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Sunday, November 11, 2012

LA Malong Malong

One of Alison De La Cruz’s newer solo works is LA Malong Malong, which was written and performed by the author in 2011.  The performance is a queer version of Rapunzel, in which the play explores the question “Who would you climb a tower for?” and invites the audience to also explore the question.  The main character, played by De La Cruz, is Zelle, a Princely Butch individual who knows “that she doesn’t feel at home in her own skin and she’s the one stuck in the tower.”  In other words, Zelle’s body represents the tower in which the character is trapped and is waiting for something to occur or to rescue her from the way she feels about her body.  De La Cruz also expressed that a piece of this performance is inspired by—and takes part of its name from—a Southern Philippines folkdance.  In this dance, the malong—a traditional tube skirt made of multi-colored cotton cloth—is able to convert into thirty different kinds of shapes and uses.  This theme is used as an interesting metaphor for the gender roles and identities based on these roles.   Therefore, Zelle becomes the malong in this play, in which the character changes shapes—which represent the different gender roles and identities.

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