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Alt Title(s): Segundo cachirulo: pastorela 'El ejido en Navidad', Pastorela 'El ejido en Navidad'
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, in Dec. 1991.
Synopsis: Unedited video documentation of cabaret performance by renowned artists Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe. 'El ejido en Navidad', in the tradition of the yearly 'pastorelas' (Nativity plays) performed at the Teatro Bar El Hábito in Mexico City, poses a satiric critique to current political events in Mexico's public sphere. Presented as a fairytale-gone-wrong (presented by Cachirulo, legendary c...
Alt Title(s): Fox's enemies club
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, on Dec. 18, 2004.
Synopsis: Cabaret performance by Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe, exploring the downside of social indifference and the power of civil disobedience as an effective form of civic participation through which to enact political, cultural and social changes in the public sphere. An anthropologist for 'Discovery Chafa' (a parody of ethnographic documentaries on American television) researches a tribe of Lat...
Alt Title(s): Political cockpit
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, in Nov. 1999.
Synopsis: In this 'political-poetical-philosophical-musical' cabaret performance, Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe take on Mexico's electoral climate in order to pose a comment on ethics, politics, Mexican folklore and pop culture. Rodríguez populates the scenario of the 'palenque' ('cockpit', a place for popular gambling games like cockfighting) with chameleonic characters Chona Schopenhauer ('the only...
Location: Performed at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on Oct. 29, 1987.
Synopsis: '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' master...
Alt Title(s): Salinas' trial
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1995.
Synopsis: Roughly edited video documentation of cabaret performance by renowned artists Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe. 'Juicio a Salinas', a mock trial of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (president of Mexico from 1988 to 1994) at the Teatro Bar El Hábito, is an invitation to civic society to participate in a broader national call for accountability to the Mexican government in the ...
Alt Title(s): Farewell to El Hábito, Velorio de El Hábito
Location: Performed at Teatro El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, on May 21, 2005.
Synopsis: Cabaret event by renowned artists Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe, a farewell gathering celebrating the 15-year trajectory of their Teatro Bar El Hábito. The legendary performance venue was originally opened in 1954 by Mexican poet Salvador Novo as an agora for artistic expression. Acquired and ran by Rodríguez and Felipe since 1990, El Hábito was transformed into a hotbed for intellectuals, ...
Alt Title(s): 5th anniversary of El Hábito, Hábito: 5th anniversary
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1995.
Synopsis: Video documentary celebrating the 5th anniversary of Teatro-Bar El Hábito. Its founders, Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe, created this queer 'mockumentary' as a parodic pseudo-ethnographic study of their renowned venue in Mexico City. Tracing its roots to the tradition of German cabaret and analyzing the queer nuances of their creative work, the 'Patronas' thread footage from memorable perfor...
Alt Title(s): Terrorist pastorela
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Mar. 2004.
Synopsis: Cabaret performance posing a satiric take on the Manichean thought fueling current Western (conservative) religion, pedagogy, and politics. Farsical characters evidence an Orwellian 'doublethink', engaging in demagogical discourses of self-righteousness while evidencing the power games at play in school, church, and government. In the context of the US war on Iraq (2003), its Coalition of the Wil...
Alt Title(s): Cada quien su Marguerite, Yourcenar
Location: Performed at Foro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1989.
Synopsis: Video documentation of 'Yourcenar, o Cada Quien su Marguerite,' a 'sacred divertimento' based on French writer Marguerite Yourcenar's text 'Qui n'a pas son Minotaure', adapted and directed by Mexican theater and performance artist Jesusa Rodríguez. Inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur, the play poses a philosophical reflection on the desires, repressions, dreams and suf...
Alt Title(s): Chavela Vargas live at El Hábito, Chavela Vargas en persona
Location: Recorded at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Nov. 1991.
Synopsis: At age 72, after 13 years of silence due to problems with alcohol, Mexican legendary singer Chavela Vargas returns to the stage for the first time at Teatro-Bar El Hábito in 1991. With visible excitement and emotion, she sings from her famous repertoire of classic Ranchera songs, including 'Macorina', 'La Llorona' and 'Soledad'. The video alterates footage from the concert with interviews with Ch...
Alt Title(s): Chavela Vargas live at El Hábito (uncut version), Chavela Vargas en persona (versión sin editar)
Location: Recorded at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Nov. 1991.
