Artsy vs Freaky

I want to show you how even in something extreme like contortion there must be a balance, or things can get too far and from being beautiful and artistic they become inconceivable and sort of disturbing.

Take this picture of a faceframe pose from Zlata

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and this same pose, from Natasha King

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They both do the same pose, they are both talented contortionists, but I wouldn’t pick the first one as my favorite. Why? Aren’t they the same? No. Flexibility wise, the second is less extreme (not grabbing the knees and lifting the chest as high, feet are not completely flat on the floor), but way more beautiful and tasteful to me.

Another example, elbowstand with back arch (fold)

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and handstand with back arch (Zig Zag pose)

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Again, I’d pick the second one. More interesting and graceful. The first one is just too deep and foldy, it gives me a sense of no strength, no control, no emotion, like a lifeless noodle.

Another inconceivable example of a pose:

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I mean what is even going on here? No thanks. I’m sure this lady worked very hard for her skills (respect!) and I wouldn’t say no to some extra flexibility, but this is ugly to me!

What is beautiful to you? Maybe none of those pictures, but you can compare this post to many other things, like I don’t know, make up. Doesn’t too much make up make you look ridiculous and actually not pretty? Too much is too much, in anything.

I want to create something aesthetically pleasant with my body that people can love and appreciate, I want to impress but not scare. So long life to beautiful, delightful, elegant contortion ๐Ÿ™‚ No No to freaky, disturbing, tasteless body-bending.

11 responses to “Artsy vs Freaky

  1. I fully agree with you. Zlata is amazingly flexible, and the photography is well done, but there is something sleezy and certainly not beautiful, despite her nice traits. But what is the difference? Physical control may be it, but anybody who has seen Zlata move will say that she has great control. Could it be the spirit, the intention of the person? There are people with extreme flexibility such as Irina Kozakova who are beautiful to watch, yet others are not, like Alina Rupel, who is also amazingly talented, but who’s picture I don’t find beautiful. It is difficult to pin-point.

  2. sorry but these woman worked a lot harder than you and are way better than you will ever be so please dont be jealous of zlata and alina. its not there fault there better than you.
    btw alina can blow you away when it comes to handstands and anything for that matter. so do some research before to say stuff and you have no idea what your talking about.

  3. Don’t read my blog if u don’t enjoy it and I m talking about art probably u don’t even know what is it, not trying to compare myself to them obviously u don’t understand what I’m talking about so get lost

    • Bob I feel like the point Sofia is drawing just has to do with aesthetics which will always be subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? What you are arguing, who is “better” than who, I wonder how you determine “better” and why? Is ‘more’ simply better in your opinion? I don’t see Sofia disregarding any of these artists for their hard work on their craft, not one bit. She is crediting their achievements and knows how hard it is to get there. Your comment seems hostile and seems like you missed the point of the post. Maybe the extreme is beautiful to you, but there are others who want to use contortion to express strength and emotion through the body, not just display like a pretzel. Neither is wrong, or better or worse. She is not saying any more than her valid, hard earned perspective and you are clearly of the simplistic mind that there is a “better” or right or wrong about art. You’re entitled to your preference as we all are, but you make no critical or compelling argument in your comment. You just puked up some misguided rage it seems to me. Totally uncalled for.

  4. Hi Sofia! My name is Alan. I am a yoga teacher and a contortion trainer too. I just want to tell you that this website and the notes you share with us are really inspirational for me! I am a contortionist too, and I really loved the text you wrote about “yoga and contortion”. This one is absolutely great too! I mean, the difference between art and something completely freaky, and the way you explained that!
    I’m actually agree with you, but most of all, I like the way you show the world of flexibility to the people.
    I am from Argentina and I have a blog too, but it is only in spanish, I will translate this, or at least some notes, into english in the future.
    Anyway keep on training and writing and share everything! I have seen some pictures about you and I can tell that you are a Fabulous contortionist too! Regards from Agentina!.

  5. I agree with most of what u said, and I won’t attack any subjective points, but I beleive the first paragraph is a bit narrow minded. Some people may find the more extreme examples more beautiful, or at least not disturbing. I agree that many people might find the last example a bit strange, possibly because the artist didn’t intend for beauty but the other 2 you used, especially the one of Zlata, seemed to aim for a different effect as their comparison images.

    • General sense of beauty looks for harmony, grace, elegance: the model can be beautiful but her pose, surroundings etc can fail to deliver. I wrote this post a while ago and I should have phrased certain things differently maybe, but overall I always preferred Mongolian contortion instead of Russian because I found the first maintaining beauty in the extreme, the second finding the extreme in the extreme… If that make sense. I know some people might feel quite differently about it, but what I wanted to express was my point of view. To each its own..

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