Wednesday, 07 April 2010 16:33

Jardín de otoño (2003)

Two old maids, Rosalia and Griselda live together in an old mansion owned by Rosalia, where Griselda rents a room. Both women’s lives revolve around the television set, fed especially by telenovelas (soap operas). Through all the telenovelas, the two women faithfully follow their favorite leading man: Mariano Riveras. Devout fans, they dream of him all afternoon. Possessed by the passions of the TV screen scenes Griselda and Rosalía decide, in an act of personal transgression that carries them beyond their own borders, to kidnap Mariano Rivas and bring him to the mansion where they will make him reproduce the passionate kisses of his teleteatro.

There is no video documentation of this work.


Acto I


(Sobresaltada por sus propios sueños Rosalía pega un grito. Se levanta intempestivamente y apaga el televisor. Se reubica. Ve a Griselda dormida.)

ROSALÍA:  ¿No habíamos quedado en algo para esta noche vos y yo? (Griselda duerme profundamente. Trata de serenarse. Se sienta. Pausa. Se levanta y abre la ventana). Mirá qué luna. Toda para nosotras. Pero ¿vos qué sabés de la luna? Vos no tenés la fuerza necesaria para quedarte despierta conmigo. Yo ya lo sabia. Y además estoy tan acostumbrada... Si yo pudiera dormir así... con el cuerpo relajado y las manos tan caídas.  (Le acaricia la cabeza) como una criatura cansada de jugar que cae rendida después de comer el flan con dulce de leche. Ni buenas noches me decís... ni buenas noches... Yo tampoco te diría buenas noches... (Se acerca a la ventana y mira la luna en silencio) La luna está muerta de risa hoy. Se ríe de vos que ibas a pasar la noche despierta. ¿Vos no te quedabas despierta toda la noche en Carnaval?

GRISELDA: ¿Hoy es Carnaval?

ROSALÍA: No ves cuántas cosas te perdés...

GRISELDA: ¿Qué hora es?

ROSALÍA: Si te digo la una, si te digo las dos, si te digo las tres, si te digo las cuatro...

GRISELDA: ¡Son las cuatro! (Va a sentarse alarmada por la hora).

ROSALÍA: Son todas las horas que vos no conocés.

GRISELDA: Por que yo no tengo insomnio.

ROSALÍA: Insomnio. Qué palabra. Como moño. Moño. Insomnio. Somnio. Yo no tengo insomnio. Vos tenés insomnio.

GRISELDA: Exactamente. Yo tengo somnio. ¿No podemos apagar un poquito la radio? Son la cuatro de la mañana, hijita.

ROSALÍA: No son las cuatro. Son las doce y media de la noche.

GRISELDA: ¿Y es carnaval?

Published in Raznovich: Plays
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 12:12

Casa Matriz (2003)

La Máscara's Casa Matriz, a one-act play for two actresses written by Argentinean playwright and cartoonist Diana Raznovich, is the story of a search for the perfect mother. Bárbara is turning 30, and as a (very expensive) gift to herself, she decides to hire a "substitute mother" from a very unique agency, Casa Matriz. This agency -a bizarre mothering equivalent of an escort service- specializes in delivering fully customized mothers-for-a day to their clients, who shape their ideal matriarch by filling out a form detailing their every emotional need, all the desired characteristics, and the perfect scenario. Using the technique of "theater within theater," this comedy provokes laughter and the immediate reflection of the emotional relations between mothers and daughters. It investigates interpersonal communications of everyday people, and critiques the problematic system of family structure.

Published in Raznovich: Plays

Video documentation of the performance El cuerpo efímero: una muerte de lujo, (The Ephemeral Body: A Luxury Death) presented as a part of the 6th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, celebrated in June of 2007 in Buenos Aires, Argentina under the title CORPOLÍTICAS en las Américas: Formaciones de Raza, Clase y Género / Body Politics in the Americas: Formations of Race, Class and Gender. Created by Diana Raznovich and performed by Pía Uribelarrea, El cuerpo efímero explores the ways in which anorexia responds to a paradigm espoused by pharmaceutical multinational corporations, the fashion and beauty industries, and companies that make all kind of diet products. The process of producing brand fashion begins in clandestine factories that hire women at starvation wages and ends in catwalks that hire slaves who pay with their death.

