Theater piece “Lotus” presents solitude of the black woman and the struggle to secure a long-lasting relationship; spectacular comes to the stage in Rio de Janeiro on November 16th
By Marques Travae
Theater has become a place where black protagonism and black stories take center stage in an environment in which doing so on the big and small screen are very difficult. The new piece Lótus will debut in Rio on November 16th through November 18th and bring stories dealing black female solitude and struggles to find love in a society that relegates their beauty to the bottom of the female hierarchy as well as diminishing their possibility of securing long-lasting relationships. The piece stars Danielle Anatólio, an actress with a master’s in Scenic Arts from UNIRIO.
Presented in a language of the poetic feminine, Lótus also deals with the ways in which Brazilian society hyper-sexualizes the black feminine body, beauty, as well as tales of overcoming, love and life in a contemporary context of what has been denominated the “solidão da mulher negra” (loneliness/solitude of the black woman). Based on real experiences of perhaps thousands of black women, the play is based on the sensibilities of black women and also contemplates the ways in which they deal with a consistent passing over as possible romantic partners that they interpret as a sort of imposed loneliness and also demonstrates methods of resistance in order that they may continue to exist.
In the past decade or so, there has been an outpouring of essays and personal reflections of black Brazilian women who speak not only of their difficulty in securing relationships but also speaking on what they see as a collective preference of black Brazilian men for white women, which they feel contributes heavily to their solitude.
Although many black men dismiss the complaints and accusations of black women as exaggeration, bitterness and lacking validity, the numbers uphold what these women are experiencing. Data from the 2010 census show that 52.52% of black women are involved in a stable relationship, whether actually married or in long-term relationships. Other studies show that, on average, it takes black women longer to secure a long-term relationship than white women.
The data is composed of several historical and affective contexts that the piece proposes to make the public reflect upon. The piece come to Teatro Municipal Ziembinski, in the Tijuca region of Rio de Janeiro starting on the 16th and has already hit stages in Salvador, Bahia and Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.