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UniverSoul Circus

Raleigh presents a soulful extravaganza of performance artistry when the UniverSoul Circus (the nation's only black-owned circus) brings their signature production, Roots, Rags & Rhythms, to Alltel Pavilion. Staged to a soundtrack of R&B, hip hop, gospel, salsa and jazz, the world renowned troupe combines traditional circus routines with kicked-up urban flavor. Dubbed "Cirque du Soul," the 9-year-old company, founded by Cedric Walker, showcases performers of African descent and strives to inspire urban audiences with an eclectic range of acts from award-winning entertainers. Ringmaster and comedian "Shuckey Duckey" (whose apt tagline is "Quack-Quack") leads the clever ensemble of artists, which include Onionhead the Clown, South African trapezists Rodney Van Reenen and Ivan Solomons, Cuban contortionist Ricardo Sosa, Emmy-nominated French aerialist Jean-Claude Belmat, Caribbean stilt-walkers, the King Charles unicyclists, Margo & the African Elephants, and Chilean dog act, The Olates (pictured above), to name a few. Clowning around: mandatory.

Catch the UniverSoul Circus at a Big Top near you, Tuesday thru Sunday, Aug. 20-25, Alltel Pavilion, Lot G, Raleigh. Ticket prices are $10-$30 and free for children under 12 months. For shows, times and ticket information, call (800) 834-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. --olufunke moses

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