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.