Soulja Circus

Your typical circus might be fun for kiddies and their parents but can be a little on the white-bread hokey side. There’s not much in the way of cool or stylish. So how can you add a little funk, hip-hop, or — dare we say? — soul, to the goings-on under the big top? Do what adolescent suburban white kids do — take your lead from Black America. Cedric Walker figured this out more than 15 years ago, when he founded the UniverSoul Circus. His dream of “Hip Hop Under the Big Top” started in African-American strongholds like Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore but grew to more than 30 cities internationally. And though its roots are definitely in black culture, it has expanded to incorporate performers and audiences of all kinds.

The show combines traditional acts, like lion taming, elephant riding, trapeze artists, and clowns, with modern, funky sensibilities including dance-offs, acrodunk (stunt basketball), Chinese aerialist, and, of course, an ample supply of Beyoncé and hip-hop. This year’s show promises to bring new surprises, and the South Florida dates are the second stop on UniverSoul’s 2011 Tour. The show opens at Sun Life Stadium (2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through February 6. Tickets cost $16.50 to $30.75. Visit
Tue., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Sebastian Del Mármol