat of world music including sounds and dance styles spanning the African diaspora.

Reimagined with over a dozen culturally diverse performances under a sparkling new big top, UniverSoul features never-before-seen acts from Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic and Mongolia plus an 18-person flying trapeze act from China. The critically acclaimed show will run through July 7 at Butler Stadium (13755 S. Main St, Houston, TX 77035).

“Our special presentation of 'Cousins Around the World' celebrates a global community that connects us all in a more inclusive society," said UniverSoul founder and CEO Cedric Walker. "United in the spirit of family, we strongly believe that soul is not a color; it's an experience.”

Enjoyed by more than 25 million people from around the world, UniverSoul Cirus’ highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater and music spans genres including pop, classic R&B, Latin, hip hop, jazz and gospel. Rated as one of the top live family acts in America along with Cirque du Soleil, UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family-friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top 10 most requested family events.

At UniverSoul Circus, the audience is part of the show, and everyone gets to participate. Whether playing “Simon Says,” showing off their Swag Surf dance moves or singing in the “Soul Karaoke” spotlight, the patrons take the spotlight. Fresh the Clowns choose kids from the seats for the Big Top Kids Dance contest, and the entire tent gets to play as the beach balls bounce overhead.

“UniverSoul Circus is presented in a brand-new custom big top imported from Italy, enhanced with advanced state-of-the-art lighting, and a sound system that moves and grooves as if it were the show itself,” Walker added. 

New world-class artists this year include the enchanting Power of Love duo ballerina act from Mongolia who performs ballet on the shoulders and back of her male partner; the soul-stirring African Dream hoop divers from Addis Abba Ethiopia; and the beautiful Ethiopian female duo Morning Dove with their stunning aerial contortion acrobatic act.

Other new additions include a one-of-a-kind flying trapeze act with 18 people flying in air between three positions on multiple cues; an exciting, styled teeterboard act from Ethiopia; a tantalizing strong-man hand-balance duo called Double Vision from the Dominican Republic; and a dynamic twirling Cuban-Caribbean dance party and roller skating-themed spectacular. 

In addition, the fan favorites – Caribbean Street Carnival – will bring flair with 20-foot dancing puppets, fire-blowing stilt dancers, authentic folklore characters and dancers from almost every Caribbean Island. The kid-friendly, hip-hop dancing Fresh the Clowns will turn up the crowd with the hottest dance moves, while the extremely dangerous wheel of death stunt masters will have crowds on the edge of their seats as they flip, dive and jump on a fast-moving pendulum 60 feet in the air.

Other popular moments will include Sifiso Kamela, aka “Whistle Man,” from South Africa who will engage the audience with his hilarious boxing clown skit, the ringmaster/comedian Donald “N.O.” Long from New Orleans, plus UniverSoul’s original Zander “Zeke” Charles from Atlanta and its newest foxy dancer, Bella, from Trinidad.

Tickets are $25 and up at ticketmaster.com. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; noon, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays; plus select Wednesday shows will be offered June 19 (2 and 6 p.m.) and July 3 (7 p.m.).

Go to universoulcircus.com for more info, ticket prices, show times and schedules. Follow UniverSoul on Facebook @UniverSoulcircus, Twitter @UniverSoulCirc and Instagram @UniverSoulCircus.

About UniverSoul
UniverSoul is a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. UniverSoul is rated as one of the top live family acts in America along with Cirque du Soleil. UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family events. UniverSoul was created 30 years ago as the brainchild of Atlanta concert and theater producer Cedric Walker. The UniverSoul Circus is a product of the storied legacy of Atlanta, Georgia, a multicultural entertainment hub for world renowned artists, stage, film, music producers and events.