Conceived and Performed by Gio Mielle
Directed by Debora Balardini
What is a person's creative expression and power in today's gender-based society through the Latina feminist lens? Bother Line explores humanization versus dehumanization and the daily impact it has on our bodies and identities. Through the writing of Helen Palmer, also known as famed Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, this solo performance is an original piece created and conceptualized by Gio Mielle and directed by Debora Balardini. This piece desires to discuss women (or men) at their best: free to decide whom they want to be. From hypocrisy to exposure, from pathetic to poetic, this is the result of Gio Mielle's discomfort with the "lines" that make her the woman she is today. Lines, they bother her.
"Are you morally so old-fashioned as to regard female vanity as frivolous?"
This is how Helen Palmer questions her readers about the importance of keeping vanity up to date. Helen is the pseudonym of Clarice Lispector, a Ukrainian writer naturalized Brazilian who used her column in several newspapers, in the 50’s and 60’s, to give beauty and femininity tips to women all around the country. The issues raised by Clarice at the time come against the annoyances of Brazilian actress Gio Mielle. It is 2017 and feminism that lead Gio’s imagination to an obsessive interest about her universe as a woman. She finds herself bothered with issues that do not match with her own idea of a woman's place in the world today. “Why, despite struggling to make every women know her power and her uniqueness, I still look in the mirror and find myself bothered by a new aged line that appears on my face?” What kind of harmony do we seek for ourselves? What is the harmonious body within this commercial universe we live in that encourages us to cultivate an almost plastic beauty? Perhaps Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty, was responsible for creating the first frame of femininity. The goddess who finds in the common people the mirror of desperation of who wants to be like her. Is it harmonious to seek perfection, to search for the ideal body, the angelic face or the smooth skin? The humanity of the imperfect human-being leads to a kind of inhumanization when it gets to the constant attempt to perfect itself. Human-perfect-inhuman, should that be the goal in a person's life? What is the borderline of this constant need for acceptance? Gio touches these subjects in a personal way, sometimes critical, ironic and definitely in a reflexive way. The relationship with the public is constant. The audience identification with the subject causes discomfort and distress. From hypocrisy to exposure, this is the result of Gio Mielle’s own discomfort with the lines that make her the woman she is today. Lines, they bother her. PHOTOS: Rafael Acata
Bother Line is a 2018 Official Selection of United Solo, the largest solo theatre festival in the U.S. at TheaterRow on September 26th, 2018.
PHOTOS: Skye Morse-Hodgson