Category Archives: Performance

A Night at Lucha Libre

The first day in Mexico City concluded at Mexican wrestling or lucha libre. After the havoc and confusion at the box office, I located my seat in the arena. It was on the second row from the ring—perfect for the night. From then on, with some Tecate, I let myself to be open-minded and went with the flow.

To be honest, I had had doubts about this branch of entertainment until I watched Sense8. It was a scene at lucha libre. Hernando, one of the main character’s boyfriend, dissected it:

This is the Manichaean drama. It’s life and death, good and evil. La parca negra (a grim reaper—evil side of the wrestling match) is a symbol. He is the devil in our lives. For some, he can represent the government, the class system or any form of oppression. But for most of us, he is that fear we are afraid to face.

This is a dance that is also a fight. The struggle that takes place in the ring is a reflection of the struggle that takes place in our minds and in our hearts. At some point, we all encounter our own parca negra. He is that thing we are afraid of, that thing that stops us from becoming what we know we can become. Until we defeat him, we will never know peace.

That scene cracked my curiosity about lucha libre and made me want to experience a real one. And I was glad I did so.

The lineup consisted of four or five matches. Each fight was between black and white of some sort: heroes and villains, patriots and foreigners, etc. Some won and some lost. That was life. Unlike a sporting event, there was a narrative like a stage show. And unlike a stage performance, there was an engagement with the spectators like a sport.

The audience had total liberty to pick their sides. Interactions between the wrestlers and the crowds were also intense, either cheering or booing. As the night went by toward the final match, the energy in the arena erupted to the roof.

View from the second row
View from the second row

My seat allowed me to see the fights up-close and record some actions on my phone—I still couldn’t believe that luck. Some punches were stunts. But their acrobatic moves were also real. That seemed to be another layer of duality hidden in it. But I didn’t want to read it too much and let go of myself.

By the end of the night, I was both educated and entertained. My doubts were demystified. It was undeniably a fun night. And I appreciated and admired the performance more . There couldn’t be a better way to wrap up the first day in Mexico City like a night at lucha libre.

Capturing lucha libre on mobile phones
Capturing lucha libre

Betcha Thought I Was Dead

After The Undressing Room, another show for Mardi Gras bumped in right away at The Factory Theatre. Weird is the word to explain Betcha Thought I Was Dead.

Joan Collins (acclaimed sex therapist, psychic guidance counsellor and mental health professional) tracks down Joylene Thornbird Hairmouth (former Diva, rock goddess and federal senate candidate) in the Wagga Wagga Women’s Maximum Security Psychiatric Correctional Facility where she has been incarcerated for the past 23 years! Find out why and how when Brent Thorpe and Billy O’Riordan join forces to bring their own brand of deranged performance to Sydney audiences.

You might want to check out some images from The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show as well. Betcha Thought I Was Dead is performing at The Factory Theatre until 22 February 2009.

The Undressing Room

I said I would not be photographing Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras events this year but things changed. I was invited in the last minute. This time I was assigned to one of the Festival venues, The Factory Theatre.

It started off with The Undressing Room with Imogen Kelly:

Imogen Kelly is Australia’s Queen of Burlesque, plaything of millionaires and notorious member of the demimonde. Although she is known as Australia’s premier showgirl- be warned, Imogen is a more of a burlesque saboteur than a museum piece.

The Undressing Room is performing at The Factory Theartre until 22 February 2009.

DVD Killed the Video Star

So Long Cathy from ApostrophePong on Vimeo.

The holiday season is just around the corner and everyone is almost in the party mode. At The Vanishing Point Contemporary Art, is calling for time-based art proposals for their fund raiser X’mas party. When I see the theme, DVD Killed the Video Star, I just have to get So Long Cathy to them. And it will be featured on the gallery’s shop window on the party week. It is a really good exposure. In fact, this will the first time that this work is displayed to the public. And this is another work I have exhibited here this year. Earlier Sticky was awarded a Commended in CALD Category at Marrickville Contemporary Art Prize.

DVD Killed the Video Star

The ATVP X’mas & fun(d) raiser for 2009

$10 Entry

Thursday 4 December, 6-10 pm

565 King Street, Newtown

(02) 9519 2340