Mario José Barrantes Espinoza
Mario Barrantes Espinoza is a Costa Rican-Nicaraguan artist based in Brussels. They studied theatre and dance at the National University of Costa Rica, before moving to Belgium, where they graduated from the Training Cycle (2016) and the Research Studios (2018) at P.A.R.T.S. He has collaborated in works by François Chaignaud, Théo Mercier, Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe, Michiel Vandevelde and Eszter Salamon, and performed as guest artist for the bands Peaches and The Subs.
Mario currently develops projects as an independent artist. His work articulates performance, the (re)writing of texts, and the use of voice, with materials sourced from pop culture and mainstream media. Their two end-of-studies works, [A SEQUENCE III] and Drift (I) —the latter in collaboration with Thomas Bîrzan–, were selected by various international festivals, among them the dance platform Aerowaves (2019), which “showcases the most promising new work by emerging dance artists in Europe”. His debut work, El cantar del playo or… a song is a rose is a thorn (2022), was awarded in 2020 with the Roel Verniers prize by Het Theaterfestival for “creative ideas and new performing talent”. In 2023, Mario curated the first edition of the Culo shaking night… ’til tears get dry at Kaaitheater, a nightlife event inspired by family celebrations in Latin America, where the audience, accompanied by food, drinks, kitschy décor and music, could meet artists whose work activates narratives around queerness and Latin American themes.