After falling gravely ill, the unconscious, bed-ridden artisan
Pedro Linares dreamt of a strange forest where the trees, rocks,
clouds, and animals morphed into hybrid creatures before his very
eyes - all shouting "Alebrijes! Alebrijes!" Upon recovery, Linares
recreated the creatures in cardboard and papier-mâché.
Thus was born the famous alebrije figurine of which the
contortionist is the living ebodiment.
An artist enveloped in a mystical aura amid glowing candles
puts his body in knots with astounding ease and flexibility.
He twists his body in unimaginable positions, and even
manages to touch the back of his head with his pelvis!
Meet Alexey Goloborodko, a contortionist, and at just 21 years of age,
perhaps the most flexible human on the planet. Born in Tula, Russia,
he is more than he seems. As well as contortion and flexibility,
Alexey has trained in classical and modern dance, and Chinese martial
arts, which helps to add fluency, grace, and elegance to his
performances. And it shows. He is presented to the audience as a
serpent upon his perch – in this case a bridge (surrounded on all
sides by “lit” candles) – tangled in a ball of limbs. As the lights
raise – and the audience gasps – he untangles himself to begin one of
the best contortionist routines this side of KOOZA.
Alexey is nothing short of amazing. He is as talented as he is lithe;
eliciting a number of gasps from the audience as he contorts his
diminutive body into various shapes and holds. My only critique of the
presentation comes not with Alexey’s performance, but with the
accompanying setting and scene: rather than continue with the various
inspirational and dream-like locations of Mexico, the creators chose
to mix it up, by wrapping the presentation in flavors from the Indian
sub-continent. I find this unfortunate. While singer/character Manesh
Vinayakram (who seemingly makes his one and only appearance here) is
talented, his presence seems wasted and banal. The mariachi costume he
wears doesn’t flatter him in the slightest either. Still, the overall
aesthetic is pleasing, and there’s no doubting Alexey’s bendable
Our journeyman has ridden across the land on a bicycle, played in a
pick-up game of football, swam in the azure-colored waters off the
coast, wrestled with persnickety waterfalls and vines, now in this
last bit he enjoys a little time under the waves, snorkeling and
scuba-diving into the depths of Mexico’s seas. But he’s not alone!
First, in a tribute to jaws, a group of sharks chase him and his
companion ever deeper. And later, he mixes in with a group of prickly
cactuses who just want to be in his trip photos!