Capital Fringe Review: ‘Dreams in the Arms of the Binding Lady’ by Grace Kim

Dreams  In The Arms of The Binding Lady is a deliciously dark and weird (in a good way!) performance by Izumi Ashizawa and her performers, Izumi production members Nick Horan, Raechel Nolan, Vanessa Nolan, Claudia Rosales, and Vanessa Taylor.

The set design  by JD Madsen, lighting by Derek Jones, costumes by Izumi Ashizawa and Marilyn Bertch, and music by Simos Papanas with chanting composed by Izumi are minimalist, and yet so expressive and impressively effective in portraying a powerful story.

Since there are few spoken words, the story unfolds through the brilliant props and magnificent performance of the “victim,” Nick Horan. His performance was enhanced by the use of white kabuki make-up covering the upper half his face, darkly lined eyes, and dark lips. His costume, a bare chest and a long skirt that did double-duty depending on the scene that was all white on one side  and black with spider web patterns on the other side.

Why the spider patterns? The ‘Binding Lady’ is a Japanese spider species and according to some Japanese legends, a Binding Lady can change its appearance into a seductive woman who entices a man into a quiet shack and then binds her victim in spider silk threads. Izumi and her performers expertly portray this legend in such a well-delivered manner that at times I didn’t know what the hell was going on but I was creept out and scared–the same way the victim, Nick Horan, was feeling.

Don’t miss Dreams In The Arms of The Binding Lady. You will definitely remember it and you might even have a nightmare.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to our Fringe Preview.


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