A look at the work of Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol Nov 3, 2017
Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol, El Rumor del Incendio
The creative team behind Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance (Nov 16-19 at On the Boards) includes the theatre collective Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol, who wrote the libretto to this bilingual, cross-border opera.
Founded in 2003 by Luisa Pardo and Gabino Rodriguez, Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol is a community of Mexico City artists making projects that link work and life and erase borders. They seek to clarify and articulate, but also to disrupt and unravel notions of biography, document, and history. In exploring events of the past, their work highlights how arbitrarily history is constructed. But their aim is not to correct the record, rather to put the emphasis elsewhere, to change the narrator, to create perspective, and to make up stories.
In creating the libretto for Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance, Pardo and Gabino have pulled from a huge variety of sources, including archival materials, contemporary retellings, semi-autobiographical novels, correspondence between Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, illustrated histories, and more. They consulted accounts of the Mexican Revolution written from both American and Mexican perspectives. Art historian Jana La Brasca in reviewing the opera for Pastelegram writes, "Pardo insisted on the importance of using a wide variety of sources in this libretto, what she called an 'extensive spectrum of points of view.' They aimed to depict Pancho Villa in a complex fashion; while she admits they found themselves inclined toward sources that in some way 'exalted' the man, they also showed him as a flawed, frequently violent, and sometimes tyrannical human being."
At OntheBoards.tv, we're proud to host Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol's El Rumor del Incendio, a bold documentary play performed in Portland in 2012. In 1960s Mexico, young revolutionaries took up arms in a desperate attempt to change society. A few decades later, the children of those guerilleros retrace the struggles of their elders, revealing this shadowed chapter of Mexican history through the personal experiences of one woman, Margarita Urías. El Rumor del Incendio blends witness accounts, archive film, and scale models as the actors unearth the artifacts of recent history.
Learn more about the work of Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol in advance of Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance: for a limited time we're making El Rumor del Incendio free to rent! Visit the film's page at OntheBoards.tv and use coupon code OTBPANCHO at checkout to start the free 48-hour rental period. (Expires 11/30/17, one coupon code per user.)