An intriguing and evocative new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes [video]

We are delighted to unveil this new video trailer for Yang-May Ooi’s memoir, Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes. It features photos from the book as well as some from Yang-May’s personal photo albums which we hope evokes the mood and themes of this powerful family memoir.

 

 

Yang-May writes:

Writing a memoir isn’t an ego thing for me. Rather, it was a way to look back at my life – and also the lives of the women who came before me in my family – and to make sense of the challenges and heartache as well as remembering the joy and human connections that have made me the creative artist I am today.  I write my own story to transform the personal into the universal.  My hope is that readers will be inspired by the stories in Bound Feet Blues to look back at their own lives and find the moments, stories and people who can inspire *them* going forward.

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You can buy a copy of Bound Feet Blues from:

Amazon

or the publishers website at Urbane Publications

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The complete one hour solo performance Bound Feet Blues is now available on YouTube [video]

We are delighted to share the video of the complete one hour solo performance of Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes. It is now up online on YouTube. So if you didn’t manage to get tickets for the live show – or if you did see the show on stage and would like a reprise – here it is for everyone to enjoy.

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The show run is now over but you can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

URBANE PUBLICATIONS

Watch the Evolution of a Performance – Bound Feet Blues [videos]

Watch the evolution of writer Yang-May  Ooi as a performer in these three short videos which capture her performance of Bound Feet Blues in its three incarnations – from the very first scratch night performance in March 2014 to the full production in Nov/ Dec 2015.

March 2014 – Scratch Night, Conway Hall

This is the first ever performance of Bound Feet Blues in public. When Yang-May took to the floor, she was trying out an unfinished script without a director and just seeing where the experience would take her. In the audience was one of the producers of the South East Asian Arts Festival (SEA Arts Fest) who invited her to bring the completed piece to the Festival in Oct that year.

Yang-May captures the drama and tension of that first performance in the book version of Bound Feet Blues, available from Amazon.

Oct 2014 – Showcase, Tristan Bates Theatre

The showcase performance was a one night performance at Tristan Bates Theatre, London that was sold out even before the show was widely publicised on the BBC and elsewhere. The showcase was directed by Jessica Higgs and produced by Eldarin Yeong with R&D funding from Arts Council, England. It was part of the SEA Arts Festival 2014. The performance was 4+ star reviewed and its success enabled Yang-May and her creative team to move forward with the three week full production the next year.

Nov/ Dec 2015 – Full Production, Tristan Bates Theatre

The full production ran for three weeks at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Of the 15 performances, 12 were largely sold out with people queuing for returns. The creative team now included Hua Tan who designed the beautiful set and evocative lighting, costumier Carol Alayne  and production manager Crin Claxton. The production was supported by funding from Arts Council, England, THFC (The Housing Finance Corporation) and Maclay Murray Spens. It was part of the SEA Arts Festival 2015.

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The show run is now over but you can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

URBANE PUBLICATIONS

Smashing stereotypical portrayals of East Asian women in books and theatre [video]

Yang-May Ooi, writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues spoke at the launch of the Anglo Asiatic Arts & Heritage Alliance launch in April about “Tiger Spirit Women” – dynamic, intelligent, independent and fierce East Asian women who are the anti-thesis of the stereotypical portrayal of them in books and theatre in Western culture.

Yang-May says: “My creative work is dedicated to smashing the stereotype of the docile, passive China-doll like East Asian woman who exists solely in the domestic sphere and to portraying us as we really are – active agents taking our place in the world, capable, empowered and forces to be reckoned with.”

In her talk, she discusses her two novels, The Flame Tree and Mindgame, and Bound Feet Blues as well as her new theatre and book project Butterfly in Blue Jeans.

You can watch her whole talk in this video below (approx 8 mins):

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You can  BUY BOUND FEET BLUES, THE BOOK – please click on the links below:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

URBANE PUBLICATIONS 

[Video] Highlights from the 2015 production of Yang-May Ooi’s Bound Feet Blues now up online

We are delighted to share with you highlights from the Nov/ Dec 2015 production of Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes, the autobiographical solo theatre piece by writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi. You can watch the 2 min video below.

