Lvrgrl’s Weblog


Lunch with Rachel
October 17, 2008, 3:20 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags:

In casual conversation over cheap and tasty Sudanese food in Berlin’s burgeoning Friedrichschein, dancer / choreographer Rachel Brooker confirmed that the fabulous freaks are here, alive and well, just as you may have hoped. This past spring, her performance piece,”Invitation,” came alive at Dock 11, quietly questioning our personal rules with touch. With dancers strew about a block box space, separated into a mock house complete with living room, bedroom, and TV room, Brooker invited audience members to meander around and touch the poised participants wherever their skin was visible to the naked eye. A middle-aged woman sprawled over a couch, face hidden in the pillows, had exposed arms and accepted a warm daughterly embrace held long enough to experience feelings of maternal acceptance. A young couple from the audience tentatively touched a coquettish woman revealing only the nape of her neck with her head turned to the side, chin slightly lifted before parting the lace of her glove from her delicate wrist.

While her piece asked audience members to consider intimacy and touch, it wasn’t intended to be sexual. “It’s about being cozy,” Rachel lamented. Now this is a theoretical challenge for any uptight American to which all dealings of the flesh speak to sex. Leave it to a open and loving ex-pat to expose a wild spectrum of sexuality between the body in orgasm and one making it’s way through every day life. What’s not a direct turn on may well surround your pleasure center, cushioning it from impacts too great to be immediately absorbed. The subtle power dynamic of who can touch, when and where, gives a distance from the actual sex, a space perfectly comfortable for those prone to over-thinking each vibration that comes our way.

Just minutes into our conversation, Rachel arrives at the topic of SM and the tight-knit but straight female friendly community catering to each others needs here in Berlin. Like in San Francisco, it’s common practice for folks to go over to each other’s homes to try out new techniques and explore together. But this play doesn’t just happen behind closed doors. At Schelle7, a performance space dedicated to dance, yoga, body, movement, art and bondage, these practices can be public matters. Catering to both insiders and new comers, a scheduled of workshops, performances and inner circle parties take place within a huge warehouse space. It may be in Wedding – not the most friendly and welcoming areas of Berlin (disclosure, I got lost looking for the party and got pick pocketed on the Subway) but it’s here, non-the-less.

edited and posted on CAKE

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