Female empowerment, shifting attitudes to sex and feminismand shibari – the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage
“I’m not just an object. I’ve made a choice. To be here, to be tied, and...not to deny my sexuality.”
Where does freedom of expression end and exploitation begin? And what is the difference? Everything I See I Swallow is a compelling study of female empowerment and shifting generational attitudes to sex and feminism, fusing theatre, aerial performance and shibari – the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage.
An art curator discovers that her daughter has amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram by posting semi pornographic images of herself. Although appalled she decides to exhibit her daughter as a live installation and then proceeds to make a case against bondage as un-feminist and chauvinistic. And so begins a battle of wills, beliefs and family values as the bond between mother and daughter is put to the test.
In a world where #MeToo and #TimesUp have become rallying cries against female sexual harassment, how does a woman defend the objectiﬁcation of her own body and the gaze from those around her? How are the lines drawn and how is the rope tied?
In this provocative and unforgettable examination, rope becomes a metaphor to explore themes of control, gender, dominance and submission.
Tamsin Shasha and Maisy Taylor are aerial performers with a generation between them, sharing an interest in female sexuality and its place in the modern world. Tamsin is artistic director of Actors of Dionysus and an experienced actor, performer and director. She was last at the Fringe with her solo show Bacchic in 2007, drawing favourable comparisons with that year’s production of The Bacchae starring Alan Cumming. Maisy graduated in 2015 with a first class honours degree from the National Centre for Circus Arts. She has spent the last few years in strip clubs and on the London cabaret scene, exploring the cultural and political significance of female sexuality and its relationship with performance.
Both artists see Swallow as a forum for discussion, particularly in relation to young women and the pressures of social media. Tamsin says ‘It’s about a young woman who is not a victim in any sense and who chooses to express her sexuality in a way that many find uncomfortable’. Maisy adds ‘The play’s ultimate message is positive and offers hope and understanding for the future’.
‘Clever, highly effective, an original, remarkable and mesmerising re-working … Alan Cumming will have to work hard to better the hugely talented Tamsin Shasha’★★★★ The Scotsman (on Bacchic)
‘Shasha is a dazzling, sensuous performer. This inventive re-working has pertinence, conviction and style’
★★★★★British Theatre Guide (on Bacchic)
Watch the video here https://vimeo.com/337319451