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Twisted & Kinoko Workshop – January 2015

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STORE set off into 2015 with a bang with a 5 day intensive workshop with Mr Hajime Kinoko at the Virginia Gallery. Twisted came at the end of the week with guest performers Fred Hatt & Miss Bones, Wkyd Dave and Clover and Kinoko with Skinnyredhead. We took the feedback from the last Twisted and set out to collaborate with our new venue, Club X, whilst keeping all the things we liked about The Virginia Gallery who still hosted our week of workshops.

FredHatt&MsBones_3385_webThe first act of the night was Fred Hatt & Miss Bones. This dynamic duo have a palpable connection and loving nature contrasting with the harshness of the ties. Fred, originally from Glasgow, may well be the first ever person to perform kinbaku on stage in a kilt and there were lots of other little tartan mementos included in their performance. Who knew a Japanese art could be so Scottish too!

Fred and Bones are also keenly involved in Pop Up Rope Events (PuRE) in London which organises all kinds of rope events from workshops on how to tie, life drawing classes and circus style aerial arts training. At STORE we’re looking forward to collaborating in the future with PuRE. There is also the blog www.bonesandrope.com which shares some interesting insights.

Wykd_Dave&Clover_3409_webNext up was Wykd Dave and Clover who many of you remember performed for us at the first ever Twisted. They were so good we wanted to bring them back again! We were not disappointed. It’s not often on stage that you get to see a reverse prayer tie so strictly applied and used for an elaborate and challenging suspension. Clover’s grace blends perfectly with Wykd Dave’s loving sadism.

Wykd Dave and Clover travel nationally and internationally to lots of rope events. If you haven’t been able to see their show, or better yet attend a class with them, then we heartily recommend that you give them a try! Check out all the details on http://rope-topia.com/

Kinoko&Skinny_3587_webLast onto the stage were Kinoko-san and SkinnyRedHead. Being the organiser of this event I know that these two had never met before the workshops started and had never performed together. You would not have been able to tell from this performance! Skinny’s proud strength in Kinoko-san’s torturous ties was infused with deep emotions which had the audience in stunned silence and then rapturous applause. Many of us had seen the joking and lighthearted side of Kinoko-san during the workshops and the transformation he undergoes on stage is phenomenal. This was far and away the most powerful piece of performance I have ever witnessed.

Kinoko-san continues on a world tour for the next few weeks. He is also due to perform at Torture Garden’s Valentines event. His website is www.shibari.jp

Skinny is available as a model and creative and can be contacted via her website – www.skinny-art.com

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Personal Thanks From Organiser, Jin

Describing the last week of my life using simply words is not possible. It has been a journey of emotion, new connections, friendship and love.

Many thanks to 秀土平松 / Mr Kinoko Hajime for leading the week’s workshop. He is not just a skilled performer but an intuitive and creative teacher also. Absolutely everyone in the class received tailored attention and encouragement. He is also a wonderful house guest and is always full of smiles and joy and unexpected moments of hilarity. I feel as though I have gained a good friend rather than simply accommodated a tutor.

Skinny was an absolutely astounding model for Kinoko-san but not only that spent much of the workshop going round everyone making sure they got to see the details of the tie up close. She also helped each of the people being tied understand what it should feel like. She’s also pretty good at floor cleaning and rounding up coffee cups! To say that her performance with Kinoko-san was mesmerising feels a little cliched but I simply cannot find the words to describe it. The strong connection between these two was wonderful to watch and off stage there was such a lovely warmth also

Thank you to Ian & Drew of Luke & Jack with the ever helpful Cameron for hosting the workshops and helping make all the vital connections that were needed to make both the workshop and Twisted a runaway success

Thank you to Darren and his team at Club X for being so friendly and easy to work with for Twisted. It was a joy to organise all the events with such helpful people. Thanks also go to Darren for helping to avert a near tour stopping crisis and to the lovely honest patrons of Delmonica’s who ensured that a certain person’s mislaid bag and passport were safely stored away.

