Wahnsinn… Oh! – Wut… Ach! Jammer!

(Mainly because supernaut has been discovered at Parsifal, so I can no longer entertain the fancy I’m writing for my own amusement … wait! no! yes! Still writing for my own amusement but now acutely aware that Parsifal, Kundry, Blumenmädchens and others are reading.)

A few days of not writing. We did a run on Saturday, I stood in and was unbound by Andrew (Parsifal). The first time through I was thinking, ‘Ow they really are loud! Wow, my eardrum is pulsing in time with their vibrato … I’m not sure if this is painful or ticklish … wuuh! Anna is loud! shall just bury me ear in Andrew’s side for a moment, while pretending it’s part of my movement”. The second time I was thinking, “Oh! there’s a big blob of black paint on Andrew’s white trousers, right where I want to put my head … ”

Mostly though I was just lost in enjoying the experience, two utterly breathtaking singers on either side and the physical effect their voices had on me while bound in rope and being untied, something I’d like to do more of – actually the whole process has made me think, “Directing opera? Brilliant!” and wondering how I can do this more often.

Today we shared the studio with the dancers and contortionists, working with Anna on her introduction. This scene is really quite fierce, Klingsor calling her up with, “Herauf! Herauf! Zu mir! Dein Meister ruft dich Namenlose, Urteufelin, Höllenrose! Herodias warst du, und was noch? Gundryggia dort, Kundry hier: Hieher! Hieher denn! Kundry! Dein Meister ruft: herauf!”, the names he uses against her – it is violence, and she, as if to herself out of delirium, “Ach! – Ach! Tiefe Nacht… Wahnsinn… Oh! – Wut… Ach! Jammer! Schlaf… Schlaf… tiefer Schlaf… Tod!”

I’ve been reading Nietzsche in On the Genealogy of Morality and Nietzsche Contra Wagner, particularly his passages on Parsifal, also watching Syberberg’s film of Parsifal I managed to finally find in its entirety on YouTube, thinking of this tension between sexuality, sensuousness, corporeality, lust and its obverse, perhaps best captured where Kundry mocks Klingsor, “Haha! – Bist du keusch?” but equally so in the nature of Parsifal himself.

Today also I found myself suspended for around half an hour. Definitely I’m getting used to this. It’s still, and always will be an endurance, but for the moment, I can find some comfort in hanging. Dasniya and I have been looking at photos of Shibari, some from Arisue Go, others from wherever I found them, looking at decoration, different figures, also Bo Shibari, where bamboo poles are inserted between rope and flesh, thinking of ways we can fill out the forms in the time we have.

I’ve been especially drawn to ones where a foot is laced up and then pulled to hip or bum or crotch, leg bound and the rope continuing into the hanging lines. Dasniya came up with some quite beautiful intertwining of ropes, ending around my neck, all pulled together. When I watch her doing this it’s possibly like watching Andrew or Anna sing. There is an intellectual appreciation and understanding (however poor) of technique and process, but then there is something completely else taking place, other, above, as if once a certain ability is attained it may be possible to find oneself in a particular attitude wherein it is through you that the Shibari or Opera is done rather than by you. This is like looking into genesis; from this a world can be born. (This is art.)

Later lying on the floor, more experiments until I began to feel peculiar and in need of a liedown. Gala is celebrating becoming Belgian-ish. We have chocolate, vin chaud and Doctor Who.

(An aside: I’ve taken around 500 photos so far, and many I would like to put here but wish also to retain some mystery about what comes. Perhaps if I am not-lazy I will do so after we open. In the meantime…)