Araz Gamzaev, contorsionist

"the problem is that I am growing"


He bends as a rubber man. He is 14 years old, he comes from Azerbaidjan, he is a son of an authentic Cossack horseman of the Moscow Circus and he makes get stucked to their seats the people that fills these days the Circ Raluy in Sabadell

Araz Gamzev, 14, doesn't lose his touched smile of adolescent mustache neither when he pus his legs aruound his neck or when he crosses his arms behind the back to catch his hands in the stomach. Chilling.

 - How do you make it?

- What?

- How do you bend that way?

- It´s gymnastics. And a lot of training (with Italian accent).

- But passing the ankle by the nape must have a technique.

- It is only to relax the muscles. and to feel them. I almost know all the muscles of my body very well, I know the shape they have, which direction they take, and how to move them separately.

- (His father speaks) Do you know what the horses move in the side when a fly bothers them? He does it too.

- Are your muscles different to mine?

- They are the same, but stretched. Normal people have their musculature sleeping. It is necessary to wake up them little by little.

- Anyway...

- There are people that think that a doctor has taken off muscles or bones from my body. But it is not certain, I have everything in their place.

- But, where is the trick?

- In the daily training, nothing else. When I was 4, my father (he smiles), had already massaged my whole body and stretched out the extremities.

- Why did he do that?

- He is gymnast, Cossack horseman, and he suffered because I was very weak and didn't walk until I was 2. But he trained me so much that I was already a contortionist as a child.

- Is it under obligation to begin very early in this profession?

- Yes. Nobody can begin to be a contortionist at 20. You must take advantage of the tenderness of the age.

- That is to say that there is a obstinate father behind each contortionist.

- I thank mine a lot because he has given me a profession for a lifetime. At the beginning it is very hard, but once you have gotten it it is very well.

- How much do you train?

- Every day I make an hour and a half of exercises. And I have to make it until I have 20.

- And then?

- From 20 or 21 I will no longer grow and I will be able to train less. The problem is that now I am growing and my muscles are different every day. For that reason I cannot lose neither a day of training.

- How exaggerated.

- No, no If I stop to train one or several days the muscles become stones.

- Will you always go with your father?

- No, at 21 I will already have passport and I will be able to travel alone.

- What exercise are you resisted to?

- If I train, none.

- Is a problem to be strong?

- Of course, I don't lift weights neither anything resemblance. I need force in some arms muscles to make the vertical one. But without hardening them because then I could not bend. This is not bodybuilding.

- Do the women have it easier?

- To the women goes better the Cau-Chú, the Chinese back contortionism.

- Are you ruining your body?

- Yes! (he shows a perfect array of white teeth).

- I find that you have not understood. I say if you harm yourself...

- Ah not! This is very good for the body, for the circulation, for the flexibility, for everything. In the India they make contortionism to maintain the health.

- You will have injured yourself.

- Well, some sprain, a couple of times, as a child. But you recover inmediatly.

--To see you gives chills.

- Yes. There are ladies that say «I don't want to look, I don't want to look», but they cover his eyes with the open fingers and they don't stop looking.

- How many are like you in the world?

- I don't know it, maybe not many because soon I will make world tour.

- Don't tell me.

- (his father show me the contract of an italian «non circus» theater) See? now we will go home, to Bakú, and then they will take us to Los Angeles in October, then to Hong Kong and Seoul, then to Melbourne and Perth in Australia in 2003 February and then in New York (he has illuminated the face)

- Is your illusion to go to New York?

- Yes!

- Going to a different schools every ten days apparts you from have friends?

- No. I have friends in all the schools.

- I gess You are the first one in gymnastics.

- Yes clear, it is normal. But it is called Physical Education.

- Why do you call it yoga?

- Well, so that it sounds well. They are yoga postures aren´t they?




Every morning he washes himself in the sink of the old railcar and goes to the Ferran Casablancas institute where he attends his course during the 10 days that Circ Raluy will be the in Sabadell.

At 1 o'clock he returns to the car where their father and teacher has prepared him a chicken with vegetables that they eat besides to a mini-television. They think of their mother and brother, who are in Bakú (Azerbaidjan), and he returns to school. In the afternoon he arrives on time at the fair circus to train a minimum and to act like a star in the 18'15 o'clock.