There are a few places around the world that feel like coming home for us. They say that home is where the heart is. I think this is true. Our memories of places and events are inextricably entwined with the people we met and the experience we had. It's quite something to recognise that 'going home' feeling as we make our way to an event thousands of miles from our actual home. It's very much a sensation of going home and seeing old friends. Though it's always a bit of a downer to have to go back to everyday life after having a great time there's always that thought of next time. The year will soon be drawing to a close. Next year we get to go home again, and again...
There isn't one! The problem is in people being dickheads. I'll elaborate on that a bit... When people take pictures at events where pictures are not allowed; that's a problem. When people make calls in quiet spaces; that's a problem. When people do anything that they agreed not to do at an event, even without a cellphone; that's a problem. None of these are cellphone problems, but all of them are dickhead problems! Dickhead problems are behavioural problems. Some behavioural problems are due to personality and intellectual problems. To put that last comment into somewhat more prosaic terms. Some people are entitled, self regarding and stupid enough to think "Yeh, but that doesn't apply to me right?". Yes to you! Especially and particularly to you because you are an entitled, self regarding idiot with no regard for the restrictions that you yourself voluntarily agreed to but also with no regard to the rights and perfectly justified expectations of others in the space. Those people have every reasonable expectation that everyone else will give equal regard to those rules and restrictions. People bang on about banning cellphones, confiscating them, deleting media etc. Ban dickheads instead.
Recommendations are a difficult and weighty thing. They are loaded with responsibility. Unfortunately it is often the case that recommendations are made based on what turns out to be a limited experience of a person. This is especially unfortunate when the things you have not seen are what you might describe as bad things. Bad things like ego driven dangerous behaviour, like a failure to care about and check in on someone who has been injured. You have a feeling of guilt if a person that you recommended turns out not to have lived up to the trust you placed in them. If they let down the person they have been recommended to, who may never have even met them otherwise, it is not something you can take lightly. When the person hurt is someone you are emotionally attached to, a close friend or play partner for instance, this feeling intensifies. It makes you mistrust your judgement of people. It makes you angry at them for failing to live up to what you might think are reasonable expectations of judgement, skill, trust, responsibility and care. Due to a recent experience which has left deep feelings of disgust toward the behaviour of one individual mistakenly trusted. It's hard to imagine any recommendations being made in the future.
We've always had an amazing time performing in London at the Festival of Japanese bondage. We have been lucky enough to make some great friends over the years and we're looking forward to doing so again this year. Old friends and new are coming from all around the world. It's going to be great. 2012 another great year. So here is a memory of our performance then. 2013 looks like it will be another great one with Naka Akira and Iroha Shizuki headlining two show nights and also teaching. Saki Kamijoo will also be performing and teaching. We're hoping to produce another great memory in 2013 so stay tuned for video and images after the festival.
OK so my memory is far from perfect so right here I'm going to apologise to anyone that I've left out by accident in any of my blogs. The published schedule is by now nothing but a vague guide as is my own recollection. It's been DAYS since the actual event and some things loom larger in the memory than others. Combined with the fact that I know for certain I missed some early shows. I've only written about stuff I actually remember seeing. So if I didn't see your show... I will not have written about it and that not writing about it does not comment upon the quality of your performance*. After a late start, followed by lunch and interviews we eventually turned up to the venue slightly late just in time to catch the end of Gradancer and Cherrydoll's performance. This was very different to a lot of the shows and even finished off with cigar play. I wish I could write more about it but sadly I didn't see it all. Peter Slemrian and Adreena followed. Next was Riccardo Wildties and Redsabbath. I had a personal reason for being happy to see this performance, for me it was one of the highlights of the festival. Finally there was Kazami Ranki and Gestalta. This was a very intense show. It may have not started out showing what it would become but the ending on the floor where Gestalta was completely choked out was an intense moment for the festivals performances to end on. Finally This festival has been the very best that I've attended. The attitudes of everyone attending has been the best, the most community minded, the most happy, the greatest camaraderie and the most supportive. Clover expressed [...]
