July 15 – 17

Weekend Immersion: Contortion

students training with a contortion coach

About this Immersion

Are you ready to dive into the art of bending your body with control and strength? Join us for this in-depth approach to contortion for students that are ready to take their flexibility training to the next level and learn how to use flexibility to enhance their overall training and performance. You will be guided through a specially-designed curriculum that emphasizes the foundation of contortion training including:

  • leg flexibility techniques that include active and corrective stretching exercises
  • back flexibility and skill work including back bends, walkovers, elbow stands, chests stands, and more
  • balancing and stability—hand balancing and core work are vital for strength and injury prevention
  • creative movement—exploring your flexibility and building endurance through improv and choreography



Stephanie Abrams

18 & up (or permission of instructor)

Friday 5 – 8 pm
Saturday 10 am – 1 pm & 130 – 330 pm
Sunday 10 am – 1 pm

Participants must have a current and regular flexibility training practice and be comfortable ‘working out’ for three hours at a time in their field (circus, gymnastics, dance, yoga, etc). They must be able to hold a split for one minute on both sides (though it is not necessary to be flat to the floor); hold a bridge (press up from the ground) for one minute, and hold a handstand against a wall for one minute. It is also helpful to do a back bend from standing and return from standing, but is not required.


Stephanie Abrams is an award-winning mime and director with over 30 years of experience in the theatre. She began her performing career at the age of 13 and then ran away to San Francisco to join the circus just after high school. Legendary circus coach, Master Lu Yi, took her under his wing, and she spent the next 4 years training intensely in contortion and acrobatics at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts (now Circus Center). After performing around the US and in Hong Kong as a contortionist, Stephanie created Kinetic Theory Experimental Theatre and went on to win awards at the 2001 San Francisco Fringe Festival for her original show “Stranger and Stranger.” She went on to create another five original shows with the company that were performed around the Bay Area, all of which received public and critical acclaim. She moved to Los Angeles and opened Kinetic Theory Circus Arts in 2008 and shifted her focus to her circus-theatre work. Stephanie has written and directed more than 25 original productions and served as artistic director and dramaturg for many others. Her work has been performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, New York City, Washington DC, and in 10 countries, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. Her unique approach to circus and physical theatre training and performance has helped launch the circus careers of many professional circus artists. Her students have graduated from Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, Ecole de Cirque de Quebec, and are performing with some of the top circus companies in the world including Cirque du Soleil and 7 Fingers.

Copyright © 2019 New England Center for Circus Arts
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