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.

Luis Díaz BLUES

Luis Díaz, Mexican Blues artist manages to capture the essence of the blues, writing and singing in his native español about themes close to home. He says that when he began 30 years ago Mexican rockers and blues singers were in imitative mode, singing in English and copying these USA & England born forms. With experience and knowledge he and others like the great retired group Real de Catorce began to use Spanish with songs written about social and personal issues close to home, which is what the blues is essentially all about.

With 2 CD´s now distributed you can see Luis around Mexico including the AGUASBLUES Fest in Aguascalientes, the largest venue for this music annually.

Yo, en una Cantina? Part 1

This theatre piece by Compañia Artistica Torrena was featured in the 2013 Festival Cultural Zacatecas.  It was written by Gricelda Torres in the historic cantina Las 15 Letras, and features this cantina in a starring role.  The characters and action refer to the 1940´s golden age of Mexican cinema, in which actors came from the world of theatre, of cabaret, musical comedy and lower forms of performing arts, and characters – much like film noir in the USA – were musicians, drunks, sad women hiding behind happy faces, all sorts of politicians and mafiosos.

The 15 Letras Cantina has been open and run by the same family since 1906.  Women have only been permitted to enter within the past 10 years, a change which was resented by some old-timers fearing their space would be invaded, but for the most part it has been a happy transition.   In 3 parts.

Pasión por las Artes

This is a promo for a new series hosted by artist Susana Salinas, developed by www.mexitv.com and Mexico Explorer TV in Zacatecas, Mexico. This region and in fact this country hosts a great wealth of talent in theatre, dance, visual arts and music. We will take you behind the scenes and explore thecreative…

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