El cantar del playo or… a song is a rose is a thorn
Mario Barrantes Espinoza explores queer sexuality and identity to the rhythm of the plancha — the ‘music for ironing’ his grandmother once listened to. Full of heartache and theatricality, this music draws on the culture of the telenovela and the art of transformistas (drag queens). Today,
plancha is an emotional oasis for the young playo (gay) community in Costa Rica and an upbeat soundtrack to celebrate playo identity. In his debut El cantar del playo or... a song is a rose is a thorn, Mario Barrantes Espinoza transforms the stage into a nostalgic landscape flush with melodrama, music and visual poetry.
Awarded the Roel Verniers Prize at TheaterFestival 2020.
Mario José Barrantes Espinoza (°1991) is a Costa Rican-Nicaraguan artist based in Brussels. He studied theatre and dance at the National University of Costa Rica, before moving to Belgium, where he graduated from the Training Cycle and Research Studios at P.A.R.T.S. He has collaborated with artists such as François Chaignaud, The Subs, Michiel Vandevelde, and Eszter Salamon. Currently he continues to develop projects as an independent artist. His practice focuses mainly on the articulation of dance, text and voice through the re-appropriation of audiovisual materials found in pop culture and mainstream media.