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Contortion | Anna McNulty
Contortion | Anna McNulty
Published: 2017/05/06
Channel: Anna McNulty
Women Try Extreme Contortion
Women Try Extreme Contortion
Published: 2016/11/26
Channel: BuzzFeedBlue
CRAZY UNBELIEVABLE Skills By Angara Contortion | Week 4 | Britain
CRAZY UNBELIEVABLE Skills By Angara Contortion | Week 4 | Britain's Got Talent 2017
Published: 2017/05/07
Channel: MusicTalentNow
America
America's Got Talent S09E05 Contortionist Compilation
Published: 2014/06/24
Channel: Anthony Ying
CONTORTION STRETCHING TUTORIAL
CONTORTION STRETCHING TUTORIAL
Published: 2017/01/08
Channel: Sofie Dossi
Contortion Expectations vs Reality
Contortion Expectations vs Reality
Published: 2015/06/03
Channel: TwoTumblingTwins
Creepy Contortion Routine
Creepy Contortion Routine
Published: 2015/10/31
Channel: SevenGymnasticsGirls
Training Contortion
Training Contortion
Published: 2015/01/02
Channel: Rafaela CIRCO DE LA LUNA
Artistic Gymnast Attempts Contortion Moves!! Everyday Gymnastics
Artistic Gymnast Attempts Contortion Moves!! Everyday Gymnastics
Published: 2016/09/18
Channel: Everyday Gymnastics
ELLEN in AUSTRALIA!? Katy Perry contortion!
ELLEN in AUSTRALIA!? Katy Perry contortion!
Published: 2016/07/09
Channel: The Rybka Twins
Contortion
Contortion
Published: 2017/03/12
Channel: lcomen
They told me it wasn
They told me it wasn't possible - now I'm a contortionist! | Nina Burri | TEDxBern
Published: 2016/10/13
Channel: TEDx Talks
Contortion
Contortion
Published: 2017/05/10
Channel: lcomen
Contortion Reel
Contortion Reel
Published: 2017/03/09
Channel: Scarlet Checkers
Gymnast Tries CONTORTION
Gymnast Tries CONTORTION
Published: 2017/08/20
Channel: gymgemma
Contortion Flexilady Malina / A different fitness program
Contortion Flexilady Malina / A different fitness program
Published: 2017/04/22
Channel: Malina Flexilady
Haley Viloria Contortion Technical Demo
Haley Viloria Contortion Technical Demo
Published: 2014/04/24
Channel: Haley Viloria
Contortion Flexilady Malina / Absolute Perfection 2
Contortion Flexilady Malina / Absolute Perfection 2
Published: 2017/02/18
Channel: Malina Flexilady
DESLOCAMENTOS DAS CONTORTION 02
DESLOCAMENTOS DAS CONTORTION 02
Published: 2014/09/23
Channel: Rafaela CIRCO DE LA LUNA
Emerald Wulf 9 year old contortionist
Emerald Wulf 9 year old contortionist
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: Then And Now
School Talent Show 2012 (Contortion)
School Talent Show 2012 (Contortion)
Published: 2012/08/06
Channel: Fung's Flower Sisters
Extreme body contortion - BBC News
Extreme body contortion - BBC News
Published: 2014/09/10
Channel: BBC News
Tutorial: How to do a Chin Stand (acro/contortion)
Tutorial: How to do a Chin Stand (acro/contortion)
Published: 2012/12/22
Channel: Madiadi Ainsley
Flexibility and Contortion!
Flexibility and Contortion!
Published: 2016/08/06
Channel: SevenGymnasticsGirls
The Contortion Sisters at Ocala
The Contortion Sisters at Ocala's Got Talent 2011
Published: 2011/10/04
Channel: watcomc
Contortion - Most full body revolutions in one minute - Guinness World Records
Contortion - Most full body revolutions in one minute - Guinness World Records
Published: 2017/02/03
Channel: Guinness World Records
Contortionist Show-and-Tell -- The Doctors
Contortionist Show-and-Tell -- The Doctors
Published: 2015/05/09
