Best Contortionist - 2002
La Candela, Teatro ZinZanni
Midway through this cirque fantastique of pantomime, acrobatics, cabaret, and operetta, a graceful and bewitching creature appears in the spotlight and twists, undulates, curves, and coils her lithe and supple body into the most amazing shapes and configurations. She is La Candela the Contortionist, played by one Svetlana, a Russian dancer who has been studying this ancient art since she was a child. A graduate of the Kiev State Circus School, she has also performed at such European megavenues as the Apollo, the Wintergarten, and the Tiger Palace. Her part in Teatro ZinZanni isn't large enough to do justice to her pliant, lissome talents, but when she's not onstage you can enjoy the nonstop vaudeville, the antique circus tent, and the pretty good five-course meal served throughout the show.