Category: Contortion

Q&A With American Contortionist Jordan McKnight

I recently had joy of asking world renowned, American contortionist Jordan McKnight some questions about her phenomenal career as one of the world’s best contortionists. Jordan is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerised by what the human body can do. The joy she has on her face when performing is infectious and her smile brings happiness to many. Jordan has had the opportunity to travel the world performing, from Australia to America. She also had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds best performers in multiple different circus’ and train and learn from renowned contortion coach and choreographer Jasmine Straga. Below are her responses.

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

I’ve done contortion for 9 years

Q2: How did you start contortion?

I started because I saw a video online and thought it looked really cool and fun and then tried it and fell in love with the art

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

I train 5 days a week, 4 hours

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

I don’t have a favorite trick, they are all unique in their own way so it would be impossible to choose!

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

My best experience is really hard to choose, I would say working with cirque du Soleil or working in Absinthe!

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My goal is to keep working in high end shows, and just to continue on my path

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Let me think of this one. There’s a bunch of advice my mom has given over the years that I take to heart!

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

Cardio fist, stretching, contortion, and then Pilates

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

I don’t really have a specific preparation. Other than making sure I’m completely stretched, and have warmed up my skills

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

The Mongolians! They are the best!

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

Not much lol. I pay attention the audience and music more than what I’m doing I guess if that makes sense

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

You will always have nervousness! You just do it, to out there on stage and enjoy it.

Q&A With Mongolian Contortionist Aruna Bataa

I had the pleasure of asking Aruna Bataa some questions about her journey and experiences as a contortionist. As a former Cirque du Soleil contortionist, she always amazes the audience with her incredible flexibility and skills. She has been able to honor the long tradition of showcasing the ancient Mongolian art form around the world. Below are her responses.

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

23 years

Q2: How did you start contortion?

Got inspired by contortionists when I was a kid

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

It depends, right now I’m training 4 times a week for about 2hrs each training session

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

Definitely Mouth Trick

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

Getting to perform

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

Don’t know…

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Can’t think of anything specific

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

Pretty much what you guys see on my IG

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

Good warm and conditioning

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

Don’t know…

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

It depends how comfortable I am with my act… but usually I’m very focused on my performance so don’t have anything specific in my mind…

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

Of course, getting nervous means you care about the performance

Q&A With British Contortionist Arianna Joy

I had the joy of asking the incredible British contortionist Arianna Joy some questions about her journey as one of the best new contortionists. Arianna is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerized by what the human body can do. The joy she has on her face when performing is infectious and her smile brings happiness to many. Arianna trains under the guidance of renowned British contortionist coach Pixie Le Knot. Below are her responses.

https://www.instagram.com/ariajoy_contortion/

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

5 months

Q2: How did you start contortion?

Did dance, kept stretching and thought, wanted more. Then found classes and was invited to join.

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

Train every day for 3 hrs.

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

Cheststands of every shape.

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

Doing handstands on canes for the first time.

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My goal/dream – to be a contortion performer.

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Advise – to position my arms in the right place for certain tricks.

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

Warm-up, stretches, splits, shoulder stretch, bridges, tricks, sequences, routine.

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

A VERY good stretch!

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

Pixie Le Knot.

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

Concentrating on the routine.

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

I don’t really get nervous.😊

Q&A With Russian Contortionist Anya Isaeva

I had the joy of asking the incredible Russian contortionist Anya Isaeva some questions about her journey as a contortionists/hand balancer. Anya is an amazing contortionist/hand balancer and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerized by what the human body can do. She is currently in Taiwan performing at Lihpao Land amusement park. Below are her responses.

(Translated using Google Translate)

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

From the age of 10

Q2: How did you start contortion?

Parents brought them to the circus studio and then there was a desire to study

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

Now I’m on a contract, I train and perform every day. Training usually lasts more than 3 hours

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

One-arm stand

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

Performances

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

Perform in the Cirque Du Soleil and other venues in different circuses

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Train more and improve myself

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

Warm-up, tricks, pumping up

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

Stretching, run of number

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

Future prospects

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

I think about the number and about the audience

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

I am nervous, I try to enjoy the performance and make the number good

Q&A With Ukrainian Contortionist Emilia Suslovets

I had the joy of asking the incredible Ukrainian contortionist Emilia Suslovets some questions about her journey as one of the best new contortionists. Emilia is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerized by what the human body can do. The joy she has on her face when performing is infectious and her smile brings happiness to many. Emilia trains under the guidance of her mother, renowned Ukrainian contortionist coach Tatiana Kuznetsova. Below are her responses.

