Where we’ve been tech-ing and rehearsing since 9am, which was hidden in the early morning cold fog, then wrapped in warm afternoon sun, and finally bejewelled in lights at night when we left for dinner. The theatre crew are wonderful, like Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Isabelle has a massive ballroom for a stage. Back tomorrow lunch-time to continue, then performance.
You thought I was joking about Dasniya only being in Berlin on a Tuesday? Right now she’s in Oldenburg, then she’s off to Warsaw, then back to Berlin to perform, then I dunno — too far in the future to scry. Definitely in Berlin in December with Das Helmi though. Plenty of rope/shibari/bondage/yoga workshops in November too (and Wellness to Torture is still the best name for a workshop ever).
Dear Rope and Theatre Friends,
the must-be event of the month is the Porn Film Festival 2016, starting next week. Check out my first photo exhibition Moviemento cinema! For November there will be five morning classes, and a bondage gig for Arte.
Also back in November: Yoga Shibari, and Self-Suspension #2.
Oil–burn your ropes and stay warm,
- Shows & Exhibitions
- Berlin Workshops
Sarah-Jane, or Satan-Jam, my meeting of whom last year I’ve described in eloquent, sweary detail (it’s all true, I swear! It’s why I blog, external memory storage an’ all), is in Melbourne. Right now! How privileged are you, Melbz? Get over your smug selves and get to Dancehouse this weekend, or Friday if you’re down with premières, before 17h — that’s 5pm to youse — for 2 hours of harrowment.
To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s 17h for the installation and 19h for the performance, and if both works are on each day, or … mainly because Dancehouse and Melb Fest websites are making my brain bleed. Probably best to camp out on Princes St from Thursday, just to be safe.
In all non-hyperbolic seriousness, I can’t speak highly enough of them. For the past year — when they’ve been in Berlin — I’ve had crucial, on-going discussions with them around identity, selfhood, making performance, representation (as well as epic slamming of telly series), racism, colonialism, diaspora (geographical and within one’s own body), Australia in all its ambivalence; also “What’s the best music for Mad Gainz, Frances?” “That’d be ’80s speed and death metal, crossover and thrash.” type conversations about training and physicality. Really some of the best convos I’ve had in years. (They also stepped up and were on the sharp pointy rivet of the Marina Abramovic racism a couple of months ago.)
So, as if it’s not obvious enough, Frances “Hostile To Everything” d’Ath (seriously, that’s what another awesome Australian said about me, “… in a good way though …”) is a huge fan of SJ. Go see them, say hi from me.
These days, Dasniya calls me mid-week:
“Hey, D! Where are you?”
“Berlin! I just got back from [place]”
“Excellent! You here this weekend?”
“Nah, I’m off tomorrow morning to [other place].”
And repeat next week.
Last week she was in Mainz, this week Helsinki. Right now, yes! For the Helsinki Shibari Festival, where she’s teaching a rope/shibari/bondage workshop this weekend. In Helsinki? Go. It’s called Wellness to Torture. How could anyone not want to go to a workshop called that? Also another one called Japanese Dreams, where she goes into butoh and bondage.
In Berlin, not in Helsinki? Her Tuesday morning workshops are running all October. And she was in Oliver Riehs’ new comedy Der Affenkönig, on at CineStar Kulturbrauerei from next week.
- Shows & Teaching Abroad
- Berlin Workshops (at Institut Sommer in Berlin-Wedding)
- 3 x Shibari Technique in Oct: Tuesdays 4, 11 & 18 (No class on the 25th), always 10am -12pm
- Self-suspension Workshop 14th Oct. 12-16h
I got a phonecall from Dasniya last night, back from Bern (and e-bikes!) and not in Berlin for even a day before off to Amsterdam on the train this morning. She said, “I’m performing in the Amsterdam Fringe Festival!” All quite spontaneous and unexpected. So, this is me blogging her performing there, and yes, she will be teaching, public and private workshops and classes and yes, rope sessions also.
You can get all the performance information on her blog: Harness — Amsterdam Fringe Festival, general Amsterdam info: Workshops, Private Teaching, & Sessions in Amsterdam, and this Sunday’s (Sept 4th) Shibari Bondage Amsterdam Workshop.
Amsterdam. Dasniya. Shibari. Why are you not there already?
I was banging out to Iron Maiden at Wacken last night, live-streamed on arte. It was fully metal. 80,000 in a rain-soaked and muddy field so loud they drowned out Maiden’s amp stacks. Around 11:30pm in their encore, Bruce Dickenson is doing his intro for Blood Brothers, “… it doesn’t matter what religion you are, doesn’t matter what race you are, doesn’t matter what gender you are …” pauses there then says, “there used to be two, now there’s a few more.” Fucking majestic. Iron Maiden, at Wacken, in front of 80,000 metalheads and live-streamed to the world, saying that. Followed it up with “we’re just here to drink beer and headbang! Plus brown rice!” Then Nicko McBrain led everyone in a round of Happy Birthday for Bruce.
Espace Pasolini, Valenciennes, where we stayed for Isabelle’s performance in NEXT Festival. Our apartment was the building in front of the theatre, the theatre itself an old factory or warehouse. Creaking wooden stairs and floors, corridors and many rooms, a massive kitchen and dining room getting the morning sun—whatever the weather became across the day, and it was usually rain and cold, the morning always brought sun—a shower that I could not leave, Philiipe and Nathalie, all the technicians, eating at L’escargot—yup, I ate escargot, and discovered the rare joy of Canard à l’orange, utterly magnificent, and drank a lot of very nice wine—the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes (but that’s for another post). Now back in Berlin after eight hours of trains and planes.
Thursday night. No Limits Festival. Two of my favourite theatre groups get together for one night of three productions: Berlin’s Das Helmi and Zürich’s Theater HORA. Together, they are a force for theatre equal to Castorf in the Volksbühne. Nah, seriously, if I was Staatsministerin für Kultur und Medien I’d kick out the illiterate appointment of the Dercon-Charmatz clique, keep Castorf and add the Helmi-HORA supergroup. That’s how good they are.
A little (hopefully correct) backstory: After their first collaboration in Zürich, Mars Attacks! they came together again for two this past summer for Ding Dong Dom in Berlin’s Holzmarkt, creating and performing five new works. Now it’s November, and the awesome No Limits Festival, so they’re back together for Schlafe kann ich, wenn ich Tot bin, three “anarchic theatre seances”: American Beauty, Hunger Games, and Ein Bett mit 1000 Kerzen. (And if Jennifer Lawrence ever reads this, Gianni, who directed Hunger Games and plays Katniss, was kinda upset your crew was so slack when you were in town.)
I was also slack, only staying for American Beauty. Which has a priceless insert of Dasniya Sommer doing Nijinski’s L’Après-midi d’un faune—about the only thing my poor camera managed to make look half-decent (one day I’ll blow some euros on a proper rig that laughs at fast movement and theatre light). Matthias Grandjean is there, also Gianni Blumer, Julia Häusermann, and Tiziana Pagliaro plus the Helmi mob, Cora Frost, Solène Garnier, Brian Morrow, Felix and Florian Loycke. Total supergroup.
What else? Mars Attacks! is on tonight in Balhaus Ost, it’s fucking legendary; the HORAs have shows on almost every night—a retrospective of their work since Jérôme Bel made Disabled Theater with them they’ve called Jérôme doesn’t ask the actors anymore (burn much?); and No Limits Festival runs ’til the 15th. Go to all of it. Berlin’s festivals are small and it’s easy for one to be over before you’re aware it exists, but they are gems, especially this one.