There is a kitchen, where we cook a late lunch or early dinner, eat baguette and drink tea or coffee, right across from the door to our studio. We arrive before 10am, and leave after 7 in the evening. The walk there and back is in one direction a slight warmup and on the return, a calming down.
What to do with rope? Quite a lot really. The inner life of inanimate things lends itself though to clichéd symbolism, so in fact there are many limitations. We have a lot of ideas, which is good, yet these do not necessarily transpose into useful events. It is good nonetheless to discard things. It becomes more of a question of which performance is being made here.
There is a frustration in rope, in handling it. It tends to get knotted up, tangled, not behave the way it should, slip out of fingers or never get there in the first place. It gets caught on things, or doesn’t go where it’s supposed to. We are supposed to regard this with equanimous poise. Suppose we don’t though.
I try scratching at the ropes until they stick, thrashing and yanking. It’s again something of an idea of un-shibari; pathetic, failed ropework. Dasniya continues with what she was doing yesterday, feet in ropes, active/passive, leading/led. We try beating the ropes against the floor, or slinging them back and forth – repetition. Something here also.
We spend the beginning trying to walk the way Japanese Kyudo archery masters do, a kind of sliding of the feet that is beguilingly difficult. Forward then backward,over and over on our grass-green dance floor.
Lunch. Silvano drills some holes and fills them with metal bars for us to hang suspension lines from. We eat together and talk about ourselves, where we are from, what we do, ow we live. After this, it is 1630, so a short pause and to continue.
Dasniya wants to try movement, somehow in a circle of rope. We begin using knot groups as something to move from. It’s obvious in some ways, recreating these shapes with our arms or legs. Possibly something there, possibly not. We try again, covered in rope, ties together. It becomes something of a baroque dance. It works better when we have a unity of movement, but equally looks largely nonsensical. It’s an idea that might go further, or like much of today, might depart. It’s good to eliminate things.
We talk about doing everything below the height of the suspension rings. They are quite low. Also about endurance and exhaustion. Some ideas for tomorrow. Perhaps the idea that remains is the one that appeals in the moment of rehearsal and in itself has no special, unique value. At another time, what was discarded now would be the one to remain.
Two days is not much time to talk about what I or we like, don’t like, what’s working, not working, though equally, we have little time for indulgence, or for worrying at an idea until it yields whatever we suspect is within. Still…
Repetition, flailing ropes, on the floor, on the floor yet not relaxed, discomfort. Sometimes unison, sometimes alone (unison is nice, but equally takes time to get it looking worthwhile). This Japanese Kyudo tea ceremony tatami mat sliding walk. Rope mess, but also rope order. The ever-present suspension rings and their enticements. For me personally, pain, humiliation, disgust, or rather not the representation or literal act of, but things that could cause these, for example clothes shibari, where the cinching of rope exposes, or rope in mouth. How much do we want to show also? 15 minutes? Half an hour? One thing? Many? Perhaps other warmups besides yoga would lend our bodies something else? It is enjoyable being there from early to late, thinking that remaining even later is also possible.