(Translated using Google Translate)

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

3 years ago.

Q2: How did you start contortion?

According to mom’s advice.

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

3 times a week

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

Triple fold

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

When I performed on the table.

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

Become the most flexible

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Mom said that you need to study so as to be a professional

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

My workout starts from 12 to 6 from the beginning of stretching, then an equilibrium break for lunch again stretching, warm-up of the back, the robot over the number, pumping, webs.

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

I get my hair done and I warm up.

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

Mongolians.

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

I am thinking about pulling my feet and knees.

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

I’m not nervous

Advertisements

Q&A With Mongolian Contortionist Khongorzul Bayarmagnai

I had the pleasure of asking Khongorzul Bayarmagnai some questions about her journey and experiences as a contortionist. She amazes the audience with her incredible flexibility and skills. She has been able to honor the long tradition of showcasing the ancient Mongolian art form around the world. Below are her responses.

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

9 years (from 12 y.old i start very old than other)

Q2: How did you start contortion?

I was very flexible

Q3: How often do you train and for how long?

Normal time 4-5 day a week, for 2-4 hours (but now quarantine time 1-2 day for a week for only 1 hour)

Q4: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

1 hand, archery and be on the top

Q5: What has been your best contortion experience?

Be forbearance

Q6: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

Learn university during contortion work

Q7: Best advise you’ve received?

Momentum is health

Q8: What does a usual day of training look like?

Easy

Q9: What is your preparation for a performance?

Warm up, contortion table, music

Q10: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

My hobby

Q11: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

Up and look directly

Q12: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?

I get nervous very easy. I think inside and be noisy or discuss with my best friend for overcome my nervous

Q&A With Mexican Contortionist Melody Caballero

I recently had the opportunity to ask Mexican contortionist Melody Caballero some questions about her journey as a contortionists. Melody is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerised by what the human body can do. Melody is a third generation contortionist with her mother and grandmother also being contortionists. Melody has had the opportunity to perform in her families circus, Circus Caballero, and also appeared on America’s got Talent in 2013. Below are her responses.

Q1: How long have done contortion for?

I’ve done contortion for 11 years

Q2: How did you start contortion?

I started because I remember seeing the contortion girl work and I knew that’s what I wanted to do

Q3: What inspired you to start doing contortion?

Well same thing I saw this girl and she was amazing

Q4: How often do you train and for how long?

I train everyday for about 2 hours

Q5: What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

It has to be the Marinelli Bend

Q6: What has been your best contortion experience?

The best one I’ve had was when I performed at radio city music hall

Q7: What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My goal is to work in the biggest circus in Europe

Q8: Best advise you’ve give someone interested in contortion?

Be prepared to work hard good things don’t come easy

Q9: Best advise you’ve received?

Best advise is from my mom is to never give up on your dream

Q10: Biggest contortion inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has to be my teacher Nara

Q11: What does a usual day of training look like?

It startes with jumping rope, running a little to get the blood flowing then it does to warming up my splits and then by back and then my wrists and arms

Q12: What is your preparation for a performance like?

It’s warming up 2 hours before a show to really be prepared

Q13: What or who is your biggest motivator in contortion?

It really has to be my mom

Q14: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion performance?

I’m a very nervous person so I really have to get prepared mentally lol

Q15: Do you get nervous?  How do you overcome your nerves?

I do get nervous but I’m my head I tell me self this is what I love to do and I enjoy doing it

Q16: Describe yourself in 5 words

I think I’m a kind, caring, and a working hard kinda person.

Goddess of Flexibility – Julia Guenthel (Zlata) [UPDATED]

If there is ever one person who is viewed as being a goddess and influencer in the world of contortion in Europe, it would be Julia Guenthel, otherwise known as Zlata.

 

Born in Kazakhstan, Julia was a flexible child and her talent was spotted in kindergarten, her family noticed her talent and decided to put her in circus training, starting contortion at the young age of 6 years old and had her performance at the age of 10. Julia would move to Leipzig when she was 16.