Published in Raznovich: Plays
Friday, 30 October 2009 21:01

Trucho (2003)

Concert by Liliana Felipe, presenting the release of her album Trucho. "Trucho," an Argentinean adjective meaning "pirate," "illegal," "precarious," "devalued" or "false," encapsulates Felipe's critique on current hemispheric socio-political issues, while dedicating her songs to the "nobodies" (the dispossessed, the disempowered) of Latin America. Songs like "Como Madame Bovary,' "Pobre gente," "Soñé," "La extranjera," "Si por el vicio," "Tertuliano," "Memoria Mnemosina," "No te lo puedo decir," "Las histéricas" and "Tienes que decidir," among others, are performed and commented by Felipe; the encore features Jesusa Rodríguez singing with Felipe a theatrical and comical version of a traditional Mexican huapango. The singers play with diverse vocal registers along with the syllables that form the name of the volcano Popocatepetl, putting the revered song on its head. The couple then sings "Mujeres del campo," a hymn composed for a series of workshops conducted with indigenous Mexican peasant women in the summer of 2002. Felipe ends the concert with the tango "Lo que vos te merecés" by request of her audience, which that night included writer Elena Poniatowska, publicist Berta "la Chaneca" Maldonado, curator Montserrat Pecanins, actress Ofelia Medina, and deputy Beatriz Paredes, among other renown intellectual, artistic and political figures of current Mexico City public sphere.

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 22:57

Güevita (1997)

In this cabaret performance, Jesusa Rodríguez poses a satiric comment on the commodification of the posthumous image of Eva Duarte de Perón by literature, film, and pop culture. In a direct comment on the American musical "Evita," Rodríguez proposes an "alternative" history of Duarte de Perón's final days and the ultimate disposal of her corpse, playfully clashing historic, real, fictional, virtual and anachronistic conceptions of time and place. "In the face of Latin America's current social, economic, and political crisis, in an era of globalization and profound impasses, we can't help but ask ourselves a pressing question: who was Eva Perón, and what happened to her corpse?": a satiric comment on Western society's priorities, meshed with original and traditional tangos and milongas (performed by "el Gaucho del Wonder Bra" Liliana Felipe), these questions articulate the piece as a set of three interconnected skits. The performance starts with a radio show featuring biographies of key female public figures in Latin America (sponsored by "Jabón Radical" (Radical Soap, which "cleans and re-establishes social order"). The second segment is the enacted story of the "final events" in Evita's life: Eva (performed by Rodríguez) bought a radio station to counteract her detractors' versions of her life and death, and "reenacts" her final days with the aid of her mother (who is about to give birth to President Carlos Menem, and wants to get the access code to Evita's bank accounts), a nurse, and a foley assistant. The third and final skit takes us to a Mexico City's Customs office, where corruption, drug dealing, and political coups brew, resulting in a change of government that intends to use Evita's body (held in customs on its way to the U.S., where Madonna intended to use it as a promotional object for her movie) as sorts of flag for the 'incorruptibility' of the new "national body."

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 22:37

Ensalada León Felipe (1991)

This is a hand-held video documentation of an evening of cabaret performance at El Hábito in 1991. It is not a play, but rather a free-flowing interaction between the performers/hostesses and the audience. Liliana Felipe walks on stage wearing a Viking hat and a skin-tight blue bodysuit, helping "Pita Amor" (an elderly Mexican poetess, played by Jesusa Rodríguez) to her seat. While Liliana plays well-known songs from her repertoire, Pita Amor reads poems, jokes with the audience, orders Liliana around, and comments on everything from love, to the government, to feminism, all peppered with the periodical request for "un drink" and her repeated assertion "How I hate physical decay!" Among the audience members are Marta Lamas, founder and director of Debate Feminista (a leading feminist journal in Mexico) and Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico's most renowned literary figures, about whom Liliana sings a song at the end of the show. This video is a testimony to the kind of space El Hábito is: a hotbed for intellectuals, feminists, gay rights activists and open-minded, progressive people who want to be engaged by a smart and critical humor.

