It's always interesting starting a new shibari intensive, you never know what people are going to need to improve their rope bondage and it's a fascinating moment of discovery. Lots of hard work to follow and people were showing real improvement by the end of the first day.
Well we had a great time in Charlottesville. We didn't get to see too much of the town but that's par for the course when we make these very short trips to teach and return home. In this intensive I added some things that I haven't been teaching before, my method TK, reverse prayer shibari and my version of the chest loading TK. I'd created the chest loading variant some years ago before going to Bound in Boston to teach and only showed it to one person while we were there (guess who). It was a little bit of a nervous moment for me, I've been working through various versions of my TK for several years refining it to make it do what I wanted aesthetically as well as structurally. It's been a big step for me to let it out in public officially. I'm really glad that people have received it so well. The next thing to be officially taught for the first time was my chest loading TK. I guess that some purists will have comments about this but I think it is something worth teaching. It's not something that's come up a lot but now that I've shown my solution to this problem which is quite different to the others so far seen it seems I should probably have been teaching it for a few years now. It got called a game changer from bottoms feeling the difference in it and I'm a bit mad at myself for not having taught it for the last few years. Feel free to ask for it in intensives from now on. The final new thing is my method reverse prayer shibari. Prior to deciding that [...]
I meant to blog about this event right after it happened and was frankly unforgivably lazy about blogging for the longest time. Now I've blogged about an event since the guilt pressure is finally high enough that I'm going to actually write this up. This was our first time in Vienna and our first time in Austria. Aside from the fact that we would get to see some of Vienna we were excited to see some friends for the first time in what seemed like ages. Wildties, Redsabbath, Saki Kamijoo and her model Mayumi Sumi. It's incredible to think that over the last couple of years we've met up with each other variously in London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Chicago and now Vienna. It frankly is incredible to think that this kind of thing now seems so perfectly natural. As usual I'm going to have to take a moment to mention the people that organise events like this. I have to say that they very probably do a better job than I could and we were well looked after being collected from the airport and well informed about everything that was going on. I especially have to say thank you to those that spared their time to show us round some of their magnificent city. It's really spectacular. But before that the festival itself. We were really pleased to be asked to open the festivals shows and the venue was great being in a brewery in the city. The bar section where the opening was held was dark and filled with old blackened wood. It provided a great setting for the opening and a great atmosphere for the performance with the audience close around [...]
Une soirée de performance, sous le signe du semenawa, à la Place des Cordes avec Akira Naka & Gorgone.
This was an unexpected little trip for us but a really nice one. We were asked to perform in Paris with Naka Akira and Gorgone. at Place des Cordes which is a very nice rope dojo. We live 15 minutes from an Airport but in usual style appropriate flights to Paris weren't available so we first had to drive to Birmingham to catch a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airport btw is a bit big and sprawling and it took a while to get to the appropriate customs, passport control and baggage. And then to find the exit and train. Once we'd found the right way it was only an hours journey on the train to catch a tube to get us close to the venue. Once there the first job was to get cleaned up from the unfortunate ordure of travelling. Sweaty and exhausting. It's a big of an unfortunate thing that though the flight to Paris is only about an hour, getting from your home to your destination can take over 8 hours of actual travel. Our first impresson of Place des Cordes was that it was a really good space and had a great feeling. The second was the huge grins that attend seeing Naka san again. Hugs, back slapping and greetings that make you realise how much you can miss people but also make you realise how many of your friends life far, far away. One friend there we hadn't seen in something like 4 years. It honestly didn't feel that long but when you look at it the time flies by. Not huge amounts to report on the afternoon that was left as most was spent on [...]
