Alexey Goloborodko

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Alexey Goloborodko
BornDecember 1994 (age 23)
Tula, Russia
Other namesSnakeman
Years active1998-Present
Known forMinute of fame, Voyage de la Vie
Notable workmost flexible human on the world

Alexey I. Goloborodko (Russian: Алексей Голобородько, pronounced: Al-ix-EY Ga-la-ba-RROJ-ka, born December 1994) is a contortionist[1] who has been described by many[who?] as the most flexible human on the planet. He was born in Tula, Russia. In addition to contortion and flexibility, he has trained in classical and modern dance and Chinese martial arts. This helps to add fluency, grace and elegance to his contortion performances. He has performed in a variety of arts festivals and competitions, television programs, circuses, and shows. He is currently in the Cirque du Soleil show Luzia.

Early life[edit]

Alexey's mother relates stories about how his natural flexibility was such that he would startle strangers on buses, or shop assistants fitting him with shoes, even when he was a very young child.[2] He was then spotted by his coach-to-be, Vladislav Afanasievich Rodin, in the Circus Circle in Tula.

Rodin had 30 years previously trained his son - also named Alexey - in what he calls a synthesis of classical dance, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, modern dance, martial arts and extreme flexibility of the body. Years later, after the son had moved abroad, he met a promising young boy in the Circus Circle. He offered to give free, intensive, one on one training to this boy - Vladimir Gagarin - who in his turn developed into an award-winning contortionist. However, for personal and family reasons, Gagarin left the scene in his teens. Rodin was saddened and disillusioned by this, and disinclined to take on additional boy trainees.

When he met Alexey, though, he was won over by the latter's enthusiasm and determination, and changed his mind. A close collaboration began, which continues to this day. A room in the Goloborodko family's flat was converted into a gymnasium for Alexey, and he trained for several hours each day, not only with Rodin, but also with specialist dance instructors. Natalia Perepelkina (leading teacher of the Tula branch of the Moscow Institute of Culture) - taught classical dance. The famous dancer Svetlana Shishkina taught modern dance, while Maria Nikolaeva taught "Jazz Style" dance. Wushu graduate Shaolin Igor Kovalenko instructed him in various Chinese martial arts, "wushu" being another term for referring to these arts. This team trained him in seven distinct performances, called "The Swan", "Tango," "Petrushka", "Rock," "Mowgli", "God of the Sun" and "Obsession." [3][4] Alexey has recently stated that his repertoire now stands at ten different acts.[5]


Festivals and awards[edit]

He has participated in many circus and arts festivals and competitions. Details of some of them are available, and these are listed below. Rodin has stated that Alexey won medals at ten such competitions in the period 2004 - 2007.[4]

  • Winner of first prize for his contortion performance at a Circus Festival in Russia in 2003 [1][6]
  • Bronze medalist at the international children's circus competition in Monte Carlo, Dec 2007 [7]
  • Medal winner at the Moscow Youth Festival of Circus Arts[8]
  • Medal winner at the Circus Festival in the city of Ivanovo[8]
  • Winner at the Festival of arts and sports Golden Lily Kiev, 27 Oct 2007 [8]
  • Special Jury Prize - "Dancing Rubber" Sixth Moscow International Youth Festival of Circus Arts 2007 [9]
  • Winner of a gold medal at the VII Youth Delphic Games of Russia, Novosibirsk, May 2008. Absolute winner in the "Circus" category [7][10]
  • Third place - Second World Delphic Games Saratov, Russia. Circus - Age group 10-30, 19–25 September 2008[11]
  • Silver Medal at 8th China Wuhan International Acrobatics Art Festival, Hubei Province, China, 26 Oct 2008[12]
  • Youngest participant in the III Festival of Circus and Arts, Ishevsk, Russia, March 2010 [13]

Television appearances[edit]

A documentary program about him was made for Russian television channel REN-TV, in 2003, when he was aged nine.[1]

In late 2007 Alexey took part in the very popular and influential TV talent competition:- Минута Славы, or Minuta Slavy - "A Minute Of Fame". It's the Russian show from the "Got Talent" franchise. This was the event that made him a household name throughout his country, and brought him to the attention of many abroad as well.[14]

In the first round he performed a ballet and contortion routine: The Swan. The musical accompaniment was Ave Maria by Charles Gounod, played on wine glasses, crystal xylophone and bass guitar by the St. Petersburg trio Crystal Harmony. There was a very enthusiastic response from the audience, and he won easily.

