Astrid Hadad in Los Tarzanes
Perhaps Astrid Hadad’s performance is best described as “one of the most provocative stage acts since the Weimar Republic was in bloom” (New York Times). When this outraged and outrageous Mexican diva comes onstage along with her ‘Tarzanes’, nothing and nobody is safe from her sharply pointed and bawdy mockery. And no one can resist her enigmatic voice, the polished and powerful musical arrangements and the sensuous and thrilling performance. Her wildly energetic revue is a fusion of old songs combining ranchera, bolero, rumba, rock and jazz, performance art, political barbs and a mix of the most surreal and extra- vagant costumes and settings. A unique, self-created style, suitably called ‘Heavy Nopal’, after this ‘quintessentially’ Mexican cactus whose juice is distilled to make Tequila. She may first appear as an Aztec Pyramid complete with carved snakes, a skull rack and a peacock’s tail of agave leaves, change into the Virgin of Guadeloupe (Mexico’s patron saint), embody La Malinche (the devil women who sold out the Aztec Empire to the Spanish conquerors), or become a psychedelic plant glowing with all-seeing eyes and the bleeding heart of Christ. Subversively turning upside down the symbols, stereotypes and traditions of Mexican and Latin popular culture, she attacks macho culture, the Mexican government or the USA’s neo-imperialism (“Visit the United States before it visits you”). Ms. Hadad says her act has its origins in the cabaret of Brecht and Weill, “the political cabaret that was a new way of experiencing life.” In the 1920’s and 30’s, Mexico City’s clubs were also filled with performers who skewered the powerful in their acts. But no one since has stuffed all of Mexican political and cultural history into a dress and laced it up with a feminist attitude quite like Ms. Hadad. Astrid Hadad, a trained actress and singer, graduated from Centro Universitario de Teatro in Mexico City and embarked first on an acting and singing career spanning the extremes of Mexican TV soaps and an all-female production of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Later she developed her own form of musical and artistic expression, performing in Australia, Latin America, USA, and Europe. She has published numerous CDs, contributed soundtracks to several movies, and her work has been documented in a number of TV productions. Whether Hadad is performing on Central Park’s Summer Stage, at international theatre festivals around the world, or at the Bodega in Mexico City, she attracts mixed, devoted and passionate audiences, old and young, straight and queer, post-modern Latin-kitsch lovers, or serious admirer of popular Mexican music...
vocals, concept and direction: Astrid Hadad; music director, piano, accordion, backvocals: Jesus Fernandez; percussion, strings, backvocals: Marco Manrique, Juan Cisneros; sax, flute, backvocals: Jose Angel Ramos; bass, strings, backvocals: Daniel Vera; producer: Luis Werner; production assistant: Juan Antonio Calderon; costume design: Astrid Hadad; costume making: Rosina Conde, Laurencio Ruiz, Maris Bustamente, Victor Susarrey.
organised and financed by: Cankarjev dom in
co-operation with: Mesto žensk / City of Women
with the support of: Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores de Mexico & Embajada de Mexico en Austria.