Dance   /   Performance
Mario Barrantes Espinoza

El cantar del playo or… a song is a rose is a thorn • Studio STUK

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.

Studio STUK
Dance, Image & Sound in the iconic Manhattan
with De Hoorn

➤ GETTING THERE: The Manhattan is situated next to the Vaart Leuven-Mechelen. / On foot : 20 min from Leuven train station / By bike: Cycle highway F8 and F3 / Public transport: Take the Outer ring road bus (line 600) and get of at stop Engels Plein / By car : parking Vaartkom.

➤ ACCESSIBILITY: The venue is accessible for wheelchair users. The regular sanitary facilities are accessible by elevator. Unfortunately, there is no accessible toilet.

➤ STUDIO CAFÉ: Our café opens at 19:30. Come early, stay late.

➤ SAFER SPACE: Studio STUK aims to be an inclusive space for everyone. We take every form of intimidation seriously. Don't hesitate to talk to a STUK colleague or a person behind the bar.


Concept and performance Mario Barrantes Espinoza | Artistic assistance Theo Livesey | Text Theo Livesey, Martín Zícari, Mario Barrantes Espinoza | Music arrangement and sound design Pablo Lilienfeld | Music direction and voice coaching Ignacio Jarquín | Light design Ryoya Fudetani | Costume design Flávio Juán Núñez | Video projections Federico Vladimir Strate Pezdirc | Artistic accompaniment Manu, Martín Zícari, Stefa Govaart | Production Hiros | Co-production Het TheaterFestival, VIERNULVIER, C-takt, KAAP | In collaboration with Kunstencentrum Buda (Kortrijk), workspacebrussels, DE SINGEL, KVS, Kunstenwerkplaats, wpZimmer, PARTS, Decoratelier | With the support of de Vlaamse Overheid
Tue 4 Oct 2022 20:30


  • Kolonel Begaultlaan 21
  • 3012 Leuven


€ 14/10

Season ticket? Click here

Free for Subbacultcha members