Channel: The Doctors
Contortion Skills
Contortion Skills
Published: 2012/09/14
Channel: SevenGymnasticsGirls
CRAZY Contortionists on Got Talent! | Including Sofie Dossi, Bonetics & More!
CRAZY Contortionists on Got Talent! | Including Sofie Dossi, Bonetics & More!
Published: 2016/10/21
Channel: Got Talent Global
LUZIAself - Contortion - Episode 3 | by Cirque du Soleil
LUZIAself - Contortion - Episode 3 | by Cirque du Soleil
Published: 2017/02/02
Channel: Cirque du Soleil
America
America's Got Talent 2015 S10E07 Contortionists, The Good then The Bad
Published: 2015/07/08
Channel: Anthony Ying
JCD+GA  contortion and gymnastics classes
JCD+GA contortion and gymnastics classes
Published: 2010/04/17
Channel: Annika Nash
Teenage “Spider-Boy" from Palestine breaks contortion record - Guinness World Records
Teenage “Spider-Boy" from Palestine breaks contortion record - Guinness World Records
Published: 2017/02/20
Channel: Guinness World Records
Rachel
Rachel's Contortion Skills
Published: 2012/09/15
Channel: SevenGymnasticsGirls
America’s Got Talent 2014 - Twisted - A Compilation of Contortion featuring Nina Burri
America’s Got Talent 2014 - Twisted - A Compilation of Contortion featuring Nina Burri
Published: 2014/09/22
Channel: AmazingSingles
How to Become a Contortionist : Back Bends for Contortionist
How to Become a Contortionist : Back Bends for Contortionist
Published: 2008/10/22
Channel: expertvillage
The Contortion Sisters @ the International Contortion Convention 2011 in Las Vegas
The Contortion Sisters @ the International Contortion Convention 2011 in Las Vegas
Published: 2011/09/03
Channel: milcblog
Contortionist Sofie Dossi
Contortionist Sofie Dossi's Unbelievable Performance
Published: 2017/06/08
Channel: TheEllenShow
Contortion Tricks
Contortion Tricks
Published: 2012/10/16
Channel: PrincexxJessica
AMAZING CONTORTIONIST, CONTORTION, STRETCHING, FLEXIBILITY, ACRO YOGA,
AMAZING CONTORTIONIST, CONTORTION, STRETCHING, FLEXIBILITY, ACRO YOGA,
Published: 2017/05/01
Channel: GIRL IN PARADISE
How to Become a Contortionist!
How to Become a Contortionist!
Published: 2016/02/06
Channel: Scarlet Checkers
Rachel
Rachel's Contortion Routine
Published: 2017/01/28
Channel: SevenGymnasticsGirls
AMAZING CHILD Bendy contortion duo act
AMAZING CHILD Bendy contortion duo act
Published: 2016/12/12
Channel: emeraldsmom
"They" Contortion Dance
"They" Contortion Dance
Published: 2015/02/22
Channel: Mary Pat Letourneau
Ulzii and Oyuna duo Contortion act, Cirque du Soleil
Ulzii and Oyuna duo Contortion act, Cirque du Soleil
Published: 2016/03/13
Channel: Viktor Kee
Contortion Practice!
Contortion Practice!
Published: 2015/04/10
Channel: Rachel Marie
Cirque du Soleil Kooza Contortionists
Cirque du Soleil Kooza Contortionists
Published: 2009/11/19
Channel: contortionlvr
America
America's Got Talent 2016 Jonathan Nosan The Suited Contortionist Full Audition S11E02
Published: 2016/06/08
Channel: Anthony Ying
Alegria- Duo Contortion in LONDON (Oyun-Erdene Senge and Ulziibuyan Mergen)
Alegria- Duo Contortion in LONDON (Oyun-Erdene Senge and Ulziibuyan Mergen)
Published: 2014/12/07
Channel: Ulziibuyan Mergen
My contortion stretch routine (uncut)
My contortion stretch routine (uncut)
Published: 2014/09/18
Channel: Lina W
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Contortionist performing
Contortionist, posed in studio, ca. 1880.

