Category: Contortion

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Q&A With Russian Contortionist Alesya Laverycheva

I recently had joy of asking world renowned, Russian contortionist Alesya Laverycheva some questions about her phenomenal career as one of the world’s best contortionists. Alesya 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. Alesya has had the opportunity to travel the world performing, from China to her homeland of Russia. She also has had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds best contortionists over the years. Below are her responses.

Alesya’s responses translated using Google Translate

How long have done contortion for?

I have been studying contortion since my childhood from the age of 7 or 8, I do not remember exactly and I still do it.

How did you start contortion?

I would say this is natural flexibility. It was easy for me at training) I was engaged in a circus studio)

How often do you train and for how long?

I personally do not train every day, because I think that the body should also rest, for example, I study Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s, there are also big breaks. The time i train for varies depending on how I feel and what I’m doing. I also do things differently for the feeling when I can practice for 2 hours, when I can 1 hour, or when they go through the photo sessions that whole day.

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

I often like my favorite tricks. I like triple folds.

What has been your best contortion experience?

In photo sessions I learn that I can get stronger that I do not know about it myself 😀 I really like the flexibility and what I do. This is probably a gift and everyone has their own. It’s my contortion skills

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

The goal of a dream is to try something new

 

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Q&A With Chilean Contortionist Fernando Gonzalez Arismendi

I recently had the chance to ask Fernando Gonzalez Arismendi about his journey as a contortionist, he’s an amazing contortionist. His dedication and passion for contortion is incredible. Below are his responses.

Instagram: fertwisted

Facebook: FerTwisted

How long have done contortion for?

I’ve been training almost ten years.

How did you start contortion?

I started to do contortion because one day, I went to a circus and I saw a very flexible couple doing aerial silks. I felt very inspired because that was a magic moment. After it, I was training splits and oversplits about three years, but when I was 12 years old I thought: “I need backbends” So, my first backbend was a bridge and I loved it. That was the moment when I decided to break my limits. Nobody taught me, so as you can see, I’m self-taught contortionist.

I have a secret with my training method. I think that the secret is in the hours that you stretch haha! So well, I stretch and warm up over 3 hours per day!! But in performances I stretch and warm up almost 30 minutes!

How often do you train and for how long?

I have a secret with my training method. I think that the secret is in the hours that you stretch haha! So well, I stretch and warm up over 3 hours per day!! But in performances I stretch and warm up almost 30 minutes!

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

My favorite contortion move is the headsit. I love to sit in my head, basically for the people’s reaction!! I love it!

What has been your best contortion experience?

My favorite moment in my entire life was in 2014 and 2017 when I became as the most flexible man of Chile. Won that was very emotional. But well I also appeared in tv shows, festival shows, international competition (I placed 7th), tv programs, circuses, events.

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My big dream is go outside of my country to perform. I would like to perform around the world!

Q&A With Albanian Contortionist Manushaqe Mücke (Manuelle)

I recently had the chance to ask Manushaqe Mücke some questions about her incredible journey as one of the world’s best contortionists. Manushaqe can do some incredible poses and moves such as the marinelli bend. She is one of the only contortionists in the world to shoot a bow and arrow with her feet while holding the marinelli bend. Her passion and love for contortion is phenomenal. She has had opportunities to appear on numerous TV shows showcasing her amazing skills.

Website: Manuelle-Contortion

How long have done contortion for?

I start the Circus School in Albania when I was 11 years old, With Contortion I start at 14 something like this but I was very flexible before.

How did you start contortion?

I started for fun and with time it became something that I love to do and I’m never tired working contortion and having fun.

How often do you train and for how long?

I train everyday 2 or 3 hour per day

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

I have many favourite move, they are all favourite hahaha

What has been your best contortion experience?

The best contortion experience was Las Vegas

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

Oh, I have many dreams we will see what comes I’m working in some new contortion move and a new act.

Q&A With Russian Contortionist Yana Blotskaya

I recently had the chance to ask Yana Blotskaya some questions about her amazing journey as a contortionist. Yana previously spent many years as a Rhythmic gymnast where her incredible flexibility was unearthed. Recently Yana has focused her time on one of her passion Contortion. Her main inspirations are Jordan McKnight and Alexey Goloborodko. Her flexibility is incredible and the skies the limit for Yana. Horse riding and Rap music are some of Yana’s other hobbies. Below are her responses.

How long have done contortion for?

I’ve done contortion since I was 11 y.o.

How did you start contortion?

I started contortion because my friends do it

How often do you train and for how long?

I train every day.2-3 hours

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

I haven’t got favorite trick

What has been your best contortion experience?

My best contortion experiences happen when I train in the kid grounds

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

My goal is do contortion as long as possible, get a lot of followers, become famous and do my own rap songs

Q&A With Ukrainian Contortionist Elizaveta Chursina

I recently had the chance to ask the amazing Ukrainian contortionist Elizaveta Chursina some questions about her life as a contortionist. She is an incredible contortionist who works incredibly hard and always strives to be the best performer she can be. She has a variety of different acts from Hola Hoops to Duo acrobatics to table contortion routine. She is one of the best contortionists ever and always has a smile on her face while performing.

Instagram: lizachursina1234 & elizaveta_lunaa

How long have done contortion for?

I started to be engaged in contortion from 5 years old.

How did you start contortion?

I felt that I had a flexible back and decided to try contortion.

How often do you train and for how long?

I train five times a week for about three to four hours.

What is your favourite contortion move/trick?

My favorite contortion element is a triple fold.

What has been your best contortion experience?

I take part in various festivals and concerts. I like to perform.

What is your ultimate contortion goal/dream?

I want to continue to work in various circuses of the world. Travel. Share your experience. To give master classes.

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