The Great Dubois, the self-proclaimed, most original two-person circus show in the world, performed for the campus community at Rowan University’s Rowan After Hours (RAH) event on Thursday, leaving the audience in awe.
Rowan After Hours runs a variety of high-caliber events in a pleasant environment, giving late-night and weekend opportunities for Rowan University students to get involved in campus life. Every week there are also new people to meet and new things to do. The organization has provided a wide variety of entertainment for its students, but the circus stands out as being unlike anything else.
“RAH serves as entertainment for the students … we wanna give something for students to do that is school-sponsored on their weekend nights if they are not, particularly into parties or staying in their dorm at night … if they just wanna come by and meet some new people, that’s why we exist,” said RAH Technical Coordinator Nicholas Vasiliadis.
The primary act was The Great DuBois, made up of the married couple Michael Dubois and Viktoria Grimmy, with Dubois playing the lead role. The duo has already performed on campus at least eight times, so this wouldn’t be the first time. According to Dubois, they actually gave their first on-campus performance in 2005, and they have since given at least 2,000 college performances. They were cast in the hit movie The Greatest Showman in 2017.
Using a variety of objects throughout his presentation, including balls, hoops, juggling pins and even knives at one point, Dubois demonstrated his immaculate aptitude for juggling while showcasing techniques like catching the balls behind his neck or with his elbow.
Dubois’ performance was truly extraordinary not only because of his incredible talents but also because of his endearing sense of humor and his capacity to engage and interact with his audience.
Dubois’ wife and co-performer Grimmy helped him with some of his juggling routines while also putting on a show of her own. Her area of expertise is acrobatics. Her dazzling display featured masterful hula-hoop dancing.
She kept the hoop spinning by contorting her body, elevating her legs and standing on her hands. She added more hoops to her dance as she went along until she was dancing with 12 to 14 hoops at once.
As part of their act, they also took to calling various members of the audience on stage as temporary assistants. One lucky student was Rowan junior Jovan Rivera.
“The performance was very entertaining. It was enjoyable and the performers were very funny,” said Rivera, ” I appreciated how after the show they were willing to teach people how to juggle and do hula hoop tricks. I would definitely watch it again if they were to come back.”
During several parts of the performance, DuBois was circling the audience on a unicycle while holding a ball and a pin in each hand. By spinning glass plates on sticks and balancing them on his fingers or even his forehead at moments during the event, he displayed his excellent balance skills.
He stood on a loose rope with one leg during his last performance while juggling balls, hoping with the other, and continued to balance plates on poles while using his forehead.
After the show, DuBois spoke about many of the difficulties the couple have in their line of work. He discussed the struggle of constant traveling for work as well as the restrictions during the COVID lockdowns.
“That was the hardest thing for us. We’ve always worked so to not be in front of a crowd [due to COVID] was hard. We’re not doing a job, we do it cause we love it. It’s fun,” said DuBois.
The audience gave the couple a standing ovation at the end of the performance. Even after the artists finished, numerous audience members stayed to talk to them about their jobs and ask them questions. Dubois and Grimmy even started teaching some of them how to juggle.
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