Watch the incredible contortionist Sofie Dossi, age 14


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/09/watch-the-incredible-contortio.html


#2

I hate people like this… well no, I am envious. I have been inflexible all my life. Like even as a kid I was horribly inflexible. I have made a conscious effort to go from being able to barely get past my knees to now touching my toes. I realize now I need to work on other stretching, like bending backwards.

Awesome archery skills, though!


#3

Does she even have bones? Goodness.


#4

I need to stretch.


#5

Her core strength must be off the charts…


#6

They need to bring her in as Black Widow’s (ScarJo’s) little assassin sister in the next Avengers flick.


#7

If you get a chance, play poker with her. She always folds.


#8

Think it is too late for a 40yr old male who can barely touch his knees to start contortion?
I’m sure i’ll be inspired and planning my carrier change for at least 20min.


#9

Great act. Great strength, flexibility, balance and theatrically. But maybe don’t point the loaded weapon (the drawn bow) at the audience next time…

(This is the first contortionist I’ve seen do the bow trick with a bowl with with standard target points as opposed to a suction cup, so not pointing the drawn bow in the direction of the audience, or the judges, is a lot more important in this case.)


#10

I don’t think it was “loaded”. She pulled back the string and the arrow, but I don’t think the arrow was actually nocked at that point, making it completely safe. There’s guide that’s holding the arrow in place, and keeps it from dropping out as she moves to aim it at the target. Up until this point, the arrow has not been nocked. You then see her push the arrow forward, so that the nock is past the string. Then she pulls the arrow back, nocking it, and then shooting it. If the arrow had been nocked up to that point, there would be no need to have pushed it forward.

So, while it was perfectly safe, it nevertheless made Simon wet his pants.


#11

When I was running track and cross-country in high school, I could put my feet (or, one foot at a time) behind my head, it just developed from stretching for 15-30 minutes before practice every day.

Can’t do that no more.


#12

It looks nocked to me, but I don’t see her point it at the audience at any time.

If I were three or four decades younger I’d be trying to figure out how to get this young woman’s headphones off!


#13


#14

Now you’re just being ridiculous. Your comment implies that there are good puns.


#15

The video says otherwise. The bow was handed to her already nocked:

She raises the bow pointing towards the host who handed her the bow, then draws it sweeping it in the path of the on-stage hand-held camera operator, then high across the audience.

Remember that arrows fly in a ballistic parabola, not in a straight line. So the fact that the heavy arrow isn’t pointed in a straight line at the audience members in the orchestra section is irrelevant, that arrow could still hit them.

Pointing a very much real loaded weapon at the audience (assuming the video editing didn’t fake the presence of the live audience) is very irresponsible and un-professional, and presumably condoned by the production company which previews the acts in advance (with a full dress rehearsal) of the final taping of the show.

Always aim loaded weapons in a safe direction. The full to capacity audience section of a theater is not a safe direction. I teach archery and I’ve staged archery on stage as part of theatrical productions. Aiming real weapons at the audience is a big, big no, never, nohow, noway ever.


#16

Perhaps, but it’s difficult to tell if she unnocked it while drawing it back, since the video cuts away. But there’s no doubt that she has to nock the arrow before she takes the shot.


#17

It is definitely nocked on the bowstring when handed to her. The Whisker Biscuit arrow rest doesn’t hold the arrow stiffly enough to keep the arrow at 90 degrees without the arrow being nocked. Plus you can totally see that the bow is nocked in the video.

While it is possible that Ms. Dossi deftly and completely surreptitiously un-nocked the arrow then re-nocked it before shooting it, the simpler explanation is that the bow is exactly what you see. And, frankly, trying to surreptitiously un-nock the bow while drawing it is probably more likely to cause the string to slip from her fingers.

You can posit all sort of excuses for her actions, but you have no actual evidence for them other than your disbelief that she could be as irresponsible on stage as she appears to be.


#18

My mother was a contortionist and my father was a clairvoyant, so I can foresee my own end.


#19

I’d like to know the bow’s pull. I’m guessing it must be pretty low.


#20

Dunno off hand what that particular take down recurve bow’s draw weight is, especially since the actual weight on the fingers (well, toes) depends on how far drawn the bow is rather than its rated draw weight, but I can tell you that a 10 pound rated bow can launch an arrow over 150 yards. Don’t under estimate light draw weight bows just because hunters are obsessed with super powerful bows for long distances, flatter trajectories and clean kills. A light draw weight bow is still dangerous to bystanders if used in an unsafe manner.

An arrow is thin and pointy, so it takes little force to make it penetrate a human body. It might take a very “lucky” shot from a very light weight bow to the neck or other unprotected spot to be lethal, but pretty much any hit by an arrow is going to be injurious. The low amount of force of a kids’ starter bow, such as ten to thirty pounds, may not sound like much, but would you let someone strike you in the gut with, say, an ice pick using “only” ten pounds of force? I’d hope not. Same goes for being shot by Ms. Dossi’s bow.

Anyway, I should add that I thought her act was a good mix of skills and I think the cut of the costume worked well for her, though at times the dark outfit made her hard to see.