Contortion (sometimes contortionism) is a performance art in which performers, contortionists, showcase their skills of extreme physical flexibility. Contortion acts often accompany acrobatics, circus acts, street performers and other live performing arts. Contortion acts are typically performed in front of a live audience. An act will showcase one or more artists performing a choreographed set of moves or poses, often to music, which require extreme flexibility. The physical flexibility required to perform such acts greatly exceeds that of the general population. It is the dramatic feats of seemingly inhuman flexibility that captivate audiences. In some countries, such as Russia[citation needed] and Mongolia, contortion holds special cultural significance.

Skills[edit]

Many factors affect the flexibility of performers including age, genetics, stature, and adherence to rigorous physical training routines. Most contortionists are generally categorized as "frontbenders" or "backbenders", depending on the direction in which their spine is most flexible. Relatively few performers are equally adept at both.

Skills performed by contortionists include:

  • Frontbending skills such as folding forward at the waist with the legs straight, or placing one or both legs behind the neck or shoulders with the knees bent (called a human knot).
  • Backbending skills such as touching one's head to one's feet, or all the way to the buttocks (called a head-seat), while standing, lying on the floor, or in a handstand. A Marinelli bend is a backbend while supported only by a grip at the top of a short post that is held in the mouth.
  • Splits and oversplits (a split of more than 180 degrees) may be included in frontbending or backbending acts. An oversplit may be performed while the feet are supported by two chairs or by two assistants.
  • Enterology is the practice of squeezing one's body into a small, knee-high box or other contained space which initially appears to audiences as being too small to contain the performer.
  • Dislocations of the shoulders or hip joints are sometimes performed as a short novelty act by itself. One example is lifting the arm to the side until it passes behind the head and lies across the top of the shoulders.

Risks[edit]

A medical publication from 2008 suggests that long-term damage to the spine is common in long-term practitioners. A study of five practitioners using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) by Peoples et al documented limbus vertebrae, intervertebral disc bulges, and disc degeneration. Three of the five practitioners also reported back pain.[1]

Performances[edit]

Acrobatic adagio
This man in a trunk is an example of enterology.

Contortion acts are highly variable with many incorporating elements of humor, drama, shock, sensuality or a blend of styles. Contortion is often incorporated into other performances such as dance and theater.

Contortion may be incorporated into other types of performances:

  • An adagio act is an acrobatic dance in which one partner lifts and carries the other partner as she/he performs splits and other flexible poses.
  • In a rag doll or golliwogg act, one or two assistants bend, shake and carry the contortionist in such a way as to convince the audience that the disguised performer is actually a limp, life-sized doll. The act often ends by stuffing the doll into a small box.
  • Contortion positions can be performed on a Spanish web, an aerial act consisting of a rope with a hand/foot loop that is spun by someone underneath.
  • Contortionists might manipulate props during their performance, for instance spinning hula hoops or juggling rings, balancing towers of wine glasses, or playing a musical instrument.

A contortionist may perform alone, may have one or two assistants, or up to four contortionists may perform together as a group. In the past, contortionists were associated almost exclusively with circuses and fairs, but recently they have also found work performing in nightclubs, amusement parks, in magazine advertisements, at trade shows, on television variety shows, in music videos, and as warmup acts or in the background at music concerts. The Ross Sisters were American contortionists most famous for their musical number in the 1940s movie Broadway Rhythm. In addition, contortion photos and digital movie clips are traded by fans on the Internet, and several web sites provide original photos of contortion acts for a monthly fee, or sell videotapes of performances through the mail.