25b3328e71065334f13f517b0597476c

Young Julia

“I could easily touch my toes or hook my legs around my neck — I didn’t have to think about it. My family were immediately all very proud of my ability and they encouraged me to practice and make the most of it,” Julia told DailyMail.

With her beauty, flexibility and elegance, Julia developed a following as one of the world’s best contortionists. With her impressive front and back bending skills, Julia even has the acclaim of six Guinness World Records. The records include “Fastest time to pop three balloons with the back” of 12 seconds which was set in 2007 and “Most crown cap bottles opened with feet in one minute” with 8 bottles opened which was set in 2013. Julia also held the record “Most flowers picked up with the mouth in a contortion backbend” of 11 roses however it had since been beaten by Liu Teng of China.

 

Some days training would be many hours in length, with this intense level of training, Julia became of the world’s best contortionists. With this, television appearances in Russia, Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands and many other counties came calling. Even appearing on the red carpet in Cannes Film Festival wowing actress Kylie Minogue and photographers in attendance. Julia is so flexible she can squeeze herself into a 50cm squared box.

83707304.jpg

In 2010, Julia appeared on Discovery Channel show “Is it possible?” where a doctor analysed an MRI of Zlata in a backbend and the show was in attendance as Julia participated in another photoshoot. The doctor explained Julia’s incredible flexibility is due to increase elasticity in her joints and ligaments which is similar to that of a young child. But she faced jealousy from other girls at a young age in school, due to her abilities. Zlata, said: ‘In Russia being flexible is a very good thing to be because everyone is really into gymnastics. ‘Some of the other girls didn’t like how good I was.’

Her talents became a feature online with the launch of her own website Zlata.de where she showcased her incredible talent and skills in numerous videos and photos. This would be something that she would be involved in for many years until taking a break and eventually ending her stardom on the website in late 2016 and transitioning to a role behind the scenes.

Zlata has previously said: ‘Doing these poses just feels natural to me. ‘Sometimes it can get a bit uncomfortable if I have to hold a pose for a long time in photoshoots.

Julia has been an influence and inspiration for many contortionists around the world. Working with famous contortionists such as Alesya Laverycheva, Ruslana Krutas, Barbara Gordeeva and many others contortionists around the world.

zrzitca7nmc

Julia, Ruslana & Ekaterina

Her poise, flexibility, talent and longevity is incredible, being involved in contortion for over 20 years makes Zlata one of the true icons of the contortion world. Now 34 years of age, Julia now takes her passion for contortion behind the camera with her spearheading the relaunch of her website Zlata.de featuring a new contortionist from Russia, Angelina.

Julia will go down in history as one of the world’s best contortionist and has definitely left her mark on the contortion industry.

Q&A With Julia Guenthel

How long have you done contortion for?

I started training rubber at 6 years old.

How did you start contortion?

At first I was sent to rhythmic gymnastics, after a year of classes I moved to a circus school.

How often do you train and for how long?

I train every day for 2-3 hours.

Your favorite contortion move / trick?

Tightening, standing on my feet to tighten his back so that there was no room.

What is your ultimate contortion goal?

I have already realized my dream in rubber, and not one 🙂 now I just wish that the memory of this will remain and rubber as a genre developed.

Advertisements

Q&A With Ukrainian Contortionist Sofia Kostritskaya

I had the joy of asking the incredible Ukrainian contortionist Sofia Kostritskaya some questions about her journey as one of the best new contortionists. Sofia is an amazing contortionist and when she takes to the stage and performs and showcases her astounding skills, she leaves the audience in awe and mesmerised by what the human body can do. The joy she has on her face when performing is infectious and her smile brings happiness to many. Sofia has had the opportunity to compete in many competitions in and around Ukraine and had the chance to appear on some TV shows showcasing her incredible talent. Below are her responses.

Sofia’s responses translated using Google Translate

How long have you done contortion for?

I have been engaged in contortion since the age of 4

How did you start contortion?

I started practicing myself, then my mother opened a studio, a school since we did not have any gymnastics sections in the city and now I am training with my mother

How often do you train and for how long?

In the training hall I train three times a week, the rest of the time is home training every evening.

What is your best contortion experience?

I am the winner of many awards. I have more than 200 medals, more than a hundred cups. Broke the record of the country – the maximum number of acrobatic elements. 111 unique elements