Outside the Big Top

Meet Aleksei Goloborodko, Internationally Acclaimed Contortionist

We had the chance to chat with Aleksei Goloborodko, right as he came back from the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo.

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do at Cirque du Soleil?

My name is Aleksei Goloborodko, and I'm a solo contortionist for Cirque du Soleil, on LUZIA.


Do you remember what sparked your passion for circus arts and your discipline specifically?

I developed interest for circus arts when I was 4 years old. My passion came from attending a traditional circus show. I then asked my parents to take me to a circus studio where I started training seriously. Back when I started, I tried many other disciplines. I tried my hand at juggling, aerial gymnastics, and other stuff. Then my coach told me I should try contortion, because compared to other kids, I was more flexible.

And that’s the story of how it started for me! Training went very well, and the more I was training, the more I was seeing results, and the more motivated I got. And later on in my training, my coach was integrating other disciplines. He introduced elements of ballet dance and modern dance, elements of aesthetics, gymnastic, rhythmic gymnastics, Kung Fu Wushu. All of these together contributed something to my movement qualities.


A post shared by Aleksei Goloborodko (@galexey94)


What does the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo represent for you? Was it your first time participating?

In my opinion, this festival is like the Oscars of the circus world. Back in 2007, I performed in Monte-Carlo for New Generation in 2024, I performed there once again as an adult. For me, it means the world to be recognized as the best in my field: It’s a huge honor for me to be cemented as the best contortionist in the world. 


Can you explain to us how the festival works?

The festival works this way: there are 2 programs, known as Program A and Program B, and each program is its own complete show that can last for 2, 3, even 4 hours. Each program is performed twice. After the performances, the best acts are selected to perform in the Gala Concert. At the end of gala, there is an award ceremony where they give out the prizes. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Clowns are awarded to the best acts of the two programs.


How do you feel about the outcome of the competition? We’ve heard you won two awards!

I was awarded a Bronze Clown. And I also received the Prix Spécial from Journal Nice-Matin/Monaco-Matin. I'm happy and proud to have a be presented with two prizes.

Besides what the jury members thought, there are also many other opinions that are important to me. What the audience thinks, the opinions of people online, of people who will watch the video [of the performance] when it's released. All of this matters.

For me it was a pleasure and honor to be there for my art, and to see the standing ovation after my performance from all the artists and guests in the audience.

Photos by Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo

Was there something that blew your mind at the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo?

I was impressed by the festival itself because this year featured incredibly strong programs. There were so many powerful and incredibly good acts. In my opinion, most of them deserved a Gold Clown. But, of course, it couldn't be that easy, so the best of the best had to be determined.


A post shared by Aleksei Goloborodko (@galexey94)


You deserve a big rest after this, amazing performance. What do you do to relax on your time off?

Well, directly after the festival, I’m taking a short break. I will enjoy South Korea, sightsee, and visit this country we performed in for the past few weeks. And I’ll enjoy some much-needed rest before I go back to work on LUZIA.


Where can our readers see you perform in the next couple of months?

Right now, the cast and crew are all going on vacation, taking some time off before the next leg of our tour. LUZIA is first headed to Melbourne, Australia in March 2024. We will be setting up our Big Top across Australia until early in 2025.

More articles about