Here's the long overdue second part to the blogging of the Viennese rope festival at long last. So after the great opening night and some wonderful shibari followed by some wonderful beer, there's more good stuff to come. In our case this includes some classes to teach, some time with good friends and another show before the festival proper is all over. Our class is on suspension transitions and I have to say that I was very pleased how seriously everyone who came took the class requirements. They were all capable of doing the class and that's a great relief to me. It isn't always the case that people have the ability to assess their skill level objectively. Particularly satisfying in a class like this is to help those who have troubles related to relative weight and strength, this applies in the main to female tops with male bottoms. It's really great to see them execute transitions that they previously thought impossible with the benefit of improved technique. One of the great joys of teaching for me is seeing a tangible improvement in someone's bondage and seeing the joy that brings. We hadn't planned on doing a second performance but well we did. This in a very industrial looking section of the old Ottakringer brewery. It was cavernous and wow that ceiling is high! Pre show memories include much of the unique Viennese lemonade (Almdudler), watching other shows and skipping through the venue hand in hand with Kamijoo Saki. We had a great night of shibari with friends. Finally the end of the festival for us included a wonderful night at the Vienna shibari dojo with all its organisers, the people who had come to [...]
We had what I can only describe as a very intense and emotional time performing at the first London Festival of Rope Art. It was a wonderful time with my love and we'd like to thank everyone who shared this time with us. Here is the first gallery of that show by Amaury Grisel.
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 [...]
Well, I'm sitting here wanting to write about my experience at BED (Bondage Expo Dallas) this year and I really don't know where to begin. This event once again was just amazing. I really haven't been to a better run and friendlier event than this one. The team behind this event really go out of their way to make this event go smoothly and to take care of everyone there and I can say as a presenter that we've never felt so taken care of and welcome. I really have to mention not just the organisers but also the volunteers that make this event so special. People really give up their time and their own chances to take classes to make other people's Expo go well. Last year we extended our stay around the Expo to have some time where we weren't teaching or performing and to hang out with the people behind the event and some of the other presenters. The hospitality we get in Dallas is second to none and we love hanging out with the friends we've made there. I'm searching for a good way to put this, the team that run this event are really nice people. That's really an inadequate description though. There's not a single person running this event who isn't someone that you'd gladly hang out with. I've never known such a concentrated group of good people in one event. The event itself has a great atmosphere and never feels too crowded. One thing I love about it is that it's still small enough to have time to talk to people and pretty much everyone fits into the classes that they want. It can be a nightmare organising [...]
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 [...]
Learning that a photographic hero and inspiration, Norio Sugiuar would be there. Getting nervous about meeting him. Being so pleased to meet him and having the chance to get a print in person.Takeshi Nagaike san's good humour, charm and old school tying style. It was very much a pleasure to meet him. Getting to go to the Andersen Japanese gardens for the first time, picking up some nice hashi. Visiting the Asian market on the way back and getting an Agatsuma CD I didn't have. Saki Kamijoo san just being so infectiously fun and instantly fitting into the mind as one of those people that you're just always glad to see. Having some time with Milla Reika san and discovering the sweet, un-egotistical, enthusiastic and grounded person behind the mistress image. Iambic9 for being one of the most unassumingly nice and generous people I can think of. Tying Indigozebra who is just such a sweetheart. Getting to perform again (I'm aware that we may have run just a fraction over time for which I apologise). MarkDV8's generosity of spirit truly catching me off guard and really touching me. Tying friends in the dungeon. Being only the third person to really tie Beemo, thanks for the trust. Giving Amy Morgan a stressfull old school experience on the bamboo frame. Somewhat more seriously getting into it with Clover and then having a great time tying sugrah! That was hot and hot again. Getting some M0co jute to try. I've never had a single specific rope for Ichinawa but couldn't resist getting a piece of Oniroku Nawa for that purpose and as yet another souvenir. Getting a new kimono for Clover from the lovely Japanese lady who was [...]
I've had the rare pleasure of interviewing some great people from all around the world. This is the very first interview I've conducted so I hope it's not too bad. Whatever I fell short on, Scott more than made up for. This first interview is with Scott Smith. I really enjoyed doing this interview and I hope you enjoy hearing it just as much. It was a real pleasure to get Scott's thoughts on the Festival, bondage performances and more.
Part 1 Well apart from wishing that the event had a shorthand name that was less of a mouthful than "The London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage" or LFAOJB for short. I'm really looking forward to it again. Last year it has to be said was amazing. 10 performers over from Japan plus a few good home grown talents. This year there's more of a European flavour and even a few Americans and Canadians. There is still Kazami Ranki from Japan headlining, this is his second London festival. I'm specially looking forward to seeing Riccardo Wildties from Italy and Bob Ropemarks (not to mention Dutch Dame) from the Netherlands. Amy Morgan from America and.... Oh it's 02:30 here and I'm blogging. Knackered and forgetting lots of people. So I'll just put - others too numerous to mention right now. There are a couple of people we wish had come that we're going to miss too. This year will we hope be a bit relaxed for us. Aside from performing on the Friday I'm not teaching except for a few private sessions and we're not concretely booked into any of the other goings on. We really hope to spend a good amount of time socialising and getting to talk to some of the people that have been in the same place as us all over the world but we never got the time to sit down with. There looks to be a stellar line up of shows though I have to say I'm a bit sad that John Murakawa will not be performing this year. He's a real artist and he puts a tremendous amount of energy into the festival and his artistic input [...]
Twisted Leprechaun was Irelands first fetish festival. There is a lot goes into a festival event and I can only congratulate all the people who worked behind the scenes to make it so memorable. There are always problems behind the scenes but it's a testament to those behind the scenes that pretty much nobody attending the event saw them.
This was the second London festival but our first and it was an amazing experience. It was also our first encounter with Hajime Kinoko but not our last. The home of the London festival is the Resistance gallery in Bethnal Green. This converted railway arch has a great combination of space and intimacy and really worked well for this event. There were many highlights to this event, one of the first was a master class with Kinoko which was very informative. The second was the nights performances. There were performers from all over Europe and I think that I can best describe the quality of them as 'variable'. Generally they got better as the night wore on. The real star of the show was without a doubt Hajime Kinoko. His stage show really showed people what could be accomplished on stage and I think that his performance was a wake up call for many riggers who thought that they were pretty good already. The atmosphere all through the event was incredible and it was a real pleasure to make new friends from all through the rope loving world. I have many memories from this festival of things and conversations and wonderful things said; many of which I am not going to share here. I will say that some people are very kind and that I very much appreciate their words. Clover had a highlight herself, she was tied and suspended by Hajime Kinoko. (yes we have photographic proof)Clover with Hajime Kinoko Clover with Hajime Kinoko