Synopsis: At age 72, after 13 years of silence due to problems with alcohol, Mexican legendary singer Chavela Vargas returns to the stage for the first time at Teatro-Bar El Hábito in 1991. With visible excitement and emotion, she sings from her famous repertoire of classic Ranchera songs, including 'Macorina', 'La Llorona' and 'Soledad'. The video alterates footage from the concert with interviews with Ch...
Alt Title(s): When the regent catches up with us
Location: Recorded at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1996.
Synopsis: In this solo performance by Jesusa Rodríguez, current pressing social and economic problems affecting Mexico City are discussed in the context of political campaigns to the regency of this city. Economic polarization, failing infrastructure, political corruption, violation of human rights, mass media manipulation of public opinion, the religious prohibition of birth control methods, and a severe ...
Alt Title(s): Cri-Cri (an homage)
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Dec. 1991.
Synopsis: This cabaret performance is a satiric homage to Mexico's famous songwriter Francisco Gabilondo, whose children's radio show, broadcasted for almost 30 years (1934-1961) introduced the iconic character 'Cri-Cri, El Grillito Cantor' ('Cri-Cri, The Little Singing Grasshopper'). Jesusa Rodríguez, playing the part of a sadistic elementary schoolteacher, orchestrates a 'recital of fifth graders' (featu...
Alt Title(s): To kill or not to kill, Matar o no matar (espectáculo porno-militar)
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Oct. 2002.
Synopsis: 'To kill, or not to kill? That is the question.' This farcical cabaret performance, featuring Susana Zabaleta and Regina Orozco, poses the 'question' of violence in the context of current Mexican urban society. In a sort of film noir ambiance, the detective/cheerleader characters mix bel canto, circus music, marches, flamenco, rancheras, and pop ballads (musical score by Liliana Felipe) to connec...
Alt Title(s): When the regent catches up with us (performance video insert)
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1996.
Synopsis: Performance video inserts, projected as a part of the piece 'Cuando el regente nos alcance.' The video skits span from original videos (like a mock version of Alfred Hitchcock's bathtub murder scene, related to Mexico City's drought), to satirical voice-overs for Mexican TV ads and newscasts, in order to expose and discuss the economic polarization, failing infrastructure, political corruption, v...
Alt Title(s): Right to abort
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Synopsis: 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, ...
Alt Title(s): Right to abort (performance video inserts)
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Synopsis: 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 (Christmas 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 C...
Alt Title(s): Sister Juana in Almoloya, Sister Juana in prison
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Dec. 1995.
Synopsis: Jesusa Rodríguez acts the role of Mexican Baroque poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), here supposedly jailed in Mexico's Almoloya high security prison in year 2000. In an anachronistic space that interweaves the 17th and the 20th centuries, Sor Juana writes a letter to the press condemning the corruption of Carlos Salinas de Gortari's presidency. Brilliantly parodying Sor Juana's sonnets,...
Alt Title(s): Eugenia León's office
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in July 1994.
Synopsis: In this Eugenia León cabaret concert, performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Alfred Hitchcock (played by Alejandro Calva) narrates a 'Private Eye' story, a duel of wits between a Mexican diva-cum-exceptional detective (León) and her archenemy, Jack 'El Declamador' (or 'Jack, the Declamator,' played by Jesusa Rodríguez). Singing well-know romantic songs ('Envidia,' 'Perfidia,' 'Frenesí,' 'La tirana,' ...
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in May 1997.
Synopsis: 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, virtu...
Alt Title(s): Sinkage
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Synopsis: 'Toda invención conlleva una catástrofe (...) como suicidas en busca de coartada, la gente ansía que llegue el fin del mundo' ('Every invention implies a catastrophe [...] like suicides looking for an alibi, people anxiously await the end of the world'): Italian genius Leonardo Da Vinci (performed by Jesusa Rodríguez), 600-year-old thanks to his discovery of the elixir of immortality, wants to pu...
Alt Title(s): Sinkage (performance video insert I)
Location: Video insert for performance at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Synopsis: Video insert for cabaret performance 'El Hundimiento.' Leonardo Da Vinci (played by Jesusa Rodríguez), living in current Mexico City and being 600-year-old (thanks to the elixir of immortality), reads about the creation and evolution of humanity, in an attempt to counteract his loss of hope in front of society's gradual 'sinking' ('hundimiento') and widespread decadence produced by so-called 'Pro...
Alt Title(s): Sinkage (performance video insert II)
Location: Video insert for performance at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1998.
