The circus of pain
Between April and November 2004 I directed the performances of Revolution, a Bdsm event after a totally new concept. The experiment was a huge success until, shortly after I left due to the severe disagreements with the sponsors, they vanished entirely along with the event. A backup copy of the official website and this “memories book” is all that remains.
«What would you do to make a Bdsm party really special?» That was a trick question, traitorously asked after months of musings among friends about how Italy lacked those mega-events we all occasionally attended abroad.
«Erm… You could set up a sort of show… Mmm… A well-thought performance to heat the spirit up and to show that kind of play which usually isn’t there…»
«Ok. Excellent. So you’ll take care of it, ok?»
«Of directing the performances, of course. Didn’t I tell you that starting next month we’re running a party in a large club out of Milan?»
Voilà. Fucked like a pro. But with great pleasure.
The Revolution project was simple, grand and lethal: to bring on stage the 120 Days of Sodom in the Cirque du Soleil style. Each month. Every time with a different theme. A dream challenge.
The funny part is that, with help from many friends, we actually did it. Dungeon, Bondage, Piercing, Loft, School, Goth… Even a birthday! Every time, although the backstage atmosphere reminded us of the Muppet Show and in spite of the curse of endless mishaps, we managed to give shape to the most diverse fantasies. From the soundtrack to the scenes, everything contributed to create ambiences and situations never seen before in the local Scene. The excitement of playing with wax while surrounded by hundreds of candles, in example, will forever remain in my most intense memories.
Sure, Broadway does it better. But we won our bet, and after years of pilgrimages to Northern Europe and the USA, you can’t believe how satisfying it was to see guests coming in from abroad. France, Germany, Swiss, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic… All of them there to see us Italians, finally able to show that we can handle whips as well as the proverbial mandolin.
Of course with success also came criticisms. Sometimes they were constructive, but more often absurdly aggressive, denigratory, full of incomprehensible fury and all the more hurtful as they came not from misinformed bigots, but from within the Scene itself. It was a shame to witness once again the lack of the most basic mutual support within a community which, after all, is still small and surely doesn’t need internal fights. But c’est la vie.
Luckily, now that other things forced me to renounce the director’s role and to relax a little, I realize with pleasure that the cheers were much more than the boos; That the new friends met during this adventure are much more than those who disappeared along the way; That the memories of so many good moments remain, while all the organization problems are forgotten already. And that with adventures, it’s always better to live them than regretting not having seized the chance to.
I’d probably better get ready for the next one.