Collection Title: Jesusa Rodríguez & Liliana Felipe : El Hábito collection
Title: Matar o no matar
Alternate Title: To kill or not to kill
Alternate Title: Matar o no matar (espectáculo porno-militar)
Date: 2002 Oct
Location: Performed at Teatro Bar El Hábito, Mexico City, Mexico, in Oct. 2002.
Work Type: Performance., Cabaret., Musical theater., Satire., Political performance., Queer performance.
Jesusa Rodríguez, producer, director ; Liliana Felipe, producer, music ; Georgy Konrad, writer ; Malú Huacuja, writer ; Dimitri Dudin, music ; Daniel Gruener, videographer.
Regina Orozco, protagonist ; Susana Zabaleta, protagonist ; Jesusa Rodríguez, cast ; Liliana Felipe, musician.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 00:59:33
Language: In Spanish.
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 connect the diverse skits on social violence.The tension between technology and nature (the cult of technology, here called the 'Faith of the Great Father, King Toshiba,' versus an esoteric, macrobiotic approach to natural forces), the relationship between the Church and the Army as violent power instances (with 'obscenity' as a common tool for the control and manipulation of society), the notion of public surveillance, as well as police brutality, government bureaucracy and political corruption are here juxtaposed to road violence, passion crimes, fashion 'rituals' and star/fan twisted relationships, testing and rethinking the limits of power, discipline and violence. Improvisation and the manipulation of diverse props (guns, masks, wigs) connect the music and the skits to the presence of the audience, aided by the onstage support of director Jesusa Rodríguez as prop assistant.Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur, and social activist Jesusa Rodréguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Often referred to as a chameleon, Rodríguez moves seemingly effortlessly and with vigor across the spectrum of cultural forms, styles, and tones. Her espectáculos (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and carpa, to performative acts within political projects. Humor, satire, linguistic play, and the body are constants in her productions. She seeks to render corporal and, thus, visible, the tensions between the discourses in operation on and through the individual and collective body.Rodriguezs energy is intense and her commitment non-negotiable, always interrogating the nature, site, and consequences of power and its representation. Liliana Felipe, one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, was born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared'--victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics. Liliana's music has a wide following in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations--especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared). In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodríguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: I am going to die with that woman.Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Hábito in Coyoacán, Mexico City, that they still run. They 'married' in February 2000. 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. In this off-off space, and with the collaboration of their theater cooperative Las Divas, Jesusa y Liliana have produced hundreds of shows since the 1980s.
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Copyright Holder: El Hábito
Contact: Jesusa Rodríguez, Liliana Felipe
Jesusa Rodríguez
Liliana Felipe
Madrid 13
Coyoacán, México D.F., 04100