Dasniya Sommer’s May Shibari Workshops & Classes

“Not so exciting this time ;)” says Dasniya about May (’cos for a change she isn’t performing in a different production every second week). “YOUR WORKSHOPS ARE ALWAYS EXCITING!!!” I all-caps back. Me, who David Young denominated, ‘hostile to everything’. I haven’t decided if I think my friends’ art is awesome because they’re my friends, or if I’ve pestered them to be my friend because they make awesome art. Bit of both, more of latter than former; definite cheerleader over here.

On with the show! Which is right now wrapping up in Dasniya’s Tuesday Morning Shibari Technique class. Which is an excellent way to spent two hours on any day of the week.

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

back from a weekend in Marseille, we continue with a broad program of Shibari workshops in May. As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, May 25th (new time!)
  2. Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Friday, May 27th
  3. Morning Shibari Technique Workshop. Every Tuesday at 10h
  4. Private & Group Lessons
  5. Blog!

Enjoy the sunny days,
Dasniya

1. Yoga & Shibari. May 25th

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at 6pm – 10pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
Please register beforehand!

General Description: in English and German; information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

2. Staging Shibari/Bondage. Friday, May 27th

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga & Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Friday, May 27th, 2016, 7pm-11pm.
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Read about our second Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from February. Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

3. Morning Shibari Technique. Tuesdays at 10h !

Every Tuesday: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May (and June 7th), 10am-12pm
Costs: 20 Euro per person, 10 class card 160 €

The workshop focusses on traditional Shibari technique. Inspired by my teachers Osada Steve, Kamijoo Saki, Arisue Go, Hourai Kasumi or Lun Ario. We start with the basics and security principles. Learning initial knots and floor work patterns with a partner. When these principles are set, we approach complex figures and suspension technique step by step. More info.

4. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line! workshops@dasniyasommer.de

5. Blog!

Some recent adventures: Butoh workshop with 4RUDE Crime and Punishment

Where am I Going?

All workshops and classes are at Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini-Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding
Staircase b/c,
Uferstraße 8-11,
13357 Berlin
U8, M27 Pankstr / U9, M13 Osloerstr
Please call when you are in the court yard (by the bus café), in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

Dasniya Sommer’s April Shibari Workshops, Classes, & Performances

When it comes to blogging, Dasniya‘s putting me to shame. Shame! And performing! Last night I saw her in Das Helmi’s Sündenstadt (for the 4th time, I think. Almost a different work from the first); tonight she performs with 4RUDE‘s Crime and Punishment I at Tatwerk, and next week, her new morning shibari technique class, and Yoga & Shibari. Brilliant!

And because I can copy-paste, here’s her monthly newsletter. You want to sign up for it, I swear.

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

Spring is awakening! This month, with three workshops for pure technicians, yogis and the creative spirits.
Performancewise I break new soil with Butoh, and guest perform with Das Helmi.

As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Shibari Technique Workshop Tuesday, April 12th
  2. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, April 20th (new time!)
  3. Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Friday, April 29th
  4. Private & Group Lessons
  5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi
  6. Crime and Punishment — 4Rude
  7. Blog!
  8. Workshop & Class info

Have a good week & enjoy the sun!

Dasniya

1. Shibari Technique. Tuesday, April 12th

Tuesday 19 & 26 April; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 May; 7 & 14 June
Costs: 20 Euro per person, 10 class card 160 €

The workshop focusses on traditional Shibari technique. Inspired by my teachers Osada Steve, Kamijoo Saki, Arisue Go, Hourai Kasumi or Lun Ario. We start with the basics and security principles. Learning initial knots and floor work patterns with a partner. When these principles are set, we approach complex figures and suspension technique step by step. More info.

2. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, April 20th

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 at 6pm – 10pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
General Description: in English and German.
Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

3. Workshop: Staging Shibari/Bondage. Friday, April 29th

Friday, April 29th, 2016, 7pm-11pm
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Read about our first Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from January. Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

4. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line!

