PROBABILITY PRAXIS 11 of 28 – WAXING GIBBOUS

Het-Bos,
Antwerp, Belgium, STRANGELOVE Festival

2 June 2017

Interlocuters: Manon la
Décadence and Lu

This was one of my favorite moments of the ritual at STRANGELOVE. So many people joined us in laying down and taking a moment just to make contact with the ground and to listen to the sounds. For me personally this is also a moment i love, when I let my full back come into contact with the concrete and imagine myself is part of the architecture, as part of foundation, of stone, of earth.

There were other moments in this night as well where the audience was really inside the group experience, for example when we put on our blindfolds and danced together. I felt myself touching so many different bodies, indistinguishable but different. Sensing various energies both distinct and yet combined into one. This was a moment of imagining our collective body!

And again, in the end, when suddenly there was a collective heaving from the group on the stage, helping Adrienne to carry the log and strike it into the … barrier ? the border? into what does she strike? It is powerful to see what develops spontaneously amongst us as a group.

On the level of constructive criticism of our performance, I felt that we could have been more concise in the moment when we spoke to the group. I will suggest to Adrienne that we rethink through what are the main points we want to make sure to address and also how to connect this to “clean and unclean” since we do not go directly into “binaries”. i also would like to continue to improve our harmonies so that we can do them without thinking ! And personally for the Octomantic Ritual I still feel that I need to work in gathering the collective energy behind dancing together, or building a consistent choreography.

krf

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 10 of 28 – WAXING GIBBOUS

Backstage photos by Jakob Ra. Thank you. With Interlocuters Hana Frisonsova and Tereza Silon

Underdogs Ballroom, Prague, Czech, hosted by MENU and HANA FRISONSOVA

20 May 2017

Interlocuters: Hana
Frisonsova and Tereza Silon

I want to thank firstly
those who helped make this show possible.

There was Hana
Frisonsova, of course, who has been with us for a long time, a
support and shining star, creating as well a weaving of our union, of
our partnership and reflecting it back to us in her designs. On
Friday we put on the clothing, we envelop ourselves inside the
clothing that she created from our disem/bodies. Our eyes, our legs,
our hands … our faces covered. It is a strange and beautiful
experience to see our love reflected back to us. At night we wear the
eyes, our own eyes, photographed, mirrored, reflected. I wonder at
what it “means” or what it says. For now I wear them with pride;
they are at least beautiful objects symbolizing third eyes,
possibilities for opening. For the show it only made sense that Hana
would dance with us and add her energy to the project.

We were also able to
invite one of my dearest friends and muses, Tereza Silon, whose
artistic practice I have long admired. She would be a natural choice
as a mover who both knows well her own body, how to live in her skin,
and also how to reach outside her body and connect with others. Not
only did she contribute as an interlocutor, but further, she provided
excellent textual translations into Czech for the visuals. These I
feel are so important, so that the ritual is as inclusive as possible
and so that it is not assumed that English predominates.

And last but not least I
want to thank Zdeněk Konečný, who organizes the MENU parties and
mixtapes, who put together a great lineup and found a wonderful venue
for this night.

The ritual was so full
this night, a feeling so strong of involvement from everyone, from
going deep in. At one point I realized that all 50 of the blindfolds
were being used, and that everyone had accepted this idea and were
going in with us. I had the feeling that the full show was slowly
taking shape, gaining maturity, gaining strength. That we were
beginning to believe that this could happen, that we could come into
a space that we do not know and face those “we do not know,” that
we could ask people who come for a concert to trust us as
facilitators on a different kind of journey.

There was a moment my
body came into contact with a very large white masculine presenting
body. And I realized that this was, is, for me, a kind of “other”,
a body that as growing up read as female, I have sometimes feared. I
have feared “his” presumed sexism, his presumed entitlement, his
presumed sexuality, his presumed entitlement to that sexuality over
mine. I realized in this moment that in our contact I was helping to
overcome some of my presumptions, some of my fears, or rather, that I
(already) had, through many years of practicing, become more powerful
and confident in my own body. And this allowed me to make contact
with him and to question a boundary. I felt that he responded to
this, by relaxing, by approaching just as tenderly and by shedding
some of his resistance. And this felt, these moments feel, very good.

I had a few people tell
me they were changed forever, that this was one of the most
influential moments of their lives. I was speechless at this, but
very very happy to think that I could be part of a transformation.
And certainly that the transformation is also in me each time I
perform.

