Monday, 3 June 2013

Japanese rope bondage, stirred

At the pre-show seminar Dragonrope and Azooka cheerfully demonstrate how to tie. They are Swiss. Dragonrope describes his actions in German; Azooka repeats what he says in English, while being tied. 'Show her you're for real. Breathe on her neck. You can breathe like Darth Vader.'

I feel as if I'm at a performance of Hansel und Gretel with surtitles - the scene where Gretel teaches Hansel how to dance.

But I'm at Bound at the Flying Dutchman in Camberwell, this time with Lucy Lyons, an artist who is currently drawing Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man - or rather his skeleton and casts - and falling in love with his dignity, vulnerability and the inevitable beauty he shares with all natural forms.

Together with pens and brushes I'm using my new toy, a Starbucks coffee-stirrer. I like drawing with it because it's springy, like a quill.

Dragonrope casually suspends himself before the main show. I've seen girls suspend themselves, sleek and nimble like a circus act. This is chunky and dynamic, closer to sport.

In addition to the Swiss couple, the other performers are Bruce Esinem and Gorgone, Nina Russ and MaYa Homerton, and Will Hunt and Mariko RopeDancer.

Nina, a born-again gardener, says that Japanese rope bondage is like growing vegetables: when you start to tie someone, you don't know exactly what you'll end up with.

Lots of pictures if you scroll down.

















Dragonrope in self-suspension




Will Hunt and Mariko RopeDancer


Members of the audience




Starbucks coffee stirrer


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