La nostalgia del quinqué... una huida explores and exposes the anxieties of everyday life in Puerto Rican society, transversally investigating issues of gender, class and race. A series of tableaux vivants of the "Puerto Rican Family" shows a stereotypical version of the folkloric peasant family ("jíbaros") from the "literatura costumbrista" (dealing with the transit form a rural society to an industrial, urban one) in a tragicomic clash of anachronisms, self-inflicted bigotry and partisan politics, negotiated in a desperate juggle of contrasting realities, evasion, euphemisms and denial that evidence the identity crisis of Puerto Rican society. These tableaux perform an antiphonal relationship to three "sister" characters through which Hernández exposes her take on Puerto Rican identity crisis and colonialism: Licenciada Perdóname (a district representative), Pragma la continental (with her self-help lecture inviting Puerto Ricans "to climb and to progress") and Perpetua (a sensual "Pan-Latin" singer), who, with the help of their assistant Lamento, unveil the political, socio-historic and ethno-cultural complexities of "the Puerto Rican condition".

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 09:16

Acceso controlado (1995)

Acceso controlado is a multimedia spectacle revolving around the theme of controlled access and the metaphor (and growing reality) of gated communities in Puerto Rico. Five sections comprise this piece, with five characters masterfully performed by Hernández. La Reina delivers a fascist, classist, racist speech, claiming that democratization and mestizaje are crimes against the historic order. The security guard Teniente Cortés talks about the paranoia and false security nets people resort to - controlling access through the now ubiquitous gated communities being one of them - in order to protect themselves form the alarming growth of criminality in Puerto Rico. We later find El Chamaco in Primera Plana, a scene exploring the body language and expressions of the criminal(ized) youth, bringing to the forefront the interplay between will and subjection, the criminal life on the street and the institutional forces trying to control it. A short film follows, titled Milagros Vélez, based on Request Concert by Franz Xaver Kroetz and Act without Words by Samuel Beckett. The last piece, La Primera Dama en Solo Operático en Tiempos Desafortunados completes the performance, with a hysterical First Lady symbolizing the banality of complaint in a society where a financial elite controls cultural expression and politicians hide corruption behind hypocritical civic concern.

Published in Javier Cardona: Works
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:10

Aquilo de que somos feitos (2000)

Aquilo de que somos feitos was created over a period of two years of research and rehearsals, in 1999 and 2000, when the celebrations for the 500 years of Brazil's "discovery" where very present. One of the starting points was, therefore, to "discover" and to deal with issues such as citizenship, history, memory. How can art think the world, and how can these ways of knowing serve the world? In this performance the audience shares the same space with the dancers, in proximity and exposed to a dilated time, where movement happens extremely slowly, stimulating a different way of seeing that is almost "epidermic." The object of investigation is the body, the flesh, both aesthetically—what unexpected shapes can it produce, what different ways can it occupy space—and philosophically, how much is a body worth, it's labor, it's meanings? In this work the audience is co-author, assigning whatever meaning it wishes to the shapes the body makes and to the political and advertisement slogans the dancers say.

Published in Lia Rodrigues: Works
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