July 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm #2599
A couple of week ago I was talking with someone about our last shows in London (LFAJRB and Bound) and she said she received hundreds of appreciations, right at the events and via web…I was a little surprised because, except for close friends and few others (thanks again for the support) I had no feedback about the shows…maybe some little smiles through the crowd.
So my questions are: Why? Does the rigger not deserve not any appreciations? Is it just my problem or do you have noticed the same attitude???July 29, 2014 at 5:47 pm #2600
Most Japanese professional rope masters who I have met said this ;
‘100% credit should go to the model in the show, not to me’
Almost everyone has said the same.
I think That’s the traditional Japanese concept for the Kinbaku show(or photo shoots, whatever).
To me it seems that a lot of Japanese riggers purely want to be a humble craftsman in the show whereas many Western ones want to be an artist in their own right.
(no one should say meanigless things like, which way is better/true, etc. Nothing is better. Both are good)
Even if people don’t come to the riggers and don’t compliment them in their face, I am sure people appreciate the rope work somehow. Appreciations don’t always have to be visible and direct.
Maybe there is a big (cultural) difference between the Japanese way of thinking and the Western way of it? I don’t know… But I personally think that in general Western people want appreciation and compliment a lot more than we do.
(e.g. The reaction after you compliment someone is quite distinctive. As far as I have seen, in the West, most people would reply ‘thank you’. But in Japan, people often would say ‘oh no, it is not like that, you don’t have to compliment, but thanks anyway…’ etc, etc)July 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm #2601
I prefer to think of a kinbakushi as being a facilitator on stage. Yes, simply, merely a facilitator.
The really talented kinbakushi may be recognized even as a co-actor and will get more attention, if she/he is mastering also dramatic and theatrical talents, and being able to reflect that some form of exchange is (also) taking place on stage. But, I find this type of show talent very rare in the West, whereas the need to place one self in the focus to draw attention seems to be the purpose for many a rigger with a superstar in his/her belly. Some people start very early to think they are so very special, simply because they’re fairly ok at throwing ropes. They use this to boost, or strengthen their ego. They need to appear so-so dominant and showing they are in power and control. But, you can teach a monkey to throw ropes and be cruel without emotion. However a kinbakushi is maybe considered to ALSO have human capacity to pass on the deeper emotional aspects that reflect what is happening on stage. Not just the ropes. But much more important the (any kind of) exchange between the rigger and the model/partner.
The kinbakushi works with an array of changing sensations, moods, emotion, passion. Etc. All reflected through the interaction and communication with the model/partner. The biggest difference between east and West I believe is exactly that kind of exchange, or the lack hereof. What is going on between the people on stage. Never focused on the technical aspects.
Does the show reflect any Authenticity? Any real Emotion? Any kind of exchange going on between them? Or, is it just about control, pain and suffering, like a power-showoff? Look here what a talented guy I am…. So many Self proclaimed twuwe rope Artists and Masters of the Universe…
Maybe we need to buy a mirror. What about, as part of learning basic rope skills to also practice some humbleness and modesty. What about practicing self reflection, and not just feeding our own needs for attention. Those are things that most people start to learn very early in life. Basic human skills, some may say. I’ll never forget what a good friend once said, “Ropes don’t lie!” We just can’t hide our true selves in rope. So, why not take the opportunity to develop ourselves personally as well as technically when we do ropes together with another human being. What a truly excellent training ground? Maybe as important skills to become a respected kinbakushi, working steadily with ones Ego?
Too often I see riggers entering stage and limelight, driven by a deep urge to show off their seemingly (and maybe very excellent) raw, technical rope skills simply to boost their Ego. The type that seems to be tying like a shibari robot on steroids – watch me! Admire Me! My amazing speed and control! I find this kind of performance so utterly uninteresting after a few minutes, or seconds. I find it boring when a live show/session lacks that emotion and exchange, like if it was only designed, and rehearsed to show “how great a rigger I am”. And of course a true Artist, yeah right…. Did someone ever feel after, or during a show that something essential was missing in the “picture”? Maybe you can put better words on this than me. My Enguish sucks. So, what do YOU want to see in a live show/session/performance? What rocks your boat?
