Big Top Party Returns With Baltimore’s Own UniverSoul Circus

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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Thrills and chills with performers from all over the world, the UniverSoul Circus is back in Baltimore at Security Square Mall.

Ron Matz reports it’s all the creation of a talented producer from right here in Baltimore.

The UniverSoul Circus is an eye-popping big top thrill ride. Now in its 19th year, founder Cedric Walker is from Baltimore.

“I looked around the tent last night and I saw the people and it’s just a feeling that this is where I come from. This is where I gathered my inspiration,” Walker said. “I grew up in the Edmondson Village area and all of my inspiration came from my childhood in West Baltimore. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the community and I took that into the world.”

You’ll be inspired when you see the Bonebreakers from West Africa doing things most of us can’t even think about.

“We have a lot of brand new acts this year. Our founder Cedric Walker goes around the world searching out the most unique talent. We have talent from Russia, China, the Caribbean and the good old USA,” said Zeke, ringmaster’s sidekick.

We’re timely and global,” Walker said. “This whole hip-hop culture evolves in a global perspective. We have all these young performers from around the world intermingling with the digital realm of the Internet, all these cultures are coming together.”

Robert Dunn, aka Onionhead, has been clowning around under the big top for 14 years and loves every minute.

“I’ve been clowning since 1983. I’ve been with UniverSoul since 1998. It’s not a job. It’s excitement and entertainment. It’s something I’m very passionate about, and when you’re passionate about something it eliminates work,” Dunn said.

UniverSoul travels to about 30 cities a year during a 10.5 month period. It’s the joy of the children that keeps the performers going.

“You look at kids in the audience, 3 or 4 years old. They come and give you hugs or a high five or want your autograph. That’s priceless,” Zeke said.

“When you see the joy of a child, this is what it’s all about. This is what you’re here for, to see a child smile and laugh,” Dunn said.  “We are different. This is what brings people out. Our music includes gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, hip-hop. There’s no other show like UniverSoul.”

It’s hip-hop under the big top from Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA delivered with pride from a hometown guy.

“The idea of an urban circus was an idea whose time had come. It reflects the energy, the music, the tempo and the interaction of the times,” Walker said.

The UniverSoul Circus is here through Sunday. For more information, click here.

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