These women do a contortion dance in a performance from Alegria by Cirque du Soleil. Contortionists are Ulziibayar Chimed and Tseevendolj Nomin. Vocals by Isabelle Corradi
Contortionism is an exciting form of physical movements that involves dramatic flexing and bending of the body. Acrobats and circus performers use contortion in most of their routines.
This is the type of dance you would see a lot of in Cirque Du Soleil numbers. Generally, contortionists have amazing flexibility and they can take it to higher levels through gymnastics training.
Most contortionists are known as either frontbenders or backbenders depending on which direction their spine is more flexible. It is rare that a performer is equally as flexible in both directions.
Dances involving contortion are categorized by their choreography and can be very different depending on costuming and acting skills of the contortionist.
An adagio routine is a slow acrobatic dance that involves partnering and lifts. Some performers use props during their act such as hula hoops.
Take a look at our hula hoop video to see the basics and some beginner tricks you can try. Some contortionists juggle during their routines while others play musical instruments.
Another type of contortion dance is called a Spanish web that is done quite high in the air above the stage while the contortionist holds on to a thick rope suspended from the ceiling in a loop.