5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi

Das Helmi’s puppet theatre mayhem of Frank Miller’s Sin City returns to Berlin this month. Join me at Ballhaus Ost!
Sündenstadt 1
19h, Fri 15th & Sat 16th, April
Ballhaus Ost
Pappelallee 15,
Prenzlauer Berg

6. Performance: Crime and Punishment

A Butoh performance by 4RUDE and workshop participants
(including me :)
On April 17th, at 8pm
Tatwerk Berlin
Hasenheide 9
Gewerbehof – 2. Hinterhof, Aufgang 1, 3. OG
U7 & U8 Hermannplatz

7. Blog!

Some recent adventures:
Photos and the the story behind the second Staging Shibari.
Working with Rita Stelling and Veit Sprenger in Enter the Hydra

8. Where am I Going?

All workshops and classes are at Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’ in:
Staircase b/c, Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt
Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin-Wedding
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please register beforehand, then we’ll send you the details.
Please call when you are in the court yard (by the bus café), in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

Gallery

Staging Shibari

Last month Dasniya returned to teaching Yoga + Shibari in Berlin. And a new workshop / experiment: Staging Shibari. Dasniya’s been working a lot in theatre and on the edges of performance / installation art (works coming regularly from dancers) in the last couple of years, with Das Helmi, Angela Schubot & Jared Gradinger, Markus Öhrn, Veit Springer, I forget who else – as well as working on her own. All this has percolated around shibari and rope, ballet, performance on stage, that’s unfolded ideas present in her earliest work (both the ridiculously famous MA, and not well-known at all but so what, G4), and seeing there’s been a steady stream of dancers and theatre people banging at her door, she decided to start a workshop / experiment thing called Staging Shibari.

The first one was a month ago, the second, later this week (7pm Thursday, March 31st in Uferhallen Wedding if you wanna know), and I’ve had photos from that first one on my laptop waiting to be blogged for weeks now. So here they are!

As with Yoga + Shibari, it’s a 4-ish hour process, starting with some light yoga warmup for an hour and a bit, as a group all in Dasniya’s studio (which now has a forest of hanging points drilled into the ceiling). Then some talking, what ideas we’d like to mess around with, who wants to do what (tying, being tied, hanging/not-hanging, outside doing lights or sound, photographing), what happens where and when, what we’re wearing (rubber dog hoods! – if you’re lucky…), what needs to be prepped, generally a structure and plan to keep an eye on, so we can individually pay attention to each other and impel things along. Basically we’re rehearsing. Not everyone has worked in theatre, though many if not most have performed in some context or another, from playing in bands to bondage/shibari performance, so the actual thinking and planning through as a group is as much a part of the thing as the doing, and takes a while before we’re all up and ready and the go button is pushed.

And then there’s this (in no particular order). Much fun. Certainly theatre.

Dasniya Sommer’s March Workshops: Yoga & Shibari, & “Staging Shibari/Bondage”

More from Dasniya—much more: March workshops in Berlin-Wedding, teaching ballet in Prenzlauer Berg (yes, dragged self’s sorry arse to both), choreographing a piece by director Veit Sprenger in HAU 1, again with Das Helmi, oh! and putting me to shame on the blog front. Most excellent!

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

a month of teaching and performing this March in Berlin! January’s return to Yoga & Shibari saw many old and new faces, and my new workshop Staging Shibari took ropes and bondage somewhere else again.

As always, you can read all about this on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, March 23rd
  2. New! Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Thursday, March 31st
  3. Private & Group Lessons
  4. Teaching Professional Ballet, March 14th & 21st
  5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi
  6. Heiner Müller Festival: Enter the Hydra — Veit Sprenger
  7. Blog!

Have a nice end of Winter!

Dasniya

1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, March 23rd

The ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshop!

Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
Please register beforehand, then we’ll send you the details.
General Description: in English and German.

Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 at 7pm.
At Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding. Staircase b/c, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

2. Workshop: Staging Shibari/Bondage. Thursday, March 31st

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.

Read about our first Staging Shibari/Bondage workshop from January.

Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)

Information and additional news on my blog: Zur Zeit.

Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 7pm.
At Teatris/Alte Kantine or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’. Both locations are at:
Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding. Staircase b/c, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

3. Private & Group Lessons

Of course it’s always possible to arrange another time for private and group workshops, sessions, choreographing ropes for performances, and other long-planned or spontaneous ideas. Drop me a line!

4. Teaching Professional Ballet in March

The next two upcoming Mondays I will substitute for Yuko Sato’s Profi–Ballet training at Center of Dance /Kulturbrauerei.

More information about my ballet training and class.

Dates: March 14 & 21, 2016
Time: 12 h – 14.30 h
Costs: 7 €
Where: Schönhauser Allee 36,
Entrance: Knaackstrasse 97/ Sredzkistrasse 1, court yard of Kulturbrauerei
U-Bahn: U2 Eberswalderstraße

5. Sündenstadt — Das Helmi

Das Helmi’s puppet theatre mayhem of Frank Miller’s Sin City returns to Berlin this month. Join me at Ballhaus Ost!

Sündenstadt
19 h, Fr 15 & Sa 16, April
Ballhaus Ost
Pappelallee 15,
Prenzlauer Berg

6. Heiner Müller Festival: Enter The Hydra — Veit Sprenger

As part of the Heiner Müller Festival, Veit Sprenger stages Enter the Hydra.

19 h, Friday 11th & Saturday 12th, March
HAU1
Stresemannstr. 29
10963 Berlin

Artistic Coordination: Veit Sprenger
Herakles 2: Rita Stelling
Video: Alexej Tchernij
Trombone: Mareike Huber
Choreography: Dasniya Sommer

7. Blog!

Some recent adventures:

Photos and the the story behind the first Staging Shibari.
The the Staatsballett Berlin—twice! To see Polina Semionowa dance.
A Shibari Exchange with Lun Ario, Schucki Rennpferd & Kate.

Plenty more too, for a winter’s afternoon of reading and pictures.

Dasniya Sommer’s February Workshops: Yoga & Shibari, and “Staging Shibari/Bondage”

It’s been so long! Well, a bit more than six months, and with spring spitting at our heels, Dasniya is teaching Yoga & Shibari again! Plus other workshops too!

Dear Friends, Bondagisti, Theateristi and Dancers,

this month I return to teaching in Berlin. It’s been six months since the last time, and many airports, countries, stages, and performances since then. A late but surely happy, relaxed, and adventurous 2016 for you all!

As always, you can read all about those on my blog. In the meantime:

  1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, February 17th
  2. New! Staging Shibari/Bondage Workshop. Tuesday, February 23rd
  3. Private & Group Lessons
  4. Blog!

Looking forward to seeing you all again!

Dasniya

1. Yoga & Shibari Workshop. Wednesday, February 17th

The return of the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshop!
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro).
Wednesday, February 17, 2016, at 7 pm

2. Workshop, February 23rd: Staging Shibari/Bondage

Following on from the ever-popular Yoga+Shibari workshops, we’ll be seeing where rope, shibari, bondage can go, how it can become performance, whether just for each other, on the stage, or anywhere in-between.
Costs: 40 Euro per person (social price 30 Euro)
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 7 pm

Both workshops are at Teatris/Alte Kantine Wedding or in our ‘Mini- Dojo’, both in: Uferhallen Kulturwerkstatt in Wedding. Staircase b/c, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstr/U9 Osloerstr

Please register beforehand, then we’ll send you the details.
Please call when you are in the court yard, in case you don’t find it, or the door is locked: + 49 174 393 70 49.

Gallery

Nyxxx, Rökridån, Kokoro2, & Dasniya — A Workshop

Some photos I’ve been sitting on since early-May from Dasniya/Shibari Express’ three-day rope & making performance workshop in Stockholm with NYXXX at Rökridån, co-organised by Kokoro 2. It was a truly awesome week.

Ropes & Roles

Ebba, Tova & Gabriel host a conversation with the Berlin-based choreographers Dasniya Sommer and Frances d’Ath, that visited Nyxxx & KokoroTwo & Rökridånfor a working residency the 28th of April-4th of May in 2015. When the conversation starts, we have just participated in a shibari yoga class guided by Dasniya. From this point of reference, we go on to discuss among many other things exoskeletons, religious metaphors and the invention of rope as a parallel to the invention of the wheel.