The after party performance night! I wanted to give this one a blog to itself as in the end it's a bit of a saga. To start with we'd had something like a total of 8 hours sleep over 3 days and frankly we felt like ass! I can't think of another way of describing it. We felt so bad that we had to say to DK (DallasKink) that we might not be able to do a show. We felt terrible, we looked worse, we had no music and hadn't any idea if we'd even make it through to the evening. We felt really bad for doing it but we were in truly terrible shape at that point. Five hour energy however is a thing and really helped out with a temporary boost. The more we thought about it the worse we felt. We really didn't want to let anyone down and for us we didn't want to let the event end on a flat note. So once we'd made it past the closing ceremony we went back to the room for showers and some preparation. I got a list of songs together and mailed them off. Then we just went to sleep for a couple of hours. I have to say it's amazing what even a couple of hours of sleep can do to revive you. We were ready in time and at the hotel when there was nearly another disaster. I had probably made a mistake about if we were getting a lift from the hotel. We were worried about time but then someone going to the party said that the shows didn't start till 11 and we relaxed a bit. This could [...]
Saturday, BED is now in full swing. Breakfast at the hotel and then on to teach our first class. It's an early one and we have to be there right at the crack of 10:45 in the morning! Pressure and time is about rope bondage torture and the class was packed. I've got to say that we had a great time teaching the class and especially towards the end when people had questions arising from the class. Some as usual ran slightly off the class topic but if it's contributing something useful I never mind that in the Q & A section. It's really great when a class has a positive effect for people and leaves them with something that helps them get more out of their rope play. I want to take a line here to say how very much I appreciate everyone who's said and written to say what the class gave them. It certainly also lead on to some excellent follow up conversations in the next couple of days. The next class that we were personally involved with was the Kinbaku 360 class co taught by Demonsix, Kazami Ranki, Ojipan, Faviola, Osaka Dan, Blue Risk and myself. The concept of this class looking at the development of the TK over time and the differences in execution and style even amongst today's practitioners where there is probably more variation than ever before is a very good one and I think made the point that there isn't really such a thing as a correct way to do a TK, though that of course doesn't exclude the fact that there are plenty of wrong ways to do one. As Kazami san said during the class [...]
I don't even know where to begin with this blog. BED was a complete blast from start to finish. The people of Dallas were great to us and the people of BED especially. This event really has a special atmosphere and has won a special place in our hearts. I'd like to say right off that this event treats presenters better than any conference I've been to in the USA. The team really made an effort to make us welcome and at home. I can't tell you how much we appreciate this kind of effort. It really made a difference to our stay. Highlights of the event include our first show in 6 months. Dinners with friends and seeing people improve in classes. I honestly do love it when you see someone make real progress right there in a class and take away things that can help them improve for a long time to come. It's a cool thing and I never grow tired of it. My sincere thanks to everyone that came. Next of course seeing Kinoko Hajime san perform again for the first time in a couple of years. BED has a really personal atmosphere, while there's quite a few people there and you cannot of course spend a lot of time with everyone but many people became familiar and more familiar to us. When we left we were really aware that we were leaving friends behind. The after party! The after party at TheChurchDallas was an amazing blast. We really had a fun time performing. Thanks to everyone who came and gave such amazing reactions, you really contributed to the atmosphere and our own experience on stage. I can't tell you what it's like to [...]
This was our first trip to LA and we were really looking forward to it for a variety of reasons. First off this trip wouldn't have happened without the good offices and organisation of our friends in LA. We sincerely thank you all for your amazing hospitality and help. The classes Saturday, April 19 One Rope Tension Sunday, April 20 Rope control and movement Unthinking rope I want to say what a pleasure it was to teach in LA at the Bordello of Decadence. This is a great space and we enjoyed teaching and playing there very much. At the classes every person that came showed improvement and I hope took away lessons to help them continue to improve after the classes. It's a great pleasure for me to see a class have a positive effect on those attending. Shopping We had a really good time shopping in Downtown's 'Little Tokyo' region. Great shops and people. We were able to get some things that we usually have to order direct from Japan at very reasonable prices and without British customs scalping us for import duty on even the smallest items. The people and shop keepers of Little Tokyo were very nice and helpful, I'd really recommend visiting if you get the chance. Culture We had to visit the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Fortunately while we were in LA there was an exhibition on Japanese American tattoo artists. Tattoo Exhibition Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo Los Angeles, California The exhibition was only there for a limited time so sadly you can't visit this after September 2014. Beach Finally we got to be really tourists seeing Hollywood and the beach. [...]