Well some shows are specifically designed to attract audience to pay for entertainment. Typically they want some hardcore high-pace action, some pain and suffering, and some tits and ass. A type of shows optimized to sell drinks and tickets. It’s when rope becomes commercial and enters Adult Showbiz. Designed for good sales and salary. Sure I’m fine with that. But find it usually pretty boring to watch after a while when attempted by Westerners, except on rare occasions with a few really outstanding talents (maybe a handful or two of them in the entire World outside Japan?. In my view it’s people who prove that it takes a LOT more than just simply excellent rope skills to become an attractive performer on stage to keep people’s attention. Again, it’s that thing about the exchange and emotion, or lack hereof?
The kinbakushi as an Artist…. oohhh, well ok, maybe yes in case he/she is staying behind, and not craving the focus from the model/partner/canvas/motive…. Otherwise it’s like when you can’t really see the artwork, because the “artist” himself is covering the sculpture with his body at the gallery.
Which may raise another question… When does a ropester become a rope artist. Who is to decide. And who cares about it besides the rope artist. What is it, this need to call one self an Artist?July 29, 2014 at 6:28 pm #2608
I liken a great rope top/artist to a great painter: The paints, i.e., ropes, get layered onto the canvas, i.e., rope bottom, and the evolving/finished product is the painting itself, which is to be admired, appreciated, &c. As for the painter, the glory is in the work itself, not the one who ‘worked’ it, albeit that shouldn’t stop people from giving feedback and/or kudos even.
For me personally, the best shows have been where the rope bottom has gone on a specific journey, from A to Z, and come out of it in a different space/place. That usually happens when the connection with the rigger is is solid, deep and true. And therein lies the magic.July 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm #2609
I don’t know how it is with other cultures but I’ve noticed that there are exceptional rope tops who have massive egos and one’s that don’t. Most of it seems to deal with the person in general. Rope is simple, it’s people that are complicated. The percentage in bondage is about the same that it is anywhere else. In everything that we do there are people with inflated egos made of glass and people who are simply awesome without being an asshole about it. The most ego I’ve ever seen was in the vanilla world of sport cracking.
I can understand how easy it is to develop an unhealthy ego. If you have ‘the bug’ then you practice more and you improve faster than many of your peers who don’t have ‘the bug’. Pretty soon after that you have your selection of willing uke and you keep hearing how amazing you are. If you hear something often enough you’re probably going to start believing it. It’s one of the reasons that I prefer constructive feedback by a small handful of people that I know have no fear in letting me know where I can improve. I’m not going to lie, positive feedback following a performance or a scene feels good. I get a warm tingle down my spine but I don’t let it go to my head.
In conclusion, feel free to compliment people, it makes them feel good. If you’re the one getting complimented don’t let it go to your head. Bear in mind that you can always do better and there’s probably someone better than yourself out there.July 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm #2610
To me it sounds like a lot of riggers have never created any other kind of art. I am a photographer, a writer, and even a bad painter. The person in the rope is part of your art. When they compliment her or him they are complimenting your work, your art, your skill. The rope bottom is just as much part of the art as your rope. It is no different then a person whispering at the painting on the wall. Those that come to you to stroke your ego are not interested in your art but in what they can get from you. There is not greater joy then to observe someone discussing the complexity of a shot and the skills in my photographs. It is also nice when they notice the subjects in them as I thought they where worth placing with my art.July 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm #2611
I really like the attitude of all the Japanese I have seen perform. Neither the rigger nor the rope is the focus. They hide behind their model most of the time, giving the model all the attention, which makes the “shaming” more strong. Several techniques are performed in the back, nobody can see what happens with the rope, but they can see what happens in the model’s face.
It’s the same than painting or music. When you create something beautiful, people will say that this is good song, or a beautiful painting. When you have created several good pieces, you may get appreciated as a good artist by your peers. But for many non-specialist, they will not notice this, but see something beautiful in what they are experiencing in the moment, and that should be enough.
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