21 June 2020

Jim's contortion pages....

 The amazing Magdalena Stoilova, with whom I have had the pleasure of performing. Photo courtesy of Colin Strover.

How can people do this? What are the underlying differences between people who can do this, and those who can't? How much is genetics, and how much is training? The answers are not known definitively. Some ideas are discussed here... 

Ska van Schoning introducing acts at the Third International Contortion Convention, held in Huerth, Germany in 2003.

I have been very lucky to have gone to all the International Contortion Conventions, organised by the very energetic and generous Ska von Schoning (Showbiz), and held in Las Vegas and Germany. Here are my reports of the First (1998), Second (2000) and Third (2003) Conventions. Because I was performing at the Fourth (2006) and Fifth (2011) Conventions I don't have such detailed pages on those, though I show some photos. The Conventions have allowed me to build friendships with contortionists and their supporters worldwide. Thank you Ska! I was lucky to be able to perform in further conventions in Cologne in September 2013, and in Las Vegas in April 2016 and September 2018. My own performance in 2018 can be seen here on Youtube.

Mim Syme at Red Bennies, 2011.

In Australia, we have been glad to have had our own meetings, the Australian Contortion and Handbalancing Festivals. The Festivals were initiated by Jasmine Straga at her circus school in Coff's Harbour in 2010 (with assistance from Andrew McQueen). The second Festival was held in Melbourne in 2011, organised by Mim Syme and Andrew McQueen, and culminating in shows at Red Bennies Nightclub in Melbourne. For me, they have been very valuable letting me build contacts and develop very valued friendships with contortionists, trainers, and their supporters throughout Australia. See my pages on the First Festival and the Second Festival. Unfortunately, I was overseas at the time of the Third Festival, held in 2014.


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