Thank you to Dave Wykd, Clover, Fred & Anna for travelling all the way to us in Scotland to be part of Twisted and to help make the best show I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. Yes, as the organiser I’m biased…. but I really mean it! Such passion and skill went into all the acts on stage that it is humbling that you all agreed to share with us.

Thanks to Osaka Dan for organising the whole tour. It has been worth all your hard work and the week we have had was just perfect. Thank you for convincing me to go for the 5 day workshop!

She isn’t online, but the lovely Nana needs a mention as the best damned interpreter we could have asked for as well as excellent company both at the workshop and at home. You would hardly believe that it isn’t really her profession and she helped to navigate a few critical cultural and communication hiccups with ease and no stress.

Also in the background has been Telarian who has been husband extraordinaire, master frame designer and builder for STORE. Without him none of it would have happened. My own bunny for the workshop was an absolute trooper and as fun as ever to work with.

Huge thanks to Iongantas for the photography at Twisted and to Alice Gordon for the video footage.

And thank you to everyone who came along. The workshop would have been nothing without the dynamic of this group. There was so much sharing and laughing in this class but without ever becoming silly. I haven’t tagged any of you so that you can choose for yourself how you can be found. Please do tag yourself or message me if we are not already friends. I would love to stay in touch with every last one of you.

So yeah. Wow!

Feedback for August 2014’s Twisted

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We asked and you replied!

Around 25% of the attendees at the first ever Twisted were kind enough to give us a few moments of their time to give formal feedback. We’ve put the answers together with comments from the organisers. We have included all the responses, good and bad, in the interest of being a responsible organiser who listens to both praise and criticism. 

How did we do overall?

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What did people like about the event?

  • The different range/styles of performance.
  • Shibari demonstrations were very beautiful to watch. Blueberry fizz. Recipe please!!!
  • Nice and friendly atmosphere, great performers, well settled stage, drinks.
  • Duration was perfect after a long day at the QMU alt & burlesque fair (not too long, not too short!). Could happily have stayed longer if there had been seating provided. Refreshments perfect. Venue nice and intimate, and the artwork made for a great setting. All acts were fabulous.
  •  Extraordinary, and very different artists in a wonderfully atmospheric setting.
  •  variety of different approaches to shibari and delicious soft drinks 😉
  •  The performers
  •  The performances were stunning, it was a fantastic night
  •  variety of performances. exhibition space.
  •  Most who attended were ‘ropeys’ and appreciated how much skill was on display. The numbers attending was ‘about right’ for the venue – another ten would be about the maximum.

We were delighted to hear that people thought the performances were excellent and that the setting was right. We were aware of not allowing the space to be over-filled hence the limit on tickets being set at 40. We were sold out on the night. The issues with seating came up with a few people and is something we’ll have a think about how to get around it. The blueberry fizz is a Twisted secret 😉

What things could have been better?

  • Lack of seating and slight aspect of the one and only toilet making the performers uncomfortable.
  • Lack of seating
  • Seating would have been nice.
     
  • A bit too small space and toilet.
  • The venue was a little claustrophobic, but that’s my issue to deal with, not yours.
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    I found the venue a bit claustrophobic, however that is my issue,not the fault of organisers/the venue itself. It did work rather well for the performance itself however, not too crowded, but intimate
 
We were aware of trying to strike the balance between a small space and one that felt too small. We hope we mostly got it right, but the gallery space that we use can be dramatically different depending on what exhibit is on and how the artist has chosen to decorate the space. For this exhibition the artist had gone for a deliberately dark space which was sparsely lit.
 
There are not currently any seats at the venue for use during an event like this. It is something we will have a think about moving into the future.
 
  •  I know that the use of the tongue clip in the third demonstration was consensual and negotiated beforehand, but within the overall scene, which was beautiful, caring and trusting, it jarred a little, and seemed a bit gratuitously cruel. Maybe it’s just because we are newbies to the scene
 Others on the night commented on how the same act was further heightened in intensity during this section. Everyone will take something a little different away from the acts and the Twisted team will interfere as minimally as possible in the content of acts. We only need to make sure the acts are a) safe and b) legal.
 
