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Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Uma Mulher Vieja
When I first received an invite late last year to come to Porto, Portugal and perform at the World Famous Groove Ball, I was immediately intrigued, but was afraid that with my hyperdrive schedule of visual art exhibitions I would not be able to add another commitment to an otherwise packed calendaria.  
So glad I did some re-arranging and was able to go to Porto, and take part in this marvelous grass roots queer mega event.
First of all the weather was bright and sunny, not balmy, but certainly better then dreary icy cold Berlin in February. Picking me up at the aeroport was Groove Ball architects the major miss gorgeous Inez Pando and debonair Master Igor. I was starving so they took me for local grub where i stuffed myself silly with the tastiest of regional comfort food. You should have seen my baby bump!
My fab accomodations at The Hotel Miradouro on Rue de Alegria, 598 an art deco compound situated high on a hill overlooking the entire city with breathless views. I love old hotels where you get an actual key, and not a key card for your suite. My bedroom was simple and charming with furniture from the 1920s that included an old style radio counsel. Even the TV monitor was deliciously ancient, and not one of those icky flat screen monstrocities. The best part was the bathroom that had the most elegant tile, and a giant tub that was meant to hold enormous women like myself, plus any loo with a bidet gets my extra sensory special Vagimule safeguard seal of approval. I was so content in my regal eagle's nest down in the depths of the 11th floor that I didn't mind the loud generic techno music thumping up from a niteclub across the street.
Since I don't own a television set, and don't have internet access at home, the only time I am able to watch mindless TV is when I stay in hotels, and in Portugal the content is original language with untertitles.
At a mind altering bruncheon of vegan specialties at Mafalda's the restaurant in the Matosinhos Market owned by Ms. Pando and her sister Mafalda, I met the rest of the crew which consists of lovesexxy glamour girl /supermodel/Djane Simone Francisco who along with Master Igor and Lady Inez are the masterminds behind the Groove Ball Collective.
Joining us for brunch was opera singing sensation and diva extroidinaire the enchanting Symone De La' Dragma one of Europa's most divine hostesses, who is also a learned scholar when it comes to classical Hollywood, Broadway showtunes and disco royalty. Special guest host and DJ from London the delightful JayJay Revlon was also on hand. Master Igor took me for a little sightseeing adventure where I got to see their rushing river, and pristine oceanfront, which reminded me in parts of Malibu and Laguna's Porno Beach. Even got a glimpse of a broadshouldered surfer dude version of Sulka.
I was surprised to see lots of tall men in Porto. A few years ago when I was invited to Queer Lisboa I noticed that the majority of Portuguese men in Lisbon were on the dimunitive side, so it was refreshing to see a sprightly gaggle of dark, tall, swarthy types floating about. Didn't get to chow down chupa style on any revenously hugo destados, but a girl can't have everything I guess.
On the night of my performance I was picked up from my hotel and taken to Maus Habitos which is a giant community center that features art galleries, restaurants and the nightclub where Groove Ball takes place. At the restaurant I ate another fantastic meal. I was told that Porto is a food haven, and it lived up to that reputation. I tried to take a disco nap as I wasn't going to hit the stage until 2:30am but I was just too nervous and anxious to get any sleep.
I got my start in clubs in the late 1970s, and early 1980s, but in the last 20 years or so when I perform its more in art galleries, art spaces and museums where showtime is usually late afternoon or no later then 8pm. I miss the spontaneity of a club environment.
My performance was very messy, and halfway through I lost my voice. My Rick Owens couture gown had the photographers in a tizzy, so i looked good for an elderly lady, and that is half the battle.
A statuesque, handsome curator from Lisbon approached me after the performance and asked me about the Horkheimer and Bataille text that I sprinkled within my song “My Pussy is a Cactus”. So i guess someone was paying attention. He also was interested in having me perform at an art event he is curating along with the legendary band The Raincoats.
Groove Ball and their lovely house children have created a scene that other larger cities could learn from. I think Porto is on the forefront of a brand new exciting movement, and soon everyone will be moving there the way people started moving to Berlin in the early aughts.
Just heard that the singer Vic Damone died. I adored him. Back in the 1950s he was married to Italian actress Pier Angeli and in the 80s he was married to black actress Diahann Carroll. He even made a few films at MGM including Young, Rich & Pretty with Jane Powell and Danielle Darrieux, Hit the Deck starring Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, and Ann Miller, Athena with Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds and muscleman Steve Reeves which was way ahead of its time with an original story about health and fitness including veganism.
Getting back to Berlin and the freezing cold weather I went to see a pop-up exhibition in Mitte near the Berliner Ensemble by my Offenbach am Main students. The event was filled with some excellent video work and short format performances which really rockt! So proud of my students from Offenbach. They are superstars!
They will also be part of an exhibit at the MMK Museum in Frankfurt.
One of my other Offenbach students Brenda Lien who had her first film in the Berlinale last year is part of an exhibition that opens Thursday Feb 15th 7pm at CLB Berlin Aufbau Haus am Moritzplatz at Prinzenstrasse 84.2 in Kreuzberg. The exhibit runs till Feb 24th.