THE NYLON TIGHTS ARE PINK
“The Nylon Tights are Pink” was a performance of coping methods. It was “endurance exercises”; manipulation and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and liquids; dish-breaking; and humorous and confrontational prose written and spoken aloud by Bella Dorado. Endurance was performed in 1. Bella’s extensive and precise arrangement of dishes, foods, and placecards, 2. Bella’s consumption of mass quantities of fruits and vegetables after speaking (such as: seven rounds of eating whole cucumbers or jars of mushrooms), 3. seven rounds of choreographed endurance exercises including 21 balances on one leg, 4. being watched, 5. watching, 6. the two and a half hour duration of the work with Bella as the sole mover, and 7. music shifts and lengthy moments of silence. Endurance became extreme coping as seemingly healthy activities became excessive.
Foods representing body parts were: mushrooms (ears), bread (foot), tomato (heart), lemons/raspberries (breasts/nipples), pomegranate/grapefruit/cucumber/banana (vulva/penis), pears (hips), and cheap champagne (mouth). The foods were arranged onto embellished china in seven stations around the small bar, amidst audience members. Corresponding body parts were painted onto the china with gold pen as an extension of the existing embellishment.
In the climax of the work, Bella broke each piece of china with seven materials from an “installation of dangerous and sensual objects”: a hammer, a meat tenderizer, a boa, a golf club, a curtain rod, a long piece of wood, and a bb gun. The dishes were shoved into the legs of a pair of cherry-colored nylon tights before the smashing. Chris Gravely and I performed a score sonically narrating Bella’s actions using keyboard, bamboo wind chimes, saw blade, chao gong, maracas, oak slat, ice bell, 22-inch paper-thin ride cymbal with bow, Ableton Live, prayer bowl, triangle, and Spotify (Cardi B pushed Bella through her last exercises and Beethoven provided the soundtrack for her dish-breaking).
The endurance elements of the performance were brutal, repetitive and physically demanding. They were punishment and pleasure. They were mundane. Each element of this work was made to be in conversation with the complexities of coping and everyday survival in the lives of black and brown women. Which are the coping methods we address, which ones do we ignore, which ones were inherited and do not serve us anymore? In this work, the creation of new rules and parameters regarding our relationship with our mental health and our bodies was at once performed and embodied.