People are complicated. Many dimensional complex shifting things. And sometimes the only way to understand them is to pin one down and hope that it’ll stay still for a moment.
In March I attended Eurix and one of my favourite workshops was by Isabella on the subject of self-suspension. It blew my mind and made me completely reassess what bondage was and what it can be.
A human body can move in so many ways, too many for me to grasp. This may be why dance is an art form that’s always felt painfully ‘other’ to me. But if you limit it, cut it down to a limb, and then give that limb something to react with it becomes real, purposeful and, to my eye at least, utterly fascinating.
On Saturday I did rope on a stage for the third time and it was, frankly, the best yet. I had plucked together a playlist from what little I have on my new phone (the better stocked old one had a run-in with the toilet a fortnight ago). We took to the stage (well, matts) as the opening peal of “The Ecstasy of Gold” rang out. For those not familiar, go listen to it here, right now!
I approached my co-performer from behind and felt a sudden and absolute certainty that I knew what I was doing. I was there to bind a noble and powerful warrior. For what purpose I’m not sure, but right there and then the rope made sense in a way it never has before. It wasn’t sexual or overlaid with power dynamics or submission. This was something different. I wasn’t there to be strong, I was there to perform a task, a ritual, a necessary aspect of their strength. I’ve never felt quite such a feeling when tying before. It was humbling, intense.
And then Weird Al’s “Dare to be Stupid” came on the stereo.