Saturday, March 30, 2013

Steampunk, Baby

This weekend, my daughter and I went to the first Gettysburg Steampunk : Film, Art & Music Festival. All I can say was it was FUN. We were told by the promoter that it has already outgrown the space. As soon as I walked in I was hooked. We ran into these two gentlemen.  I thought that I was going to be the oldest person there and as it turned out,  I was the perfect age.  So much of the lectures and workshops overlapped so I did not get to see and do everything which was a pity.  The Festival ran from March 29 to March 31.

I really fell in love with Bartitsu: The Victorian Art of Self-Defense and took two workshops, attended a lecture and a movie about the beginning of the art.  The instructors real name is Mark P. Donnelly but he calls himself Professore di Armes.  This art was developed in England  by Edward William Barton-Wright after he spent time in Japan but we remember it from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the technique used by Sherlock Holmes.  The Bartitsu Club was all the rage in 1899 and only recently has this lost martial art been rediscovered. Mr. Barton-Wright summarised the essential principles of Barititus as: 

  1. To disturb the equlibrium of the attacker.
  2. To surprise him before he has time to regain his balance and use his strength.
  3. If necessary, to subject the joints of any parts of his body, whether neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, back, knee, ankle, etc. to strains that they are anatomically and mechanically unable to resist.

Women were allowed in the Bartitsu Club but was not taught all the disciplines because it was not lady like.  When the club closed, Edith Garrud, opened her own dojo and specialized in teaching women and children the art of self defense.  She taught an elite group of women the technique which the newspaper called Amazons.  These ladies became know as "the Bodyguard."  They were sworn to protect the Suffragate  leaders during their public protest rallies, which was often violently interrupted by the police.  I am happy to say they were very effective.

What  does a gentleman of fine breeding have as he is walking down the street...a cane.  What does a lady carry....a parasol.   I attended the gentlemen's workshop entitled Fight Like Sherlock Holmes-Introductory Bartitsu taught by  Prof. Mark P Donnelly were we tried a few techniques on how to use the cane and feet to disable the attacker.  This is my daughter using a cane against the assailant. photo  In this workshop, he told us that men are punched and if we attended the ladies workshop entitled Kicking Ass in a Corset - Bartitsu for Ladies we would see that men  grab  So on Saturday, we attended that workshop and found that for women, use your shoes, parasol or whatever is handy..the point was to get away.  I have some video but can't figure how to get it on Blogger, I will keep at it.

Some of the costumes.photophotophotophotophotophotoHe is a mad scientistSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk ConventionSteampunk Convention

Before we left and after I brought my corset (you wear them on the outside), we attended the Bathing Beauties Costume Contest.  We did not stay to see who won because we had already picked the winner in our heads.photophotophotophoto

I thought I would end with the corsetphoto that I brought for my costume that I am trying to get together in my mind before the next festival.  The one I really, really, really want to go to is in NJ,  Steampunk World's Fair. Last year there was 4,000 attendees.  I even have a name "Mistress Gift",   in German, Gift means to poison.  I thought that I would be a poisoner.  My first costume will be simple, something like thisor  without the gun, remember...I am a poisoner.  Crystaline : Steampunk Fashion Archives I should wear a skirt but I never wear a skirt,  if I did, it would be similar to this.Steampunk fashion  Time to go to GStreet for fabric and leather.

I was talking to some gentlemen and I agreed with them that the reason that Steampunk is popular with older people is because we grew up with Buck Rogers, Jules Verne and others like them so we are just reliving our childhoods.

 photo TeeandBryanbythelake.jpg(My daughter and son-in-law)


Christine Allen said...

Neat way to play!

Diane said...

What a wonderful time! Like a spring Renaissance Fair. Will put that on my calendar for next year!