Interview with a contortionist: Liberty Barros

An international rising star

We asked some questions to Liberty Barros, a contortionist from Slough in the UK who is recently in demand all over the world. Having only recently started her career, she has already performed all over the world in youth circuses visiting Thailand, Malaysia, Portugal and the United States.

Even in this short time she has featured in international publications, notably the Daily Mail, MSN, AOL and Bild who have all billed her as ‘The Most Flexible Girl in the World” as well as the “Real life Elastigirl” referencing the character from the hit Pixar film The Incredibles

What Liberty had to say

Hey Liberty!, What got your interested in Contortion to begin with?

It was watching Rihanna dance and then gymnastic videos which got me to think about moving my body in extreme ways.

How long have you been performing?

I have been performing for about one year and have always tried to create my own style with my performance, that has taken me far. I’ve performed with Thai dance shows in Thailand and in Malaysia, UK and the US to date.

What have been your biggest challenges as a performer?

Sadly there’s always been a racist element to overcome. Aside from that there’s always pressure to perform in a specific style, like the Mongolian contortionist style. A lot of places I’ve been to see, their training hasn’t been the safest simply because contortion is such a niché practise so the research into the physiological aspects isn’t there. Keeping fit and healthy is really important.

What advice would you give young people trying to get into performing?

Just to not go along with everything. Make sure an adult you trust reads the contract properly and only do things you are comfortable with. Of course, also have fun and be free to create as audiences like to see something new.

Do you have a coach currently?

I’m self taught with contortion and like to develop my own routines, but I have recently recruited a top strength and conditioning coach, Kristaps Valdmanis @coachkristaps. He’s been excellent at spotting imbalances and he caters exercises to support the routine I’m doing in terms of preservation and safety of my spine, shoulders and health. I also begun working with Victor Togunde @theacromachine and he’s been so much fun to play acro with!

Are you performing with a show or solo currently?

I guest on shows and bring my routine. I have performed styles to fit circuses but I always feel restricted doing it. It can be fun but I much prefer a blank canvas as I cam show poses I like and more extreme. I’m creating shows with calisthenics groups at the moment in support of mental health. We have eight shows coming next year, can’t wait!

What has been your biggest challenge as a contortionist?

I’m a natural front and back bender so the challenges I set myself have revolved around being flexible in other ways such as showing splits in my routines. I do like to challenge myself! 😀😀

What is your biggest inspiration?

Being a better person and seeing a better world motivates me. Too many wars, violence, hunger and just so many issues. The ideas I conceive for my performance I hope inspires people to see that what can be conceived can be made real. Let’s all concentrate on a better world. If it cam be conceived it can be done! 🙏🙏