URBAN by Circolombia

The Civic – THE EDGE®, Auckland

13/03/2013 - 17/03/2013

Auckland Arts Festival 2013

Production Details

As Circolombia’s spunky and street-wise performers jump, somersault, fly, tumble and breakdance across the stage they tell astonishing stories of life on the streets of Cali, Colombia. Set against a soundtrack of Latin-American inspired reggae and hip-hop beats,Urban will totally immerse you in the sights and sounds of the Cali streets.

Graduates of Circa Para Todos, Circus For All – the world’s first professional circus school for disadvantaged youth –  Urban‘s 17 to 28 year-old acrobats reveal a city of joy and volatility where dance and music are the safety valves of everyday life. Sharing their reality with the world, they exude a power that is physical, raw, volcanic and incredibly honest.

Take the whole family on an exhilarating ride. You won’t regret it.

# In a nutshell: Astounding acrobatic stunts, reggae and Latin hip-hop, spine-tingling moments.



Wed 13 6:30pm
Thu 14  6:30pm
Fri 15    7:30pm
Sat 16   2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sun 17   5:00pm


C Res – $35.00

B Res Child – $39.00

A Res Child – $45.00

B Res Friend/Conc/Group – $48.00

A Res Friend/Conc/Group – $53.00

B Res – $53.00

A Res – $58.00

Premium Friend/Conc/Group – $59.00

Premium – $65.00


Wilmar Carabali
Ángel Caycedo Casierra
José Henry Caycedo Casierra
José Germán Ceballos Cruz
Cristian Camilo Dajome
Estiven Quinones Gonzalez
Francisco Javier Hurtado Hurtado
Tager Ramos Labrada
Diana Valentina Romero Londoño
Humberto Leonardo Palacios Mosquera
Jonathan Mauricio Bonilla Muñoz
Joinner Alberto Barreiro Murillo
Yeferson Murillo Palacios
Andrés Felipe Romero Pineda
Paola Fernanda Hernández Sanchez
Maritza Constanza Melo Zambrano
Johann Alemberg Gil Zapata

1hr 15 mins

Jaw dropping

Review by Catherine McGregor 15th Mar 2013

Just before the house lights go down, a chorus of whoops – no doubt part of “street circus” company Circolombia’s pre-performance ritual – is audible from off-stage. The show hasn’t even begun and already the venerable old Civic is feeling a lot less staid. There’s a short prelude featuring Circolombia’s two female acrobats. Then the bass kicks in, and we’re off. 

What follows is 75 minutes of gravity-defying acrobatics, plus some dance moves worthy of a mega-budget music video. It’s all set to a pounding hip hop and reggaeton soundtrack, with the vocals largely performed by the acrobats themselves. The rhythms are so woven into the fabric of Urban that a moment performed in total silence – an uphill tightrope walk, from the stage floor at one end to the gods in the other – ranks among the show’s most powerful scenes. [More]


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Poets of the street explode into the Civic - Street and Circus an exhilirating mix

Review by Jesse Quaid 14th Mar 2013

Urban, Circolumbia’s latest production is everything we’ve come to expect from the post-elephant circus; the human animal pushed against its limits in breathtaking stunts mixed with enough spectacle to keep us entranced and laughing. This intensely youthful troupe has created a unique take on the experience, bringing the rough and vibrant feel of the streets they grew up on in to the theatre and stripping back the layers of fantasy and mystery that so often pervade the circus, giving us instead pure showmanship, vivid physicality and the humanity of these astounding individuals laid out on stage

It is a strange experience, to be watching such a gritty and visceral production within the ornate Civic Theatre. Framed by the proscenium the energy at first seems restricted, the sweat and sound not quite penetrating the stalls. Once, however, the performers turn the focus of their attention out to us you are easily sucked into the worlds they are re-creating.

The narratives that unfold on stage are inspired by the lives of the artists; shown clearly through the intensity and sincerity of their onstage characterisations. Urban has a raw and honest edge, with a dark tinge to it, balancing out the nonchalant ease which the artists bring to their performances and the stark, almost cinematic, staging. The clever use of some epic lighting, artfully constructed tableaux and driving, pulsing music keep us entranced; the vocals are live, brilliant, less songs and more sung narratives. 

What really makes this show, however, is the insouciant machismo with which the chiefly male cast launch themselves through every moment. They slide effortlessly between smoothly executed dance, moments of theatre and daredevil acrobatics, drawing laughter and not a few gasps out of the audience. Whether they are dodging or walking ropes, or propelling themselves and each other through the air to the limits of the stage space, it is impossible to look away. Against the vibrating energy of the male acrobats the two women at times struggle to gain attention. Their aerials, while beautifully performed, lack that extra élan right up until a magnificent and euphoric Cloud Swing performance.

These young artists, at their most compelling when speaking directly to us, deliver a show with a powerful punch. If at times the pathos creeps too close to cliché their sincerity and enthusiasm keep the impression from being too jarring. This is a show that is nicely paced and balances high energy with moments of pure focus; it leaves you feeling exquisitely alive and very definitely wanting more.


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