zacatecas

99th Anniversary of the Toma de Zacatecas

The taking of Zacatecas, June 24, 1914, by Generals Pancho Villa, Panfilo Nateras & Felipe Angeles marked a crucial turning point in the long and bloody Mexican Revolution.  This video highlights the 99th anniversary Cabalgata (expedition on horseback).  Next year for the centenario Zacatecas will celebrate a re-enactment and huge fiesta.

Culture Fest 2013 – music, art & more

Here are a few highlights from the Zacatecas Cultural Festival 2013.  Codigo Postal is a really nice musical group from Veracruz for jazz-folk sound.  The Javier Marin sculpture exhibition shows off this artist´s range, he has achieved an international reputation http://javiermarin.com.mx/en, we are very fortunate here in Mexico to have access to so many great visual artists and their work.

These videos and more content are now featured on Mexico Explorer TV in the series hosted by Susana Salinas “Pasion por las Artes.”  Mexico Explorer TV is on satellite from USA south to Venezuela, soon to be on cable systems throughout Mexico.  http://www.mexicoexplorer.com.mx/

The Princess of the Winds: Behind the Scenes

For the Zacatecas, MX International Street Theatre Festival 2012, the Cosmicomicos developed this large acrobatic piece Princess of the Winds, a fairy tale.  They were contracted to present in the largest, most important space – the Plaza de Armas or central plaza of the city, and decided to develop an original work featuring aerial dance, gymnasts and a score of live music with comic-book style costumed characters.

In this video we interview the director, production manager, composer & costume designer as well as some of the players, and then show clips from rehearsal and opening night.

Cerro de la Bufa at dawn

 

One autumn morning I went with my friend, artist Homero Guttierez and we watched the dawn on top of Cerro de la Bufa, the peak set above Zacatecas, Mexico. The statue towards the end is General Pancho Villa, the other one General Felipe Angeles, heroes of the bloody taking of the Bufa in 1914, in the Toma de Zacatecas.  This was a very bloody battle, upwards of 50,000 were killed, that changed the course of the Mexican Revolution.  Now its nice and peaceful up there, and this is just a fun little video we made.

CARMEN de Ignacio Sotolongo Rosell y Danzaria

Cuban born choreographer and dancer Ignacio Sotolongo Rosell develops and presents CARMEN, a ballet with young dancers in the group Danzaria of University Autonoma de Zacatecas.  The ballet is presented in the 1891 Teatro Calderon, a centerpiece of Zacatecas architectural treasures.

La Charreria

Mexitv is beginning a new series with Mexico Explorer TV in Zacatecas and charro/trainer of horses Ramiro Vargas which will explore the history and techniques of this unique Mexican tradition.  We are shooting at Lienzo Charro in Zacatecas and various ranches around the state as a prelude to the international championship event in October 2012 here in Zacatecas capital.

The formal beginnings of Charreria were under unlucky Emporer, the Hapsburg Maximilian, who was interested in fusing Mexican ranch and hacienda horsemanship with a European formality.  The horses came into Mexico with Hernan Cortez and from the start were a huge part of the conquest.  We will explore in later episodes the assimilation of the horse into the native culture and the creation of this great sport.

Many people have doubts about the treatment of the animals in charreria – I will be sure to ask these questions of the experts in the coming weeks.  But first I ask you to consider, these trainers and riders have grown up with and live with and love their horses.  They have personal investment in maintaining the health and happiness of their animal companions.  Speaking as a city and suburb native, who do you think knows better about how to care for their animals – they who live with them or me who has little experience so far with anything larger than my dog?

The opening music is by Sones de Mexico, a great Chicago based group, who interpret a Bach Brandenburg with traditional Mexican instrumentation.  Then, at the opening of the Charreria, you hear the Marcha de Zacatecas, which of course accompanies this parade of the charros at each event.

thanks to Gil, Toño, Ramiro & Galo