Everything I See I Swallow

Something special is about to happen - we know this deeply and cerebrally as we enter stage to the mesmerising image of Maisy Taylor intricately entwined in shibari ropes, barely visible through stage mist. This is juxtaposed with the stark figure of Tamsin Shasha writing on a board ‘Don’t Look At Me’, all enveloped in an immersive vocal backdrop detailing the resurgence of feminism, as intersectionality and progression ooze out of each carefully dropped word.

A brilliant scrutiny of nuanced elements of the feminist debate.

On a very basic level, this is a fascinating portrayal of a mother/daughter dynamic assisted by the medium of interpretive aerial dance, exploring a generational divide. On another level, this performance is a brilliant scrutiny of nuanced elements of the feminist debate. Freedoms of fourth and fifth wave feminism are very different to the second wave feminism of the 70s and 80s, with the very topics which shattered the movement back then reappearing in this performance to demonstrate the progress we’ve made in understanding ourselves both as women, and in the context of wider society. Stark contrasts are given as Shasha drops concepts from feminists of yore, once pivotal in a movement which improved life for women. Taylor paradoxically presents another option – a world where empowerment takes the chains that bind us, and uses them to set us free. A world where polyamory and bdsm can provide a peacefulness in relinquishing control. Shasha and Taylor embrace the conflict in these movements and tease them out to an eventual conclusion.

Shasha and Taylor have achieved brilliance in the message behind this performance – a sophisticated dissection of what owning our femaleness really means and how intergenerational feminist collaboration can produce something even more fit for purpose. From a performance perspective, the mental battles which become physical through use of ropes and feats of aerial combat and togetherness are exquisite - both artists abound with talent. Synchronised performances, projections onto bodies and costume changes amplify the message. With a bit of finesse in and out of movements, this performance will easily be elevated to five stars.

Reviews by Jodie McVicar

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Everything I See I Swallow is a provocative examination of a mother/daughter relationship, set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality. 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? Fusing theatre and aerial rope work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage, shibari, Swallow is an unusual and compelling encounter.

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