La Chinga (partorela) (1997)

In this street/cabaret performance, La Chinga, a Mexican ensemble that explores popular archetypes present in the collective imagery, rooted in the tradition of XIX-century satiric lithography, turns the traditional theater genre of the 'pastorela' (Nativity play) on its head. The resulting 'partorela' (a pun for 'parto' or 'delivery,' 'birth,' 'enlightenment') presents La China (impersonation of Mexico City by Jesusa Rodríguez), about to give birth to 'El Niño' (a climate phenomenon? The Blessed Child?) at 'a hermeneutic and metaphysical crossroads': Mexico City's subway system. In a satiric reenactment and actualization of Mexican archetypes in the context of current sociopolitical events, La China's uterus is stolen in a convergence of police brutality, political corruption, the involvement of a militaristic Church, all wrapped in satiric, underdog picaresque.A heated debate arises on the baby's fate as characters El Maromero (the corrupted politician), El Cura (the corrupted Church) and El Pulque (Mexican folk inspiration and wisdom) each has in his power an element of China's 'extrauterine pregnancy': the uterus (stolen by El Maromero), the zygote (destined by El Cura to have a 'moral' delivery), and the shadow (or 'soul,' in the custody of El Pulque). In order to recover her pregnancy's constituting parts, La China has to get involved with the campaigns of candidates to the Secretary of Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Presidency in the upcoming Mexican elections. After recovering the parts, and with the aid of El Pulque, La China gives birth to El Niño (a big-headed baby), who in his 'intrauterine gibberish' -simultaneously translated by La China- asks the audience for petitions to be considered in his candidacy for the Presidency of Mexico.The Army, the Corrupted Politician and the militarized Church, who had before manipulated, puppet-like, an effigy of President Ernesto Zedillo in a satiric song on military interventions in Chenhaló, Chiapas, end up crucifying El Niño, leaving open the question of what will happen in the next presidential elections.

HIDVL Video Holdings

La Chinga (full performance, embedded below)

La Chinga (promotional video)


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Additional Info

  • Title: La Chinga (promo reel)
  • Holdings: program, video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 00:11:37
  • Language: Spanish
  • Date: 1997
  • Location: Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Type-Format: performance
  • Cast: Jesusa Rodríguez; Tito Vasconcelos; Diego Luna; Clarissa Malheiros; Diego Jáuregui; Andrés Loewe; Flor Eduarda Gurrola; Bibiana Goday; Liliana Felipe
  • Credits: Jesusa Rodríguez, producer, writer, director ; Liliana Felipe, producer, musical director ; Sheila Goloborotko, mask maker

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