Some loose-jointed people are able to pop a joint out of its socket without pain, thereby making it difficult to determine if a joint is dislocated without medical examination such as an X-ray. However, as long as the joint socket is the right shape, most extreme bends can be achieved without dislocating the joint.[2] Actual dislocations[3] are rarely used during athletic contortion acts since they make the joint more unstable and prone to injury, and a dislocated limb cannot lift itself or support any weight.

List of notable contortionists[edit]

Glossary[edit]

Example of a chest stand
  • Backbend/Backfold - Any pose with an unusual degree of backward bending at the waist and/or any portion of spine while standing, kneeling, resting on the floor, or while suspended.
  • Box act (also called: body packing; enterology; packanatomicalization) - Circus act in which a contortionist squeezes his/her body into a small box or transparent container.
  • Chest stand - Any backbending pose in which the performer's chest is resting on the floor for support.
  • Dislocate - 1. [verb] To injure a joint by temporarily forcing the bone out of its normal socket. 2. [noun] In men's gymnastics, a rotating of the shoulders when performing a backwards turn on the still rings. Many skills in acrobatics appear to involve dislocating a joint, when they actually do not.
  • Durvasa's pose or crane pose - Named for the mythological Indian sage, Durvasa, who supposedly assumed this pose during his years of penance: to stand on one foot with the other leg lifted in front and placed behind the neck or shoulders.
An elbow stand performed by an acro dancer
  • Elbow stand - Any inverted pose in which the performer uses only the forearms on the floor for support.
  • Frontbend - Any pose that features an unusual degree of frontward bending of the waist and/or spine, either with the legs together or parted.
  • Front split (also called: Stride split) - A split in which one leg is extended frontward and the other leg is extended backward, both at right angles to the trunk. Ideally, the hips are square facing to the front, while both legs are turned out from the hips.
  • Hairpin - A pose in which one kneels down, sits on top of the feet, and bends backwards until the top of the head comes into contact with the tailbone; it may also done with a starting position on hands and knees.
  • Headseat - An extreme backbend in which the top of the performer's head touches the buttocks; usually in a handstand or chest stand.
  • Human knot (also called: Yogic sleep; Head-foot position; Leg-head position) - A frontward bend with both ankles placed behind the neck.
  • Leg shouldering - A standing split in which the leg touches the shoulder. Can be done to the front, side, or rear.
  • Marinelli bend - [From contortionist and international theatrical agent H. B. Marinelli (1864-1924)] A head-seat with the legs extended, performed while supported only by a mouth grip at the top of a short post.
  • Needle scale - A front split while standing on the forward foot, with the torso bent downward with the hands touching the floor, while the rear leg is extended vertically toward the ceiling.
  • Oversplit (also called: Hypersplit) - Any split in which the angle formed by the legs measures greater than 180 degrees. It can be done to the front with either or both legs elevated, or in a straddle split with one or both legs elevated.
  • Passive stretching (also called: Static-passive stretching; assisted relaxed stretching) - 1. A static stretch (See: "static stretching") in which an external force (such as the floor or another person) holds the performer in the static position. 2. The practice of having a relaxed limb moved beyond its normal range of motion with the assistance of a partner. In "active stretching", in contrast, the limb is extended to its maximum range using only the muscles of that limb.
  • Pike - To be bend forward at the waist with the legs and trunk kept straight.
  • Pointe - In classical ballet, when a dancer uses special shoes (called pointe shoes or toe shoes) to dance en pointe (on their toes). The arch of the top of the foot is at its maximum when the dancer "pushes over", causing the heel of the foot to be almost directly over the toes. Difficult and often painful to learn, both men and women may benefit from studying pointe technique, however, most performance opportunities are for women only. Children do not begin to study pointe until they have years of experience and sufficient ankle strength, as well as being old enough to ensure that their bones are strong enough.
