The first performance started out with Little Miss Innocent getting all knotted up. Asagi Ageha looked gorgeous in her black and white dress. Steve used soft, violet ropes and some thin red ropes for this set which created a nice impression of different colors and materials blended together to form a very sexy exhibit.
As soon as she was tied up, Ageha began to drift away into her own little world. I have rarely seen a girl get so carried away. The influence of the rope on her psyche is a sight to behold. Every touch made her shiver in her helpless situation and her responses to the brush as well as to Steve’s touch as she was slowly stripped just carried her further into sub-space.
The second set included the pulley Steve has attached to the ceiling. Ageha wore a white corset-like dress that looked really great but, for some reason, made her feel embarrassed or, as she said, Hazukashii!. Very sweet. The set was a suspension that must have looked like something from Swan Lake
While her left arm was tied in a takakote-like way, her calves were tightly strapped to her upper legs and then fixed at the suspension point (right leg) or to a rope running around her belly (left leg). The pulley is really an interesting prop, since the act of hoisting the model up is entirely different from the way Steve lifts her up in a non-pulley suspension.
Additionally, Steve told me that the pulley makes it possible to use entirely different patterns which would not be possible with a non-pulley suspension. And, of course, the final impression of a lovely female body, suspended like some kind of crate (yet much more elegant) is remarkable.
The third set was a yokozuri. This time, we used a red kimono on a stand in the background and Ageha was wearing a red and yellow kimono. But then, something really unexpected happened. Just after Steve lifted Ageha up, the fire alarm went off! We saw no smoke but it is a big building, so Steve untied Ageha and we all went out to check on the status.
Fortunately, there was no fire. Just some guy who was cooking something on the first floor. So Steve had to start all over again (which gave me the chance to once again tape the first half of the performance and try to shoot it better this time).
Steve lifted Ageha right up to the ceiling, as high as possible, and kept her up there for what seemed an eternity. It is unbelievable how long she can stay suspended. It seems completely natural for her to be tightly bound while slowly spinning high above the heads of the audience.
Steve told me yesterday that a successful suspension shows that the bondage has been done properly. No knots causing discomfort nor too much pressure on the joints. Blood flow is not unduly restricted and so on. So, a successful suspension proves the skill and experience of the nawashi who creates it, like in the martial arts where smashing through thick wood shows the skill of the master karateka. From this point of view, the rope work was very good since it seemed like Ageha was not very interested in standing back on her own two feet.
The last set was a bamboo newaza. Ageha was sitting on the ground, wearing a light colored, intimate gown. The pattern was asymmetrical and intricate, just the way I like it when it comes to newaza.
With the bamboo behind her back, even parts of her gown were included into a new design. All the materials, skin, bamboo and cloth were mixed together into a sculpture of intricate beauty.
Bending joints, arranging the body, fixing it in a certain position, modifying it here and there, adding another rope. In my opinion, this is very close to the art of a master sculptor, working with a block of marble, creating patterns, expressions and shapes out of raw material.
It was a stunning and fascinating evening.