By Dominique Jando
Hugo Zamoratte was born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina. He was working as an accountant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Buenos Aires when, at the age of twenty, in 1955, he decided to go to a gymnastic school to keep in shape, and eventually competed nationally until 1963. While he was serving in the Argentinean National Guard in 1964, he dislocated his arm, and discovered that he could dislocate his joints, which added to his already remarkable flexibility. He began to further develop it through the study yoga for the next six years.
Zamoratte came to the realization that accounting was not his true calling, and he starting developing an act that could use his flexibility and his yoga training. When his act was ready, Hugo he made his professional debut in 1973, in Circo Tihany, which was then performing in Lima, Peru, and then embarked on a career that led him to circuses, nightclubs and variety shows all over South America.
Constantly training, Zamoratte almost lost his life in 1982, in Santiago, Chile: Practicing his act in his hotel room, he got stuck in his famous bottle (see video), whose door had locked accidentally. After forty minutes in a very uncomfortable position, Zamoratte was beginning to hallucinate. He was saved by his knowledge of yoga... and the timely visit of a bewildered housecleaner who had come to clean his room. She opened the bottle door and freed the exhausted contortionist!
While he was performing South America, Zamarotte was noticed there by Tito Gaona, who mention Zamoratte's extraordinary act to Paul Binder as a good possibility for the Big Apple Circus. Zamoratte made his American debut in 1987, in the Big Apple Circus production of 1001 Arabian Nights, in which he impersonated Aladdin's Genie in the Bottle. He was an immediate success, and soon, he was sought over by major circuses, nightclubs and variety shows all over the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
- Video: Zamoratte, Contortionist, in the Big Apple Circus production of 1001 Arabian Nights (1987)