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 21:37

El derecho de abortar (1998)

Monica 'Lengüinsky' (played by Jesusa Rodríguez) flees to Mexico during the Clinton scandal, becomes a TV writer, and produces 'El Derecho de Abortar,' a show that is a cross between a 'pastorela' (Nativity play) and a 'telenovela' (soap opera). This 'pastonovela' features Virgin Mary and Joseph of Nazareth as two wealthy Mexicans tormented by the ambiguous sexuality of their cross-dressing son, Jesus Christ. In a failed attempt to 'straighten him out,' they employ a prostitute ('María Magdalena' Lengüinsky), who ends up discovering that Jesus is really a hermaphrodite, that he is pregnant, and that the father of his unborn child is St. Joseph himself. When Jesus gets an abortion, Lengüinsky sees her chance to profit from the situation: she blackmails the Holy Family by threatening to go public with the truth about Jesus.Putting their own social status first (including Joseph's political career as a candidate to the Mexican presidency), the Holy Family decides to sacrifice Jesus and sells Lengüinsky the copyright to all images of the crucifixion. 'El Derecho de Abortar' is a poignant satirical commentary on the corruption, intolerance, and contradictory morality at work in the catholic-capitalist society of Mexico.

Video Inserts: Video inserts for cabaret piece "El Derecho de Abortar." Monica "Lengüinsky" (played by Jesusa Rodríguez) flees to Mexico during the Clinton scandal, becomes a TV writer, and produces "El Derecho de Abortar," a show that is a cross between a "pastorela" (Nativity play) and a "telenovela" (soap opera).

HIDVL Video Holdings

El derecho de abortar (full performance, embedded below)
El derecho de abortar (performance video inserts)

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:49

Donna Giovanni (1987)

"Donna Giovanni," Jesusa Rodríguez's adaptation for the theater of Mozart and Da Ponte's opera "Don Giovanni," is a renowned feminist rendition of the classic by Mexican theater company Divas A.C. Directed by Rodríguez and with musical direction by Alberto Cruzprieto, the play successfully toured Latin America, the United States and Europe, receiving much critical acclaim. "Donna Giovanni" masterfully utilizes humor, overlapping layers of cross-dressing, and the interplay between music, wordplay and tableaux vivants in order to pose a feminist commentary on sensuality, gender issues, and religious and cultural scenarios of love, deceit, empowerment and desire.

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:37

Cabaret prehispánico: Cielo de abajo (1992)

This two-woman, one skeleton "prehispanic" cabaret follows the trajectory of a soul traversing the nine levels of a pre-Hispanic underworld. An indigenous woman mourns her dead lover, and decides to go to "el cielo de abajo" (the sky below) to look for her. The journey roughly follows the route mapped out in the Nahuas' sacred text "Popul Voh," as well as in Alfredo López Austin's book "Cuerpo humano e ideología: Las concepciones de los antiguos nahuas" (The Human Body and Ideology: The Ideas of the Ancient Nahuas). The script, partly Spanish and partly Nahuatl (the language of the so-called Aztecs) is loosely based on a prehispanic conception of the afterlife of mortal souls during their arduous trip to their final resting place. Ultimately, this cabaret performance poses a poetic exploration of love, gender, seduction, sacrifice, and death.

Published in El Hábito: Works
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 22:16

Kay Punku (2007)

Kay Punku is a performance based on documented testimonies by women who were victims of sexual violence in the High Andes in Peru, a region hard hit by the violence from 1980 to 2000.

There is no video documentation of this work.

Published in Yuyachkani: Works
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