Colombia’s hair-raising circus troupe Circocolombia, on Sunday finished the U.S. premiere of “Urban” in New York’s New Victory Theater to rave reviews.
The performers are graduates of Circo Para Todo, or Circus for All, a performing school for some of Colombia’s most disadvantaged youngsters from Cali, former home of the notorious “Cali Cartel.”
Urban depicts life on the streets of Cali, a “thrilling, fast-paced presentation of acrobatic feats tinged with a hint of danger and an air of triumph,” according to a New York Post review.
The show which has been critically acclaimed from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to New York, “is the soundtrack of life and death itself,” based on the lives of the young cast, and is set to a pulsating reggaeton soundtrack and, even at one point against a backdrop of Cali in flames.
The school was founded in 1997 by British-born Felicity Simpson, who ran away to the circus at age 17, and offers a free four-year course for disadvantaged youths in the city. Many of the graduates now work on cruise ships and some of the best circuses in the world.
Apart from the daring acrobatics and sense of excitement and danger, the physiques of the performers seem to have impressed the U.S. critics, with the the New York Post’s reviewer effusing over their “ripped bare torsos and rippling muscles.” While the New York Times reviewer gushed, “They are incredibly buff. There are more six-packs here than in a grocery store’s beer aisle.” Neither reviewer was female.