— NYXXX: Avsnitt #9 — Ropes & Roles

Gallery

Photos from (I’m not sure we gave it a name) Performance at Rökridån, Stockholm

When Dasniya and I were rehearsing and performing at Rökridån in Stockholm earlier this month, Gabriel Widing—one of Rökridån’s creators/part of NYXXX took some photos. (Apparantly there’s video(s) somewhere also.) They’ve been sitting on my desktop for two weeks glaring at me; every day, “Why are we not on supernaut yet, Frances?” And every time I look at them, I want a whole hour or ninety minutes of this.

I am so behind on blogging Every. Thing!

Aside

A pile of new books; more photos & a podcast from Stockholm; the delightful ‘Straayans Virginia & Francesca of VNS-FUCKING-MATRIX in Berlin; off to Brussels next week for Hans’ premiere … (the terrible, terrible thing that is Mette Ingvartsen’s 69 Positions (I wanna call it 69 Shades of [something offensive]); the almost as-terrible Xeno-Feminism Manifesto Launch (hashtag-haley-joel-osmet-i-see-white-feminists-dot-gif); close brackets) … head==explode!

5 Days of Making Shibari (3 Workshops, A Performance), & Stockholm

A slightly unannounced workshop (compared to the other two, I mean), three days of making performance with NYXXX at Rökridån, co-organised by Kokoro 2. Eleven people, some artists, one engineer (always one engineer), a social-anthropologist, part-way underground in the meat-packing district. We stay almost on the edge of Stockholm, one stop before the end of the line, Bagarmossen. The forest begins nearer than that last stop. Roads and cars encircle but do not enter. Wide, curved paths, trees, eruptions of glacier-smoothed granite. Most other places this would be the dead-end. Here, it’s like the ideal of high-modernist urban planning architecture—the antithesis of Le Corbusier—made real. It’s a little disturbing at first.

Rökridån is half-way from Bagarmossen to the centre of Stockholm, probably an half-hour walk, 15 minute brisk spin on a bike. We take the train, walk the last bit. Only four hours a day, though with warm-up before and drifting over the finish time, this stretches to five, six. And then we rehearse. I haven’t hung myself up since teaching at ImPulsTanz last year.

This is writing for remembering. Since working regularly with Florian, Dasniya’s teaching, performances, general ideas and interests have changed.

In-between stuff. Friday, we rehearse in Bagarmossen, then end the afternoon in Östasiatiskamuseet. Also walking around the harbours. Wednesday night we see a performance at MDT. It causes me to doubt that people with acceptable bodies (identities, desires) can have any understanding of those without, or even care. Sunday I go to the Historiska museet. A bus driver plays Swedish folk music. Later that night, we use it in a performance.

I eat a lot of liquorice. Sweet, salty, chewy, rubbery, stuff that melts and stuff that erodes. The sky is the kind that comes from across oceans, open, tattered clouds, the air sharp and polished. It’s often windy. Inside, or in the sun, it’s warm; if the sun was higher, it would approach harshness. As soon as the sun is gone, it chills like stone in shade. If the public transport doesn’t work, they pay for people to take taxis. I didn’t eat reindeer. Or fish.

Thursday night is Valborgsmässoafton, Walpugis Night. No burning of witches north of the Baltic, only celebrating the arrival of spring with bonfires. Stockholm seems to have a lot of immigrants. It felt a little like Sydney or Melbourne. I liked it more for that (I know it’s not straightforward or rosy).

Both Tova and Christian have a lot of books. Walls of books. Cheese comes in at least 1kg blocks. Smaller is possible but not encouraged. Coffee also. I wonder if in winter they are snowed in, and need such large amounts to get through. Granite is everywhere. The city and trees are a thin scraping on the surface, you could probably clean the whole place back to rock with a brush, vacuum cleaner, and an afternoon. It’s insanely beautiful.