KRF

Magic – The Art of Liberation

Starhawk on magic
(from Truth or Dare):

 

“Today I will name it (magic) this: the art of liberation, the act that releases the mysteries, that ruptures the fabric of our beliefs and lets us look into the heart of deep space where dwell the immeasurable, life generating powers.

 

“Those powers live in us also, as we live in them. The mysteries are what is wild in us, what cannot be quantified or contained. But the mysteries are also what is most common to us all: blood, breath, heartbeat, the sprouting of seed, the waxing and waning of the moon, the turning of the earth around the sun, birth growth, death and renewal.”

Super Short Bursts of Light!

11 February ∣ Melbourne, AU – Yo! Sissy Goes Down Under @ 24 Moons
16 February ∣ Melbourne, AU – Honcho Disko @ The 86
24 February ∣ Sydney, AU – Tokyo Sing Song
25 February ∣ Sydney, AU – Control @ Red Rattler
04 March    ∣ Sydney, AU – Unicorns – Mardi Gras Edition

We’ve developed a new format for the club shows in Australia. It is a much
shorter set in which we concentrate on the basic: building the circle, making contact with hands and eyes and asking for people to crouch down. This  gathers attention so that we can then all stand up together and begin the  Octomantic Ritual.

Then we do something really new–we speak from the stage about what we are doing. At first, we were worried that it would be really “cheesy” but we also realized with short stage times in club environments, its too much to do an hour long show and its too much to do a short show without an explanation about what the hell is going on.

So we have been speaking about magic, about harnessing energy (we liked a lot what we read from Starhawk about their definitions of magic) and how we can use this energy to send out positive, affirmative statements, intentions.

We also guide the group into the practice of breathing, using the fire breath as a focal point of activity. This helps go from the calm speaking part to the high energy Binaries, in which we shout out our opposing categories … sacred/profane, cock/cunt, border/flow.

Binaries then leads directly into the shouting out of the intentions, so there is no drop in energy. And in this moment we (intend to) scream them out. Then without stopping, we go directly into the last section, bringing us
all into the here and now, twerking/dancing together.

The format is compressed and doesn’t have as many or as deep highs and lows, but we both feel that it works in the context a lot better than the full “probability praxis.” For this reason, we’re also unsure whether or no to count these “super short bursts of light” a full probability workshop session or not.

Some of our favorite mind memories are these:

At Red Rattler and at Unicorns, bringing everybody on stage for the final twerking. At Unicorns, the twerking got really dirty and intense, spreading onto the dance floor off the stage and went straight into the club feeling. At Red Rattler, we passed out the instruments and people began to play them with us. Someone told me, “at first I was trying to make sense of how the instruments fit together, but then I realized … it really doesn’t matter. Anything can work with anything else to make sound.” When the music fell to the last silent part, with just the large “log on water drum”, we created a kind of group tableaux,
where everyone from the audience was on stage, touching each others’ backs. Adrienne was dancing alone on the floor with the log. I want to always keep a mental picture of this, it was so beautiful.

When people came onto the stage, for some reason I was compelled to say to them, “you should really go up there is
really nice, it’s really much better in the light.” I felt happy and joyous as they came with me. I wanted things to feel really light, really easy.

Someone said to us “I really liked how you asked consent before you even touched my shoulder”. We in fact don’t ask consent every time we touch people, but this positive feedback makes me think its really important to do that and helps me rethink how I approach people.

At the final show in Sydney, one woman said to me, when I first came
up to her: “what do you want me to do. Cause you are freaking me out.”

I realize that I should have asked her ahead of time if I could touch her
hand. I explained that I wanted her to crouch down with me. And that we
were going to do a spell together. But this still did not suffice as an
explanation. So I ended up moving to another person so she would not
feel pressure. But I also felt bad that I “left her” because she is
someone that I could have, perhaps, reached out to more in answer to her
resistance. Or … maybe letting her alone was the right choice so that
she could observe.

We thought a lot about how to explain from the stage how to state an intention. While we don’t want to tell people what intentions to have, we also want to quickly and effectively set an example of how they should be stated. Our friend Linsey who is a practicing witch says that we should speak of the wish/intention as though it has already happened. This is a bit challenging to explain quickly without giving an example. In any case we would like to use a present
tense, to show that it is a process, a present thing that is
happening and ongoing, for example: I live in a world without gender.

It is sometimes difficult to get many people moving during the “moshing” part of binaries. Sometimes I feel like we are just knocking people around. I would like instead to help slowly “stir” people into increasing intensive kinetic movement.

