"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 Gio Mielle, a Brazilian actress based in NY since 2015.
It is 2017 and feminism leads 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 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 figure of a woman coming out of her shell, hair traversing the body, an image full of sensuality and mystery. 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? Is it harmonious the search for the ideal body, the angelic face, 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 women’s life? Who are these women who live a plastic life, who exaggerate in beauty products, who do all sorts of procedure in the desperation of being as perfect as the model of the magazine. And how much do I have of them? What is the borderline of this constant need for acceptance? Lines, they bother.
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 and those feelings almost become a new character in the relationship. At times Gio talks directly with the audience, making them a mirror of her quest for the unreachable beauty. 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.
About the Company
Nettles Artists Collective is a NYC-based artists collective run by two Latinas, Debora Balardini and Sandie Luna. The company has been devising original works using physical theater and visual arts for the past twelve years forging leadership and amplification of inclusion in the arts. The collective methodology draws from Collective Autonomy, Physical Theater, English Prime, Improv, Choreographic Theater, Extended Range Vocal Technique, Suzuki Technique and View Points.
About the Artists
Gio Mielle is a Brazilian actress, theatre producer and a collaborator at Nettles Artists Collective. In 2003, won an award for best actress for the short scene "The Cannibal" which set her off to hold many other roles around Brazil. She also performed at Galpão Cine Horto: "Arriscamundo", "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Rehearsing Lies". In New York, Gio was part of "Sorry Robot", a Mike Iveson's project for Elevator Repair Service, she performed at the Nettles Artists' "The Dark Side of the Woods" and at the Sister Sylvester's "The Maids' The Maids". Her latest work was at the critic choice "Doomocracy", which gave her a nomination to the International Brazilian Press Award 2017.
Debora is one of the co-founders and co-Artistic Directors of Nettles Artists Collective, which has received multiple nominations for original work such as Apple of My Eye (Menina dos Meus Olhos), the first professionally produced original piece written and performed by an artist with Down syndrome. Debora has directed various solo and ensemble pieces including Meu Vazio é o Movimento written by Alan Rosa, Inside.Not Looking Out.- A Movement Piece with Nettles Artists Collective, The Serpent and Infinite While It Lasts with Group .BR., NY's only Brazilian theater company, for which she is one of the Co-Founders and Executive Director. She is the co-founder of PUNTO Space, a venue for events, art happenings and performances that serves as a creative home and place for artistic community to collaborate, explore and thrive. Debora is a member and supporter of Actors Fund, Yoga Alliance, Americans for the Arts, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian Endowment for the Arts, the League of Professional Theater Women and she was a Brazilian International Press Award 2017 Best Actress nominee for Inside the Wild Heart, which she co-created, co-produced and performed in. Debora is also a 2017 SheROCKS Art Innovators of the Year Award honoree. She can be seen in IR TV, Industry Rules, The Miami Herald, The Story Exchange, Cheapism, Trendy Trippin', Mushaka's Motivational Monday/Huffington Post blog, HowlRound Online Journal, On Deck with Lucy and Business News Daily.
Photo: Rafael Acata.
This show is being produced as part of The Tank's annual LadyFest 2017!
For more information about LadyFest 2017, click here.