  • would have enjoyed an alcoholic beverage
Twisted has taken a conscious decision not to serve alcoholic beverages on this occasion as we do not have the appropriate licences. As we were providing all beverages free of charge we decided to make interesting soft drinks instead of alcoholic ones which kept the ticket price low. We are open to changing this policy in future.
 
  • A good set of mats would add to the professionalism and safety of the artists – interlocking mats approx. 2 foot square can be highly effective and easy to transport

Yes, the mats on the night were a good deal more mobile than they had been on a different floor surface during practice! We like to think it added to the dynamism of the opening act :p

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We also received some very helpful general feedback:

  • With regards to question 15 (the one about recommending the event to a colleague)the answer of 6 is an aggregate of zero, for “No way would I recommend it for my mother-in-law!!!”, through 1 or 2 for SOME of my work colleagues, to 10 for people that I’ve met at the Munch! Some cushions on the floor would have been nice. I’ll be bringing one to the workshop.
  • Looking forward to more, but I hope it doesn’t become a victim of its own success by having to move to larger premises and admit more people, which would potentially lead to more noise / latecomers. I hope the ‘no alcohol’ ruling remains in place as well, at least before and during the performances. A friendly, chatty glass of wine afterwards would be a different matter, but I do think alcohol being served before or during could be problematic.
  • I understand there will be limited venue options for an event of this kind, some of the scoring reflects the fact that in case of an emergency we were recommended to use the stairs to exit, that we were sitting on the floor and of course sitting on the floor will always be a dusty experience with people walking in and out. I avoided using the toilet facilities as aware performers were changing etc. I have been unable to provide or think of a suitable alternative to the current venue so apologise if this feedback does not appear to be constructive and I very much enjoyed myself and the venue would not detract from me recommending this event to others who appreciate rope.

And a couple I would like to deal with separately:

  • Some random thoughts from a rope newbie: Would any / all of the artists be up for a question / answer session? Would any of the artists be up for passing on a few tips? In these days of supposed sexual equality why do we never see women suspending men? Any scope for suspending an audience member (needs to be thought through: known / trusted person etc) Thanks for what must have been a considerable effort in putting the event on – will make every effort to support any future events

Firstly a Q&A session could be introduced if there was interest, however Twisted will also be running at the same time as in depth workshops which would deal with most of the relevant “how to” of rope. With regard to the sexual equality the show was opened with an act of a female tying a male including partial suspension. Care was taken to make sure that there was not just one orientation or dynamic displayed. There would be no scope at all for suspending an audience member as this would be far too risky and unpredictable.

  • Unfortunately my partner found the temperature in the venue overwhelming and we had to step out before the start of proceedings.

We spotted you on the night but didn’t catch you before you left. As soon as we got your feedback through a process of deduction we figured out who you were and sent a full refund to you via Eventbrite. Please get in touch if you didn’t get it!

 

Twisted: An intimate evening of rope performance & art

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9th August 2014, 1930 to 2200


The first event of its kind in Scotland, Twisted will showcase rope bondage as you’ve never seen it before with dynamic displays from our skilled performers. We invite you to our intimate subterranean venue to experience the tension and flow of the ropes and discover the hidden world of expressive rope bondage.

On our opening night we have the pleasure of presenting:

  • Wykd Dave & Clover – an internationally renowned team whose style will take you on an emotional journey as well as creating dynamic aesthetics. It is little wonder this duo are solidly booked for performances worldwide at least 1 year in advance!

Other acts will be added once confirmed.

Ticket cost: £7.50

Due to the venue size ticket sales will be strictly limited to 40 persons maximum. Buy your tickets here (We don’t see your payment details and you can book in any name you like)
Alternatively you can buy tickets over the counter @ Luke & Jack or from AijinNawa directly.

We welcome artists who wish to sketch during the acts but we request that patrons refrain from taking photographs or video footage during the performances. Watch with your eyes, not with your smartphone!

Do you have questions about Twisted? Contact Strathclyde Open Rope Exchange