In the second round the act was: Sun God, based on a classical Indian dance. Alexey's elaborate costume was designed to look as though it was made from gold and jewels. The music was a recorded version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega. Again there was an ecstatic response from the audience, and again he won the round.

In the third round Alexey performed Obsession, his trademark contortion act using two folding chairs. The audience loved it, the judges apparently did not, and the eventual winner of the competition was Dmitry Bulkin, with his acrobatic performance on a vertical pole. There was a complaint by Rodin that Bulkin had misled the organizers of the competition, by claiming to be an amateur, and a car mechanic by trade, when he had actually performed in the Cirque du Soleil, and other prestigious circuses.[15]

In February 2010 he took part in the Channel TF1 French TV Talent Show Qui Sera le Meilleur ce Soir?[16] He won the first round, a one on one competition with twelve-year-old Swiss contortionist Zoé Pauli-Bruttin. In the final, however, the judges opined that he came across as a professional intruding into a contest for amateurs, and he lost to Loan and Emeryck, two much younger children with a dance act. Thus he was the accuser last time, the accused this time.

Live performances[edit]

Alexey has become a regular performer at the circus, having worked at Circo Massimo, Rome, in July 2008, Circus Sarasota, Florida, in Feb/March 2009, and Circus Conelli, Zurich, in November 2009. He has also performed on board a cruise ship SuperStar Virgo, operating in South-East Asia, in June–August 2009.

From June 2010 to June 2011 he appeared as "The Game Master... a friendly and mischievous sprite"[17] in "Voyage de la Vie" at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. This production, billed as a "circus theatre spectacular", tells the story of a boy's coming of age, through song and dance and circus arts.[18]

During November and December 2011 he appeared in a variety show at the GoEasy Charisma Cabaret Lounge in Würenlingen, Switzerland.[19]

In April 2016 he joined the world-renowned circus company Cirque du Soleil, performing contortion with their big top touring show Luzia.[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Alexey Goloborodko pics". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  2. ^ "6 Московский Международный Молодежный Фестиваль-конкурс циркового искусства 2007". 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  3. ^ "Гуттаперчивый мальчик". 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  4. ^ a b "Мальчик-каучук Алеша тянется за миллионом - Архив Тульских новостей -". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  5. ^ "С 2 по 7 марта 2010 года в Ижевске пройдет третий Международный Фестиваль циркового искусства". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  6. ^ "Alexey Goloborodko's (age 9) award winning contortion performance in 2003". YouTube. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  7. ^ a b Юлия Богомолова. "В Туле подрастают шахматный гений и один из самых гибких детей в мире // TULA.KP.RU Комсомольская правда в Туле". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  8. ^ a b c "Сцена-2008 | Национальная детcкая премия". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  9. ^ Призёры / 2007. "CircusFestival". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  10. ^ "Победители и призеры :: Седьмые молодежные Дельфийские игры России :: Дельфийские игры России :: Дельфийские игры". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  11. ^ "Международный Дельфийский комитет". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  12. ^ "Resorts World Sentosa Official Website | Singapore Attractions". 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  13. ^ "Туляк Алексей Голобородько снова ставит рекорды - Архив Тульских новостей -". Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  15. ^ "Дикая подлость "Минуты славы" - Архив Тульских новостей -". Archived from the original on 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  16. ^ "Vidéo Et le meilleur contorsionniste est... - Replay TV". 2010-02-13. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  17. ^ Resorts World Sentosa (2010-07-02). "Resorts World Sentosa Blogs: Embark on the journey of life". Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  18. ^ "Resorts World Sentosa Official Website | Singapore Attractions". 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  19. ^ "Charisma Varieté Lounge - GoEasy Freizeit & Event Center". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  20. ^ "Cirque du Soleil's Luzia draws old-time oohs and ahhs". The Globe and Mail. 2016-07-29.

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