The show was directed by Jessica Higgs and produced by Eldarin Yeong with set and lighting design by Hua Tan.

The videographer was Continue reading

How we perform our selves in every day life [Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK]

Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK, explores the theme of performance in theatre and in our every day lives, using the metaphor of bound feet and fashion. Writer/ performer and author of the book, Yang-May Ooi, explains why performance fascinates her.

Yang-May writes:

Bound Feet Blues, my memoir in book form, opens at my first staged performance of the theatre version of the Bound Feet Blues story. The first chapter describes what it felt like for me to step out in front of an audience under the spotlights to perform the story of my family and my own life.

That first performance at Conway Hall described in the book was captured on video – highlights below:

Acting and Authenticity

We sometimes mistake performance or acting as inauthentic. We think that acting means pretending to be someone that we are not. Of course that is factually true when actors play a fictional role or are portraying a real person on film or in a play but even then actors always seek to be real and honest in the emotions that they depict. For me, portraying myself and my family on stage, it was deeply important to be authentic to my own story and also theirs. The emotions and story I portrayed were real and truthful within the frame of the drama.

The experience of that performance made me reflect on the performance of my self over the last few decades.

“Performing” My Life

In the book, Bound Feet Blues, I write about how I “performed” the role of a Bright Young Thing in my student days in Oxford, going to balls and dressing as a beautiful “China Doll”. Later, I “performed” the role of a high-achieving lawyer in London in the yuppy atmosphere of the ’80s. When I came out, I “performed” as a boyish lesbian in baggy chinos and lace ups. It was only after all this experimentation that I finally came to be able to express who I really am – a mix of feminine and masculine, sometimes high powered, sometimes slobby and lazy, sometimes beautifully dressed, sometimes not.

Yang-May Ooi at Pride “performing” the tomboy self. This photo is one of many in her book, Bound Feet Blues

How do you “perform” different aspects of your character?

We all perform who we are to some extent. Think about how you show Continue reading

How Yang-May Ooi’s great grandmother with bound feet inspired Bound Feet Blues [video]

In the  video below, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi tells the story of her great-grandmother that inspired her to write Bound Feet Blues.

Yang-May writes:

The show was only one hour long so I made certain artistic choices in portraying my great-grandmother in the theatre performance. Her story is incomplete in the show because I wanted the audience to stay with the moment of transformation rather than seeing how her story ends.

The book of Bound Feet Blues takes great-grandma’s story and extends and deepens it at the more leisurely pace that a long read can offer. So for those of you who Continue reading

28 Days in the Writing, A Lifetime in the Making – Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK [video]

Author Yang-May Ooi talks about how she was able to write the book, Bound Feet Blues – all 420 pages of it! – in 28 days.

This groundbreaking family and personal memoir was a lifetime in the making. The stories span several generations, going back to the young boy who was kidnapped by bandits and the young woman with bound feet who ran away from an unhappy marriage. Yang-May interweaves these ancestral tales with her own personal story as she learns what it takes to become her own woman.

In this video, she gives us a flavour of the book and shares her creative process in bringing these stories to life.

TO BUY THE BOOK, click on the links below:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

URBANE PUBLICATIONS – special 25% discount code: shoes

Writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi unboxes Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK [video]

As an author, there’s nothing more exciting than receiving the author’s copies of your book. In this video, writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi unboxes the delivery of 12 author’s copies of Bound Feet Blues, the BOOK.

Yang-May writes:

The books arrived during the last week of rehearsals for the show. I got home late one evening and there the box was. I was exhausted and just wanted to sit down and have something to eat. But seeing that box there perked Continue reading

Yang-May Ooi, writer and performer of Bound Feet Blues, talks about the power of storytelling and writing from personal experience [video]

Yang-May Ooi, writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues talks about the inspiration behind her extra-ordinary solo story performance and the memoir accompanying the theatre piece.

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You can buy tickets for Bound Feet Blues via bit.ly/bfbtickets

DETAILS

Tristan Bates Theatre
1A Tower St, Covent Garden WC2H 9NP

Tue 24 Nov – Sat 12 Dec, Tue – Sat at 7.30pm.
Tickets £16 / £12 concessions.
Q&As post-show, 27 Nov & 4 Dec.