Not all TEDx presenters speak in the traditional sense of the word. Many sing, dance, contort and do dazzling acrobatics. Since the TEDx program’s launch in 2009, we have seen some spectacular physical performances curated by local organizers. As we celebrate TEDx’s 5,000th event and 20,000th talk — we felt it was only right to highlight some of the best for you in a playlist.
A human video game: Siro-A at TEDxTokyo
This performance art group uses their bodies and light projections on cubes and screens to glorious end, in what feels more like a music video than a talk.
Acrobatic leapfrog: Stunt Double Circus at TEDxYouthOttawa
How much height can one get from a pogo stick? Acrobats Joey Albert, Paul Perreault, Fred Gryzbowski and Nick McClintock show us.
A ballet of chimes: Scapino Ballet at TEDxRotterdam
This dance is music to the ears. As the dancers sway, their chime belts add another dimension.
The human beatbox: Nate Ball at TEDxCambridge
Nate Ball explores the bounds of his vocal chords, using only his body to create amazing instrumentation.
Breakdancing to the violin: Dr. Draw & Gadfly at TEDxToronto
A look at what happens when a breakdancing troupe collaborates with an electric violinist.
The musical contortionist: Anudari at TEDxUlaanbaatar
Contortionist Anudari shows her amazing ability to fold, an art she has practiced since age 6. The highlight of the clip is when she plays a musical instrument while balancing on a stick — held in her mouth.
A balancing act: Cirk Show at TEDxPrishtina
Here, the winners of “Albanian’s Got Talent” show off their impressive balancing skills.
Blindfolded kung fu: Ross Sargent at TEDxGranta
A kung fu expert doesn’t need to see to fight. Here Ross Sargent grapples while blindfolded.
Aerial art: Allie Cooper at TEDxSantaCruz
In this gravity-defying performance, Allie Cooper demonstrates aerial arts to music by LoWGritt and Sight.
A circus of two: Troupe Vertigo at TEDxUSC
The circus is about people working in unison. In this talk, Aloysia Gavre and Rex Camphuis of the Troupe Vertigo Circus explain the rationale behind their work — and demonstrate how to serve wine with one’s feet.
The Earth Harp: Andrea Brook at TEDxKC
How do you play the world’s longest stringed instrument, a harp that is more than 1,000 feet in length? Andrea Brook shows that it takes the whole body, while accompanied by Onyay Pheori and Pat Adams.
Projected dance: The Grey Ones at TEDxSoCal
Another example of the dramatic effects of dance combined with visual projection.
A juggling gymnast: Maro at TEDxTokyo
This juggler doesn’t need both his feet on the ground. Instead, he incorporates beautiful movement while keeping all six balls in the air.
Pair Acrobatics: Tuk & Sofie at TEDxCopenhagen
Using moves culled from cheerleading and Cirque du Soleil, these two acrobats use each other as jungle gyms.
A traditional dance: Mizuho Asano at TEDxTokyo
Mizuho Asano shows off the beauty of the traditional Japanese dance, Noh Mai.