Shannen Jones also known as The Girl With No Bones, is a Gold Coast local and one of the many talented artists featuring in this years’ Bleach* Festival. She’s a world class entertainer who has already performed at such prestigious gigs as the Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. So what’s all the fuss about? Get ready for the slightly bizarre! Shannen is a mind-boggling contortionist and acrobatic archer.
You’ll watch in awe as this topsy-turvy star picks up a bow and arrow with her feet and fires at her target – sometimes held by a willing volunteer. Her act has it all: skill, strength, suspense and awe. She’s able to twist, manipulate and dislocate her body in ways that are by no means ordinary. We caught up with Shannen to hear about how she came to be a contortionist and her favourite spots on the Gold Coast .
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have been living on the Gold Coast since I was 4 years old. I’m a Robina local.
What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast is a really diverse space. I enjoy living close to the beach and simultaneously being around the corner from Springbrook National Park. Brisbane is just an hour away and Byron Bay in the other direction. The airport is close to home and as a result of this, everything seems so accessible.
Tell us about what you do.
I am a professional circus artist and I specialise in Contortion and Foot Archery. I also have training in hula hoops, aerial hoop and acrobatics.
Talk us through how you came to be a contortionist?
I started off as a Rhythmic Gymnast when I was 5 years old and trained almost 10 years in the sport. I was never the best in the team but I always had a natural love for performing and was very hypermobile. This led me to dance and circus classes where I trained meticulously. I was signed as an emerging artist at Aerial Angels Academy in 2018 where they developed an act for me. I have been performing professionally for almost 3 years now. I train about 25 hours per week aside from gigs; which includes stretch and strength programs, creative development for my acts and repeatedly training them. It’s a complete lifestyle, from eating plant-based to injury prevention and recovery methods.
What are some of the best things about your job?
I love that travel is a huge part of my work. I love how many artists I am able to connect with and take inspiration from each show. I love the freedom and expression that this art form has given me. I feel like a vessel of creativity and this energy is evident through my performance. I love the energy exchange on stage between the performer and audience.
What have been some of the highlights of your career to date?
I performed in the Big Top at Glastonbury Festival in 2018. I toured my street show around the UK last year and Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a highlight. Adelaide Fringe Festival too.
What is your plan for the rest of 2020?
I am in the process of designing a new prop with an amazing designer Sam Prest. I am training and creating more than ever; preparing myself for the next season of shows.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast
Coffee spot: Parkway Coffee in Robina.
Cafe: Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach.
To see Shannen perform, make sure you check out her performances at the Bleach* Festival here.