Synopsis: Video inserts for cabaret performance 'El Hundimiento,' in which 600-year-old Leonardo Da Vinci (played by Jesusa Rodríguez) strains to recover his artistic talent, while fruitlessly trying to regain hope in humanity, lost because of society's gradual 'sinking' ('hundimiento') and widespread decadence produced by so-called 'Progress.' These video inserts include an edited version of a Bob Ross's ...
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1997.
Synopsis: 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...
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1997.
Synopsis: La Chinga is a Mexican theater company devoted to the development of an itinerant, populist, inclusive, journalistic street performance ensemble. It intends to explore, recuperate and document the corporeal, vocal and musical characteristics of Mexico's popular archetypes present in the collective imagery and rooted in the tradition of satiric lithography as developed at the end of the XIX centur...
Alt Title(s): Gran desmadre
Location: Performance at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 2002.
Synopsis: In this farcical cabaret performance, the 'Four Horsewomen of Apocalypse' perform humanity's war against nature, in a 'metaphysical' reflection on terrorism, surveillance, and the society of spectacle. After the terrorist attacks to New York on September 11, 2001, 'a hope for war is reborn,' along with the imminent and 'longed annihilation of nature.' A group of women volunteer to be locked up at...
Alt Title(s): Big mother: el gran desmadre (performance video insert), Gran desmadre (video para expectáculo)
Location: Video insert for performance at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 2002.
Synopsis: Performance video inserts for 'Big Mother: El Gran Desmadre.' Here included are: newscast footage of the terrorist attacks to the World Trade Center in New York City; a spot advertising and introducing Mega Corporation ('a product of the global fusion of the market of perfect autocompetition') in its 'crusade against terrorism;' three Mexican soap opera excerpts; an infomercial by a well-known Me...
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Jan. 2003.
Synopsis: 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 sociopolitical issues, while dedicating her songs to the 'nobodies' (the dispossessed, the disempowered) of Latin America. Songs like 'Como Madame Bovary,' 'Pobre gente,' 'S...
Alt Title(s): Lysistrata (reading)
Location: Performed at Plaza Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico, on Mar. 3, 2003.
Synopsis: Reading of Aristophanes' anti-war comedy 'Lysistrata,' directed in Mexico City by Jesusa Rodríguez and performed by an array of renown artistic and intellectual figures of current Mexican cultural sphere. This event is celebrated in the context of the Lysistrata Project ('The First-Ever Worldwide Theatrical Act Of Dissent') through which on Monday, March 3rd, 2003 (03/03/03), fifty-nine countries...
Location: Performed at Teatro Julio Castillo, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 2002.
Synopsis: Contemporary rendition of the classic Shakespearean tragedy 'Macbeth,' directed by Jesusa Rodríguez, starring Arturo Ríos and Clarissa Malheiros. Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodríguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a 'chameleon,' Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly an...
Alt Title(s): Gigante egoísta, Cachirulo for adults: the selfish giant, Primer Cachirulo para adultos: el gigante egoísta
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Nov. 1991.
Synopsis: Farcical cabaret performance featuring Enrique Alonso, whose legendary character 'Cachirulo' starred Mexico's first TV show for kids 'Teatro Fantástico.' Cachirulo presents a satiric rendition of Oscar Wilde's 'The Selfish Giant' in the light of the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by Mexican president Carlos Salinas. In 'a land far, far away, in a big city affected by t...
Alt Title(s): Foximiliano and Martota
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 2003.
Synopsis: Installed in the Castle of Chapultepec and conflating the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, Mexico's former emperor Maximilian of Habsburg, his wife Carlota, and former President Benito Juárez await 'History's judgment.' In the meantime, they entertain themselves -and the audience, a 'flock' to whom thought is prohibited- 'killing time with historic dignity.' The historical characters play betting ...
Alt Title(s): Foximiliano and Martota (performance video inserts)
Location: Video insert for the performance at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 2003.
Synopsis: Video inserts projected on stage as a part of the cabaret piece 'Foximiliano y Martota.' The video set includes footage of mirror reflections, a variety of TV footage (such as a documentary on the Seven World Marvels, a Discovery Channel documentary on the evolutionary future of the species on Earth, an interview and other footage on Mexico's First Lady Marta Sahagún, the theatrical trailer of th...
Alt Title(s): León Felipe salad
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Aug. 1991.
Synopsis: 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 ...
Alt Title(s): Sky below (pre-hispanic cabaret), Cabaret prehispánico
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in June 1992.
Synopsis: 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 ...
Keywords: Nahua cosmology, Nahuas