Sunday began with a bondage lesson for a very lovely couple in the teaching van outside the gallery. (Yes I know that might sound a bit odd but it did provide a perfectly serviceable teaching area complete with suspension point). We had a great lesson and I was really very happy with the progress made. I love it when I can feel that I've really given people something that they can use. For Sunday's performances we began with Aliya from Russia doing a self suspension show which was very impressively athletic. Moonlight Shadow followed with a psychedelic feeling show. I can only describe it as a very interesting and different and challenging performance. While it might not have been 'Japanese' style bondage it was very different to every other performance and had an affect on the audience. Next was Hebari and Rabbitbunny. Hebari's usual partner was unfortunately unable to make it to the festival. Rabitbunny again deserves credit for stepping in at the last minute and Hebari for making it though a good show with hardly any chance to practice with a new partner. Andrea Ropes from Italy was another rigger without his usual partner. Nina Russ stepped in for this show. (I have to give her special credit for hard work in bottoming for two shows and topping for one.) The show was another unusual ones, Andrea in full wa-fuku style clothing and Nina in a zentai suit with a paper 'radiation suit' over that. It was an interesting mix of styles. Last on was Bob Ropemarks and Dutch Dame. Again I can only remark on how different the styles of all the performances where. Techno music, industrrial sounds, samples from the film SAW [...]
After the excitement of performing on the Friday night we were ready to just enjoy watching the shows on Saturday. One of the great things about the festival is that you see so many different performers and styles and Saturday saw some of the greatest contrasts. Special mentions must go to Jack the Whipper and Zahara who not only did a great show but showed great humour and maturity dealing with things not going perfectly smoothly. Rabbitbunny and Cherry Doll stepped in at very short notice to perform and deserve credit for getting on stage without a prepared show or knowing each other more than a day. Also Amy Morgan and Scarlot Rose who also had only met the day previously but nevertheless put on a very well put together show. This year was the first that we saw riggers from Russia at the festival. One of the most individual was Vlada and Falco. They were very distinct and had a style very different to the other performers. Falco is a quite remarkable performer and male model, he certainly showed strength skill and grace that was quite unusual. Finally on was Zamile and LX who provided yet another contrast by beginning their act with dance and burlesque striptease. Apparently LX hasn't danced in years. Well it didn't show and the audience really got into it. They really had fun together and their spirit of enjoyment infected the audience and rounded of the night very well finishing on a very positive mood.
We have had a spectacularly good first day at the LFAJB. Meeting old friends has been a major part of the day. And of course new ones. Great to see Scott Smith again with Serene Chaos, it'll all end in tears if she's good. Was nice to talk with Graydancer a little. We've been at the same events or passed close several times but never really seemed to have the chance to talk properly. One of the first people we saw on arrival at the festival venue was a very tired Kazami Ranki. It's always nice to see John Murakawa, the man just lives and breathes art and is besides one of the nicest people I know. We unexpectedly discovered that Zamil and his partner were staying in the same location as us when as we left first thing Zamil entered apparently carrying a crate of apples. We later learned that it actually contained an extensive breakfast. We were on the bill of performers today along with Kazami Ranki, Nina Russ, Boris Mosafir, Boykitten and 123 Avalon. I have to say that there was a smashing atmosphere throughout the evening for the performances. The crowd was just wonderful. I don't know what else to write at the moment. Tired but happy. To be continued...
OK so the cases are nearly packed, the show music is nearly ready, we even have a bit of an idea what might be in the show itself. We've got thankfully minimal teaching to do and a good chance of socialising this year. So if you want to buy us dinner.... ;) I'm kind of wondering how this years festival will go, as it will be very different to last year. I hope just as good but different. Looking forward to this one stirs up memories from the last one too. The video below features some of the artists from last years festival. London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage from Hellan Judd. Anyway our list of 'one or two' things to do in the morning before we set out has grown considerably... If you're going, we'll see you there soon, come and say hello.
A quick warning. This post is about things that have happened on the local scene in England. Similar things may or may not have happened elsewhere, I have no idea or way of knowing. Before you read this article I would like you to bear the following in mind. I am not advocating that anyone no matter how young should be at kink events. They are I agree in principle for adults. By saying I'm not too worried if someone is a few months short of their majority I am NOT saying 'bring your kids'. Please try, try, try to read what I put and not go crazy at snippets out of context. And while I'm typing this can I just say... Oh good grief what kind of a world are we living in that I have to put this kind of warning on the top of a blog post? Well obviously the world didn't really end, another false apocalypse. But people did get themselves rather worked up about it. Some local munches have decided that they're going to ID people coming to their munches. Yep, you have to prove your age and identity. So if you're not very obviously over the age of majority and you're nervously approaching your first meeting of kinky people you will have to disclose your age and identity to a total stranger. I might be wrong but I think many young people would find that a smidge off putting. This seems like an amazingly big overreaction to someone a few months short of their majority having been found to have had conversations with people. And you ARE honestly going to alienate a lot of people if you're going to insist on seeing ID [...]