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Universoul Circus

June 22, 2018
Jamie Davis Smith
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Although the Universoul Circus is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year I had not heard of it until the touring company was featured at last year’s circus arts-themed Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It was incredible and I could not wait to see this year’s production, which did not disappoint.
The Universoul Circus is indeed full of soul. There is no down-time in this circus which is high energy and full of thrills from start to finish. The circus includes acts from Russia, Trinidad, South Africa, Mongolia, Cuba, China, Ethiopia, and of course the United States.  In between traditional circus acts like the high-wire and clowns are acts involving camels and zebras and dance acts with a twist.  There are also unexpected points in the show when audience members (both adults and kids) are invited to become a part of the performance by having a dance-off with clowns and bouncing giant balls the size of a toddler around the big top. There are also plenty of thrills, including a death-defying motorcycle act that really has to be seen to be believed and an amazing Wheel of Death.    
The Universoul Circus manages to keep a high-energy vibe throughout the performance and is one of the most fun shows my family and I have ever seen. All of my kids, ranging in age from 3-12 had a great time. One of my son’s even asked if we could see it again!
Good to know:
  • Universoul Circus runs from June 21st through July 22nd
  • Tickets range from $20 to $45.  Everyone 12 months and older needs a ticket.  
  • When you arrive at National Harbor follow the signs to Circus parking and look for the big red and yellow big top.  Parking is in a garage across the street from the big top.  Allow about five minutes to walk from the garage to the bit top.  
  • The circus runs about two hours and fifteen minutes, including an intermission.
  • While at National Harbor make a day of it by eating at one of National Harbor’s ample restaurants or riding the Capital Wheel and playing on the beach.
Images courtesy of Jamie Davis Smith


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