Corazón de chocolate, bitter modern times

Corazón de chocolate (chocolate heart in Spanish) is a musical play that is presented in the Anfiteatro Bellas Artes until April 5. The story concentrates on Ingrid, a candy factory worker who has to come back to her work after a leave due to the suicide of her housband in the same workplace.

A candy factory has a supervisor of sweet character. Or at least most of the time, when she is not mocking the mistakes of the new subordinate, a young woman with no distinguishing feature other than her clumsiness. In the factory line, everyone performs their duties wearing uniforms; the supervisor’s is the pinkest and the one that brings out the figure the most. She tries to be nice, to look good in her dress that reverts some nurse’s outfits. She talks to Ingrid about how good her husband was, you can see that they are not friends but she tries to show that she regrets the situation. She tries so hard that it hurts. It hurts like the load hurt Ingrid’s husband’s back. It hurts like the machine that cuts off a limb and sends the body part down the conveyor belt at the rate of the alarm. A comical air reminds one of Chaplin‘s modern times, of Charlie and the chocolate factory. It also invites us to remember the real case of Rolando Venegas, who denounced harassment at work in his suicide letter; being the person who inspired this play, the premiere performance on Saturday the 7th was dedicated to Venegas’ family present at the show.

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Ingrid hears her supervisors announce that the company’s new ice cream, “Corazon de Chocolate”, will be dedicated to her husband, and that every effort must be made to ensure that the product leaves a good name for its workers. This is complemented by a choreography during the induction of the new employees. Like a team of cheerladers the six workers sing and move around the stage talking about the goodness of the company and the joy it gives them to make the Dolce company great and thus make the hearts of their customers bigger. Special mention to the dance steps of the teddy bear body. Ingrid stands at the back of the group, holding a candy-coated staff reminiscent of the Sailor Moon canes. All with a big smile following the choreography, she slowly and with a serious face. Gestures from the colleagues to Ingrid so that the supervisor, “The Dog”, does not challenge her for spoiling the induction dance, a direct reference to the choreographies of the oompa loompa who worked in Willy Wonka‘s factory.

The hierarchies in Dolce are marked with uniforms. The uniforms of the production line workers like Ingrid or the young lady with no name are composed of rubber boots, a flat apron, a cap to contain the hair. It erases the identity of each worker as it erases the memory of the Haitian worker who died the same day as Ingrid’s husband. What was his name? He had a complicated name, foreign. “Does anyone remember?” Three weeks ago a young worker came in to be part of the team. Nobody remembers her name either, the supervisor tells her in one of her personality “fractures” that apart from being clumsy she is ugly. The young woman lowers her head, announces her intention to quit. She wants to quit as she has done all her life, to stay and face something that will not change by herself is very hard. But at home it’s either work or a beating. She returns, tries, is overcome, humiliated, exploits her own way, she is not as extreme as Ingrid’s husband, but she is intense. With distraught cries the nameless subordinate asks “How can I not look ugly in this uniform?! How can no one learn my name in three weeks?! I’m a human being!”.

The terrible thing about the scene of the anonymous worker and the induction dance is that they are funny, they generate laughter, because the whole play is a comedy with musical pieces. Not everything really, but it is through laughter that reflection is sought on the humane treatment at work, on the good treatment between people. The company Ocaso Teatro, with the playwriting of David Gajardo and the direction of Rodrigo Aro Silva, presents Ingrid and her Chocolate Heart in the Anfiteatro Bellas Artes, where the performances are by contribution to the cap until April 5.

Corazón de chocolate. Chronic of a sweet suicide

From March 7 Until April 5
Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00p.m.

Anfiteatro Bellas Artes
PARQUE FORESTAL S/N, North Side of Bellas Artes Museum
Price: Contribution to the cap, sensible and voluntary support at the end of the show.

Company: Ocaso Teatro.

Dramaturgy: David Gajardo Gúmera.

Director: Rodrigo Aro Silva.

Staff: Loreto Araya Abdala, Leonardo de Luca, Jéssica Velásquez, Valentina Torrealba, Nidia Vargas, Gerald Havliczek and David Gajardo.

Musical Composition: Tomás Peña, Martín Becerra, Alejandro Tapia.

Light: Diana Fraczinet.

Costume design: Elizabeth Pérez.

Stage design: Sebastián Escalona.

Director assistant: Valentina Carmona.

Sound: Gonzalo Soto.
Press: Claudia Palominos



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