Shibari is the ancient Japanese art of bondage, which this Winnipeg theatre company shows off in an intimate performance that is both erotic and educational.
The rope, the audience is told, is used as an expression of love, trust and consent, and over the next 45 minutes, the five members of the group demonstrate all the different ways the jute rope can be used, as bodies are manipulated into various positions using a variety of intricate knots that, while looking painful, actually serve as massage aids and touch on pressure points, much like acupuncture. (None of the characters speak, but a narrator explains the history of Shibari and the aesthetics of the craft.)
The sensual performance is akin to watching a private moment in someone’s bedroom and some of the positions — especially when the bound subjects are hanging from a wooden beam — are impressive feats of strength and agility.
Although there isn’t much of a plot and the show is more like a demonstration workshop, it’s safe to say there probably has never been anything quite like this at the fringe. It could make a fun show for a date (or knot).
— Rob Williams