I perform Bound Feet Blues without any costumes or props – or even any shoes. My aim is to invite the audience to experience the show in the way that we have all experienced stories being told to us when we were children – that is, by co-creating the characters, events and landscapes in our imaginations.
I use my left hand to map the process of footbinding – it starts off as a normal “foot” and is steadily contorted and “broken” into the twisted shape that you see in the photo below. For comparison, I’ve also found a photo of an actual bound foot – also below.
This performance photo was taken at the scratch night in March at Conway Hall.
The most prized foot was called “the golden lotus” – it was three inches long and considered to be the ideal size because it was the smallest size achievable – although some women managed to make their feet even smaller ie down to 2.7 inches….!
Photo 1: from http://gossamerstrands.com/Hist100/lecture10.htm with thanks
Photo2 : from my personal album – https://www.flickr.com/photos/storyguru/14199217474/
Yang-May Ooi is an award-winning TEDx speaker, bestselling author and story performer. Her work uses the power of personal narrative to inspire women to develop authentic confidence and become collaborative leaders. She is currently rehearsing a one woman story performance, Bound Feet Blues, which will be showcased in London’s West End in Oct 2014.