Caoutchoucs and klishniks (frontbending and backbending contortionists) – these unusual words often appeared in the circus posters. Contortionists are performers who show their skills of extreme physical flexibility in the ring or on stage. Although contortion is one of the oldest types of acrobatics, the concept “contortionist” originated in the early 20th century, along with other synonyms such as “rubber man”, “boneless man” and so on.
The contortionist Valērijs Komisarenko tells us about the differences between these genres, the importance of yoga in his work and how he got involved with the circus in the first place. Valērijs, who began performing in the Riga Circus in 2008, has developed a circus act that could qualify for the Guinness World Record. He is also considered to be a successor of the contortion tradition in Latvia. In his story, Valērijs delves into the finesse and very nature of the circus art, contemplating on the role the circus plays both in the life of a performer and in the perception of a spectator.
Photos by Ieva Epnere
All project participants:
Aivars Meistars / Alīna Kešāne / Anna Armand / Baiba Reinika / Dace Pecolli / Darja Golobokih / Darius Ščesnulevičius / Dzintra Žilde/ Gabriels Gots / Georgijs Sokolovskis / Gunta Virkava / Iveta Girtakovska / Lauris Cepurītis / Marija Lase / Mārīte Milne / Raitis Ašmanis / Ramona Sniega / Valērijs Komisarenko / Vija Veita / Vilnis Nerets