The word for ‘child’ is the same as in Scots: barn, bairn. I try and not find similarities with Scotland and Northern England. When people greet you, even in shops or at work, they say, “Hey!” It’s so ridiculously friendly. If a ‘k’ is followed by an ‘ä’, it’s pronounced ‘sh’. I ask Tova who inflicted this upon them. She laughs and tells me about ‘sj’. ‘Hen’ is in the Svenska Akademiens ordlista as a gender-neutral personal pronoun. People we meet use it easily.

What else?

Monday we arrive, are met at the central bus station, cross the road to the train station, find ourselves on the T17, south-south-east to Bagarmossen. A long meal together, roast aubergine with walnuts. Tuesday we are early heading to Rökridån. Dasniya sent photos of our performance, we both took many photos throughout the week (as did everyone). I’ll defer a description in lieu of those later. NYXXX are LARPers. I found that out late in the week. When she told me it was like the secret that makes coherent everything which preceded. First day: a warmup, some exercises/tasks/trials with ropes. Second day: a warmup, Dasniya showed some of her work from rehearsals, talking about how performance is made. The difference between performance for each other, playing publicly, and performance as a branch of theatre are discussed. Third day: an assemblage of objects, ideas, wishes, things to try; an agreement of who does what with whom; experiments with rope that become installations. I said, “Wow, that’s really fucking good” to myself quite a bit.

Friday. May Day.

Saturday, Yoga and Shibari. On more familiar ground here. The performance workshop went into new things for Dasniya (and myself). Some things worked, others not completely. Working or not-working for me are somewhat questions of engineering; it’s the ground they operate on that’s either fertile or arid (pushing a shaky mixed metaphor there). I think the performance workshop, especially with LARPing was really this, several things coming together that fit so neatly and I’m kinda watching myself watching it thinking, “Faaark! This can go so far into Weirdsville…” and wanting that in all its rawness, messiness, bits of failure and bits of sublime on the stage at MDT cos it’s so much more relevant, so much more real.

Dasniya’s yoga approaches Isabelle’s warmup from different directions. I’m doing all the same all over the place. Same. Different. Slightly different. Kinda the same. We rehearse before and after. Firstly after is a Podcast dinner. NYXXX, a Tascam, a table of food (yes, large block of cheese). The talking goes from performance to stomach bacteria to cosplaying … I thought there was an interesting formality in how this was prepared, which contrasted with the informality when let to run on its own accord. After that, full stomach, more rehearsing.

Sunday. I go to the museum. The bus driver and his music. Later, after the Self-suspension workshop, Tova helps me find the music, poems of Gustav Fröding arranged by Torgny Björk. People start laughing immediately when we play it. Different people in the weekend workshops to the week one. Many the same. Different energy in Rökridån also. I try suspending myself in two different hip harnesses. I’m unsure lately if I want to hang at all. I do find some possibilities, but there’s a physical reluctance towards pain that comes from dealing with chronic injuries, as if the surface of my skin is too sensitive.

Performance. Rubber dog mask for me. Cat for Dasniya, Pig for Tova. A green bicycle. A white calico skirt, beaded green vest, also a black ballet tutu, gold glitter heels, a table and chair, a ladder. From the inside performing with masks, it can feel nothing, or stupid, or whatever, but from the outside with these not-quite human not-quite animal masks, it’s dead strange. It’s like they become blank signifier volumes. It’s not anthropomorphic either; more like becoming animal. The practicalities of dealing with much-reduced vision and hearing, the inner experience of wearing this cave-like helmet causes a different mundane physicality and movement. They’re also good for shy performers.

It takes an hour to pack the ropes,

A rope jam takes place. Stockholm people are well-handy with shibari. All quite astounding, really. Dasniya and I have a beer in the local pub. It closes early, by pub standards. The sky still has a faint tint of the sun riding the horizon at 11pm.

Monday, pack, train, lunch with Tova, we don’t manage a ferry ride and wander. Bus to airport, liquorice and chocolate. Plane makes land somewhere around the border of Germany and Poland. We see Uferhallen on the descent. Florian is at the arrivals gate with a sign, “Shibari Express” and chewy sweet stuff.