  • Rag doll act (also called: Golliwogg act) - Circus act in which a contortionist, dressed in a loose-fitting clown costume, gives the appearance of being a limp, life-sized doll, as one or two assistants bend, roll, carry and pose the "doll" and then stuff him/her into a small box.
  • Rhythmic gymnastics (also called: Rhythmic sportive gymnastics (RSG); rhythmics) - Olympic sport for one woman (or 5 women in group competition) consisting of a balletic floor exercise which demonstrates leaps, turns, balance and flexibility while moving and tossing hand-held apparatus: a ball, a rope, a hoop, two clubs, or a ribbon. Men's rhythmic gymnastics currently exists in Japan, and is gaining worldwide acceptance.
  • Rope act (also called: Spanish web) - Circus act in which an acrobat (usually female) performs exercises high above the floor while holding on to a long, vertically suspended rope, or hanging from a loop in the rope.
  • Scale - In acrobatics, when the leg is raised toward the back and may be held with one hand while standing.
  • Split (also called: the splits) - Any pose in which the legs are extended in opposite directions such that the angle of the legs is 180 degrees.
  • Straddle split (also called: side split; box split; Chinese split; cut split) - A split in which the legs are extended to the left and right, until a 180 degree angle between the legs is reached.
  • Tortoise position (also called: pancake) - A seated forward bend with the chest against the floor between the legs; the outstretched arms are also against the floor and underneath the knees.
  • Triple fold - A chest stand (See: "chest stand") in which the knees come all the way over to touch the floor, and the shins lie flat on the floor.
  • Twisting split - An exercise in which the performer changes from a split with the left leg forward, to a straddle split, and then to a split with the right leg forward, by rotating the legs, and without using the hands for support.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peoples RR, Perkins TG, Powell JW, Hanson EH, Snyder TH, Mueller TL, Orrison WW (2008). "Whole-spine dynamic magnetic resonance study of contortionists: anatomy and pathology". J Neurosurg Spine. 8 (6): 501–9. PMID 18518669. doi:10.3171/SPI/2008/8/6/501. 
  2. ^ Hahn F, Kissling R, Weishaupt D, Boos N (July 2006). "The extremes of spinal motion: a kinematic study of a contortionist in an open-configuration magnetic resonance scanner: case report". Spine. 31 (16): E565–7. PMID 16845345. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000225983.44327.b1. 
  3. ^ Owen E (May 1882). "Notes on the Voluntary Dislocations of a Contortionist". Br Med J. 1 (1114): 650–3. PMC 2371707Freely accessible. PMID 20750190. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.1114.650. 
  4. ^ "Meet Snake-girl - the contortionist getting circus audiences in a twist". Daily Mail. 
  5. ^ "Serchmaa Byamba". AcroSports. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ Sheena McKenzie (18 September 2013). "Meet the street kid who grew into a 'Snake Man'". CNN. 
  7. ^ Laura Coventry (10 July 2008). "Britain's Got Talent cortionist Iona Luvsandorj joins Scots circus". Daily Record (Scotland). 
  8. ^ "Mongolia: Contortionists Aim for UNESCO Recognition". EurasiaNet.org. 
  9. ^ "Winners of the First National Mongolian Contortionists Competition named after People's Artist B.Norovsambuu were announced". InfoMongolia.com. 
  10. ^ Sunday Mercury (23 February 2010). "Smethwick contortionist hits the bottle in Circus of Horrors at Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham". Birmingham Mail. 
  11. ^ "Contortion Entwines Art and Science". International Business Times. 9 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Das Supertalent 2014: Schlangenfrau Magdalena Stoilova versetzt Lena Gercke ins Staunen". RTL Television (in German). 
  13. ^ "Tsend's bent on a good time". Independent Online (South Africa). 
  14. ^ Chris Richards (3 September 2013). "'World's bendiest woman' Russian contortionist Zlata twists herself into impossible poses". Daily Mirror. 

External links[edit]

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