Circus News

Circus Immersion: Contortion or the Human Body in All Its Simplicity

Flexibility, or a lack of it, finds its way in each and everyone’s life. Daily reminders come when one bends down to tie their shoelaces, squeezes themselves in a narrow airplane seat, or stares at the person behind during a yoga class’ backbend. Regardless of a natural ability to dislocate a shoulder or the gasp that comes with lifting a leg at a 90-degree angle, all can relate to a split or a bridge’s physical demands. A fact that partly explains why contortionists get strong reactions from the crowds and the audience’s vote in TV talent shows. Russian contortionist Alexey Goloborodko goes further by affirming that their acknowledgment of a contortionist’s discipline and endurance is behind this response. “People really appreciate beauty in all its forms and contortion is one of its best symbols. It ain’t about tricks but the beauty of the human body.”

The 26-year-old sees his craft as a way to build anything with one’s body and appreciates its simplicity and how it seamlessly blends with other movement forms such as ballet or aerial performances. Young Alexey had no idea what a contortionist was when a traditional circus advertisement caught his eye in his hometown. Fascinated by the high energy and unique atmosphere under the circus tent, he immediately wanted in on it and asked his mother to take him to the city’s circus studio. A series of exercises confirmed his potential and convinced his coach Vladislav Rodin that the 6-year-old could become a professional contortionist. As the years went by, Goloborodko’s improving flexibility and fluidity led to the creation of a dozen acts in which he portrayed everything from a swan to a Russian puppet.  Aware of how unusually limber he is and of the reactions his twists and turns cause,...

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Martin Frenette

Impassioned by performing arts, Martin Frenette started intensive dance training at a very young age before trading pliés and barres for ropes and somersaults at Montreal National Circus School. He has spent a decade performing in several shows in Europe, such as Circus Monti, Chamäleon Theater, Wintergarten Varieté, Cirque Bouffon, GOP Show Concepts or the Max Entertainment Palace, to name a few. Writing has always been one of Martin's passions and he's thrilled to join Circus Talk's team to share his views on shows, the stage and what's going on behind the scenes with other performing arts enthusiasts!