Chicago Rope is an organization dedicated to education on communication through and about the art of Japanese rope. We aim to provide not just a solid technical foundation for tying but also access to tools and knowledge for cultivating intentional relationships. We facilitate discussion of how cultural, personal, and social contexts, including experience, background, and identity, affect and are affected by the practice of tying. We seek to empower our students to understand and evaluate their choices, actions, and impact.
We take an explicitly multidisciplinary approach to practicing and teaching Japanese rope. We are influenced by a wide range of other somatic disciplines, including various forms of dance and martial arts. We approach rope critically, drawing on a diverse group of intellectual traditions to understand and contextualize the practice. We create space for our students to bring their own knowledge and experience into learning and adapting the skills we teach.
We want to build a community that is both accessible and inclusive. We encourage, listen to, and respond to feedback. We turn no one away for lack of funds. We share our published written material under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license.
Chicago Rope was founded in 2015 by Jon Kedi and Daniel Apikoros in collaboration with several other individuals in the Chicago community. Our goal was to offer ongoing structured education in Japanese rope. Our mission has grown and become more focused over the years as we have evolved, both individually and as an organization, through evaluating and refining our pedagogical methods, soliciting and incorporating feedback from a wide range of sources, and continuing our own studies in rope and related disciplines. We want to suggest new ways of practicing and thinking about rope and advance the conversation about what the art of Japanese rope is and can be.
Photo by Barkas
Daniel’s classes draw on their knowledge of movement culture, physical theater, and intimacy design as well as their academic research in continental philosophy, queer theory, and disability studies. Their tying style is characterized by a focus on intentionality, physicality, and performativity. Daniel regularly studies with Barkas and is authorized to teach on Barkas’ behalf. They have taught at Barkas’ studio in Vancouver and several other venues.
Photo by Luloo
Jon’s approach to Japanese rope centers on its expression as a partnered movement art. He is particularly interested in how we can more effectively connect and communicate through movement and touch. Jon’s rope classes are informed by over twenty years of movement arts practice and teaching – including aikido, iaido, yoga, capoeira, and taijiquan – and his professional experience in academic education. In addition to his work with Chicago Rope, Jon has taught and performed rope at many events in the US and Canada.