What: Tame Your Man
When: Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m.
Where: Black Box Theater
Cost: Free, limited seating
University of Colorado student Nathan Hall has been figuratively tied up in his latest piece for more than a year now, but this weekend, it is the show's pianist who will be bound by string.
"Tame Your Man" is a racy, PG-13 performance that features a shirtless pianist who continues playing the keys while a bondage artist ties him to the piano with twine rope.
While he admits the show has some racy themes, Hall, who is working on a music composition doctorate, said there is no nudity or swearing.
"It's not about whips-and-chains bondage," Hall said. "It's more about the relationship dynamics and power struggle between men."
CU's Black Box Theater will host the performance art piece, which Hall describes as "living music sculpture," Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The show is Hall's first attempt to combine his sexuality as a gay man with his skills as a composer.
"This is the first time I've used my sexuality as inspiration," Hall said. "It's rare for a composer to write for himself and, in addition to that, now I'm reaching into this side of myself that I haven't tapped into this way before.
"It's a new experience for me in a lot of ways."
Hall said the concept combines his life as a musician with a personal interest in bondage -- something he hasn't previously seen in a creative light.
"I wanted to see what being tied to your instrument would look like," Hall said. "As a musician, you're always figuratively tied to your instrument, but I wondered what it would be like when you got so close that you couldn't get away."
The piece features a cast of six, including the pianist, the bondage artist, three narrators and Hall -- who is directing and running the electronics.
Pianist Jack Kurutz said he tends to do more modern performance pieces, but this weekend will be his first attempt at playing while being tied up.
The bondage artist spends the majority of the show tying Kurutz to the piano. Eventually, the rope is so tight that Kurutz can only reach the farthest key on each end of the piano.
"As a pianist it's fun to do piano art and become part of the show," Kurutz said. "Rather than playing while the action is happening on stage, you get to be the action."
The minimal set and simple props will maintain a focus on the music, Hall said, which he describes as a mix of classical, militaristic pounding and dance-club movements.
The show's provocative nature has already stirred up some controversy on campus, but rather than being offended, Hall said he takes it as a compliment.
"I'm hoping that people are shocked or scandalized," Hall said. "That's fine with me."