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This week, the circus is coming all the way from Ethiopia. Like Cirque du Soleil, this nontraditional circus has no animals, instead using young acrobats, jugglers, dancers, and actors to put smiles on their audiences’ faces. As is, many Washingtonians understand Ethiopian culture by visiting Meskerem. And while the Adams Morgan restaurant isn’t a bad place to start, it only begins to define the only African nation never successfully colonized by Europe. Circus Tigray’s colorful costumes, traditional instruments, songs, and dances will add new dimensions. Their performances here mark the final leg of a six-city U.S. tour, and Washington’s growing Ethiopian community may just about fill the audience. Thursday night’s performance, which coincides with Ethiopian New Year, promises to be a real celebration. Circus Tigray performs from noon-6 p.m. Sunday at the Kennedy Center’s “13th Annual Open House: A Salute to the Circus.” FREE. (202) 467-4600; at 7 p.m. Wednesday with Circus Flora at the Kennedy Center’s East Parking Lot. $25. (202) 467-4600; and at 8 p.m. Thursday & next Saturday and 3 p.m. next Sunday at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $15. (202) 328-6000. (Holly Bass)