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Thoughts about the Granada workshops and performances

We just arrived from the Granada workshops and performances. It was the first time I was teaching the kuzushi workshop in Spain, and I was a bit scared about my first proper performance. We arrived at Malaga airport from Cologne and were picked up by CarlosG. And the weather was SO GOOD. Sun, warm weather and blue sky. The organizers, Miguel Makido and CarlosG, who organize the Ata2 Rope Crew in Granada, were amazing. They took care of us, hosted us and they were incredibly kind.

The workshops were divided in 3 different parts: creativity, structures and suspensions. And the first thing I realized was the huge mix of technical levels in the room. There were people with very basic knowledge and people that were really experts with years of experience. So being able to give exercises that were useful to everybody was a big challenge. I found that the people with less experience were faster in the creative process but the people with more knowledge about classical forms arrive to more interesting solutions. We talked and tried different key elements that can be used and arrived to some interesting chest and hips structures.

At night we went to “La Estupenda Artes Escenicas” where the performances were going to happen. I was quite nervous but time passed fst adjusting the lights, music, the projections and the structure. The first performers were me and Margout Darko. We did a not very complex Naka-inspired trasitions that I find challenging and beautiful, but with a japanese style. We wanted to go away from the usual hip-harness structure that everybody use in performances when they start. It was a 25 minute thing and everything went as planned, I hope the people liked it.

Then Pilar Aldea came with some “Shibari Coplas”. An amazing narration/poetry that tells the story of a wannabe rigger and his trayectory and experiences in the ropes world. No spoilers but you need to watch this 🙂

Then, Oogieboo and Aanecroo went out and did an amazing performance. It is really impressive the technical level thay are achieving in so short time. It was beautiful and when everybody thought it was going to finish, they surprised everybody with something I never saw at a shibari performance. But because they are going to perform again in Madrid next day 18 November I won’t tell what is it.

And the last peformance was by Pilar Aldea and Lee Sola. And this was completely amazing. It was the first time I was able to see Pilar Aldea doing her own complete rope style since years. Called “Desvan”, and using a lot of different kind of ropes, wooden figures and clothes, she mixed real time poetry/spoken word with an amazing music. It was extremely beautiful and I hope she does it again 🙂

The last workshop day was a surprise. Everybody did a creative kuzushi chest structure with the goal of suspension and even the people with the most basic levels were able to achieve some interesting structures. Because we deconstructed and analyzed the classical forms, everybody was able to uderstand what they were doing, and, at the same time, arrive to completely different solutions. It was so beautiful to see everybody doing things in a personal style and so many different structures made from the same basic premises… Because we divided the class in two levels, the exercises were different, and people from the high level were able to do full suspensions and most of them, a transition to inversion using the structures they developed. And after a final security talk, we finished this amazing workshop at granada.

I think shibari is a communication. And when you do the same TK all the time again and again, your communication becames repetitive. And boring. And yes, practice is important, but also enjoying what you do. So I hope with this workshop, the students have now a different way of communication that allows them to talk in a more creative way with their partners, to surprise them, and to repeat the basic pieces and elements of shibari without getting bored or stuck in the same structures. And it is also cool to do things that are different to what everybody else is doing. I can’t wait to come back to the south of Spain.

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