We used the blindfolds during it was not the earth, which is a complete change in our normal “choreography.” But we found it effective to begin with Kate blindfolding Adrienne and then beginning to turn her (Adrienne) as though she is the water moving through the water wheel, Adrienne becoming the water wheel, and creating the energy of the spell. Then Kate moved through the audience hoping to blindfold others and to engage other people as water wheels. It was difficult, however, to pass out the blindfolds to very many people without assistance.

The show is ecstatic for us and for our audience when it works because it
is an opportunity to become interactive with strangers in a way which
is not possible in everyday life, though we would like it to be. You
cannot approach someone at the bank and necessarily have such an
encounter. But through performance and show we can begin, and this is one small breaking of the norm. This small breaking of the norm helps us to see how this could be an opening, a larger breaking, an alternative way of interacting, spreading and enveloping.

show reflections

La Colonie, Paris,
France at MN³ w/ Polychrome – Society of Silence

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 9 of
28 – WAXING GIBBOUS

17 December 2016

translation is badly needed for french and german. As well that the people who act as interlocuters are told ahead of time that we would like them to speak ahead of time to people in their own language; I dont think its fair of me to spring this on them the night of the show. It is so important for this project to happen. We have to make links to people ahead of the show. We would like to make recordings of peoples intentions for change that we can live trigger during the show, but we are wondering about how to do this dynamically so that it is a smooth trigger of clean samples. Especially when there is a lot of
noise prior to the show how do we get samples that are clean enough.

We are living in a slippery place, a ritual, a show, a concert venue, an expectation of a theater. Not wanting to force anyone to do anything, not wanting to tell anyone how to participate. This is in a music venue for the most
part ,except that the show is long, that there is a lot of expectation of our audience. We have tried now several times to do the show n the club context and each time I have the impression that the show is just a little bit too long for some people, that they would like to duck out, that unless they are entirely swept under and with us, they fall detached, they wonder how to stay within this.

Every time we do this show, I do not finish with a sense of euphoria, I finish with a sense of critical awareness of how I have now achieved the best show possible. I finish with a sense that I am in unchartered territory, even that I might have bitten off more than I can chew. That I am trying something that is difficult and I am not really able to entirely pull it off. But I also finish with the distinct feeling that I should continue on, because so many people give me the
feedback that they felt it was incredible, sometimes the most amazing thing they have ever seen, sometimes that they think they needed it, that “something” in the room happened, that they experienced euphoria, that they felt transformed. So I continue on of course, I mean, we do. And I want to.

The ground feels fresh and fragile to me. I know that not everyone feels transformed, or even touched. I know that some people hate it. I know that some people feel alienated, or leave. But others feel transformed. Others
feel hopeful. Others at least feel that it is the right challenge to be taking on. They sometimes also offer constructive feedback. In this case, one person said it was too long, which confirmed a hunch of mine.

In answer to this we would like to ask that when we agree with a venue ahead of time that indeed we will do a full club show, that we take on the idea of fully
going into this … perhaps by opening with breathing (I did bring this consciously into my movement, but we are speaking of something even deeper, more conscientious). Then perhaps by going into yoga, or eating together, or having some other kind of meditative incantation.

I still feel that I havenot created a clear enough “entrance”, or “partition” into
the circle, an entry for the audience into the ritual. It is ratherthat I enter their space, not that we enter a fresh space together. I find this problematic. We have to work towards the goal of full immersion, which requires a level of volume, the project, the lights. One where we all feel taken inside a space. And the bar is not a distraction.

alfabus

Show Reflections – Paris 17.12

We felt, overwhelmingly, that we had performed well. We were pleased with ourselves, with what we had achieved. Our dancers were a strong support, we had an experience, we were with one another, and with our audience. It was a strong encounter.

We felt some limitations. Our goal with the ritual has always been to meld with, into the audience. We have achieved this, in our small gathering in the pilgrim’s shelter in Murgia in southern Italy, at our album launch, in Bologna, these were strong experiences. From our perspective though it requires a strengthening of our ability to shape the context of the ritual. We would like to share a communal meal, to re-enliven our bodies through stretching and yoga, to talk politics, economics, magic and spirituality
with those gathered in order that when the ritual begins, we have constituted something like a spiritual public.

More and more, with the limitations imposed by arriving at a club, establishing the ritual space, soundchecking, entering costume and make up and performing, there is no time available to perform this necessary being with others, and so there is an uneasy tension between the normal expectations of a live music event (to provide entertainment) and the broader goals of our ritual (to connect, to find empowerment, to embolden collective action).

We have begun to think that, perhaps we should demarcate our club performance from our ritual performance, and enact the ritual only where those who bring us to a space or a venue are able to provide the conditions and the time necessary to constitute a spiritual public.

xil