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MELANCHOLY AND DEMOSTRATIONS

2012

“When I was born my mother’s uterus ruptured and there was blood everywhere: on the bed, on the hospital floor, on the nurses’ uniforms. It was 1976 and the country had also ruptured after a military coup. Fortunately, my mother and I survived the rupture. But days later my mother became very sad. She went to a doctor and she was told that that sadness was called depression and that she should take some pills to get better. As the years passed my mother started to live between two extremes: she would go for months when she didn’t want to leave the house, hardly eating or speaking; and the other months when she would dash about the city euphorically, talking about everything no one dared to say, like the radio of a country were censorship didn’t exist.”

 

Melancholy and Demonstrations is a diary about a mother’s depression written by a very close witness: her own daughter. Different chapters tell about the mother’s relationship with her bed, her bodyguard-dog, her extravagant psychoanalysts, her suicidal fantasies. As the chapters take place the daughter has more and more questions: why did my mother get sick in 1976? Was it my birth? Was it the military coup? Was it just by coincidence? Is melancholy a disease or is it a way? If my mother stops crying when she hears the demonstrations can I cure my mother by taking her bed to Plaza de Mayo?

In Melancholy and demonstrations the author, a musician, an actress that doubles the real mother and a group of 75-year old performers reconstruct real past events in a small wooden box. The daughter’s words cross with small films, chronicles written by the mother, songs, memories’ re-enactments, interviews’ dubbings. It’s some sort of illustrated book about melancholy.

 

  • Author and director: Lola Arias.
  • Choreographer and co-director: 
Luciana Acuña.
  • With: Elvira Onetto, Lola Arias, Mario Aitel, Vicente Fiorillo, Ernestina Ruggero, Noelia Sixto.
  • Dramaturgy and production: 
Sofia Medici.
  • Artistic collaboration and production: Luz Algranti, Gabriel Zayat.
  • Music: Ulises Conti.
  • Live Music: Fernando Pereyra / Ulises Conti.
  • Video: Nele Wohlatz.
  • Live Video: Marcos Medici.
  • Stage Design: Mariana Tirantte.
  • Costumes: Sofía Berhaka.
  • Lighting design: Matías Sendón.
  • Technical manager and lighting adaptation: Gustavo Kotik.
This play was presented in:

Wiener Festwochen, Vienna
HAU Berlin
International Summer Festival Kampnagel, Hamburg
Stage Festival, Helsinki
Culturgest, Lisbon
ACT, deSingel, Amtwerp
Zamek, Poznan
Kioto Experiment Festival, Kioto.
FIAC, Salvador de Bahía
Festival Dos pontos, Río de Janeiro