UniverSoul Circus Gets Audience Involved

By Justin Wilfon

(LOUISVILLE, July 8th, 2004, 9:30 p.m.) -- A circus with a little soul has rolled into Louisville, complete with elephants and acrobats. But it's far from your average show. WAVE 3's Justin Wilfon recently found himself under a very special big top.

It may look like a normal circus but it certainly doesn't sound like one. That's because UniverSoul Circus, the only circus in the world owned by African-Americans, has a decidedly soulful attitude.

So what's it like? Ringmaster Shuckey Duckey says at this circus "you see traditional circusry, but with the hip-hop and the African-American type flavor to it.

That's right, it's hip-hop under the big top, and circus spokesperson Charles Davis says it's all in good fun. "We try to make it a whole lot of fun for the family and we try to add a whole lot of soul."

Shuckey Duckey says the audience does more than just watch the show. "When you come, we don't have spectators -- we have participators. You become involved in the show, a part of the show."

The Atlanta-based circus will present over 1,000 shows this year alone, and African-Americans aren't the only ones attending.

"It's African-American owned and operated," Shuckey Duckey says, "but this is for everybody, because soul doesn't have a color. It's an experience."

Davis agrees. "That's really what it's about. When you come into the tent, I mean it doesn't really matter what color or anything, it's just all about having a good time and just having a whole lot of fun."

The people we spoke with after one performance certainly had a lot of fun. "I think this circus is excellent," says Wynette Young, "especially for the kids. It's for the whole family. I think it's just a treat for the whole community."

The UniverSoul Circus has several shows each day all the way through Sunday. Visit their website for more information or log on to Ticketmaster for tickets.

Online Reporter: Justin Wilfon

Online Producer: Michael Dever