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One-of-a-Kind Performance Artist Astrid Hadad is Rebellious, Erudite, and Whimsical

ASTRID HADAD 7

ASTRID HADAD 8

Jesús Aguado and Astrid Hadad

By Jesús Aguado

Actress and musician Astrid Hadad, creator of Heavynopal, is a representation of México on stage—its economy, religion, and politics all rolled up in one. Her performances are musical, humorous, and come with a well-documented point of view.

Hadad recently visited San Miguel de Allende for the presentation of Puro Amor, a novella by author Sandra Cisneros. And although this time Hadad did not bring her famous flamboyant spectacle—which can involve up to 15 costume changes of outfits weighing up to ten kilos—she did sing a song for the audience and later talked with Atención.

Hadad studied communications at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. However, after two years of study, she felt more attraction toward politics, she says. By then, she was already a singer who had been mixing politics with humor.

Sh has had a 30-year career in which she has been lambasted by critics and censored by national television stations. But she remains stronger than ever, she says.

“The audience has fun at my shows. But since I do whatever I want, the big TV stations do not like me, because I am a rebel; I have not surrendered to them. When you work for a private company, you have to do what they tell you; they take your mind. And since I work by myself, I do whatever I can and want,” she said.

Her 2007 performance!Oh Diosas! features La Multimamada, a mythological deity of fertility who with her multiple breasts irrigates the soil, explains Hadad. She based the ideas for the costume for that work on an image of the goddess that she saw in a book. The lyrics were based on a poem dedicated to the character of Lilith from Jewish folklore. “I gave it a twist, and I put to music,” she said.

Hadad has seen injustice in the country—“too much injustice”—she even goes as far as to say that the Mexican republic is the Multimamada, a country “where politicians are stuck to its multiple breasts, suckling it and suckling it, and she keeps feeding them. Politicians have stolen from this country for decades, and our homeland is so generous; it always gives more and more,” said Hadad.

Luckily, she says, with the election of Andrés Manuel López de Obrador, a person has finally taken office who talks about the poor. She expects change in México. Although she does not belong to a party, she sympathizes with the new president. However, she says, he will not be untouchable. Critics are already in the lyrics Hadad has been working on next.

A country with no culture and no education is a poor country, Hadad says, and for that reason, she invites everyone to do their part from wherever they are and not just criticize the system.

Hadad is promoting her album Caprichos (Whims), which she started putting together after going to the Villa of Guadalupe and seeing misery and injustice there (“I was so depressed,” she said). The material is also based on Francisco Goya’s series of drawings, Los Caprichos, works that criticize all those who abused the people. “I made my caprichos a la mexicana,” she remarked.

For now, there are no public performances for the erudite cabaret woman—as she has been called. However, her material can be found at astridhadad.com

Here we present some of her dresses, which have been exhibited at Museo del Chopo.

 

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