Friday, October 31, 2014

Cervantino 2014: Great Ride While It Lasted

I have to admit I was pessimistic beforehand about this one, but I am already full of memories of even more events than I wrote about. One of my favorite FIC junkies feels the same way and so did people who knew the one or two events that would make them happy.

Jorge Volpi, the director of this year's Cervantino, opened the Festival in the presence of the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan, expressing grief about the traagedy of the Normal School students. As director, Volpi made sure that FIC 42 would fertilize culture in Mexico: Not only Proyecto Ruelas, which developed actors and drew large audiences, but the Critics workshop and the Academia orchestra, both providing opportunities for talented Mexicans and others to hone their skills. And, once again, the FIC commissioned an opera and a dance work.

Here's a heartwarming story I heard: A friend took a retarded teenage girl she knows to the Butoh performance at the State Auditorium. The young woman was entranced, responded appropriately according to my friend. Maybe there's a lesson here. Maybe more of us should think of inviting someone we know who says"I'm not going to anything." a common response around here.

Grumbles: The untimely closing of most art exhibits the principal one, especially from people who work. And as always to select photos to download akes a long time because a slideshow is lacking.

Scene from Rasgado's opera Paso del Norte
When the new agenda booklet arrived, Ii found it practical. The sabana made planning easier, though.

An under-the-radar event I found very powerful:: the opera composed by Victor Rasgado of Oaxaca
based on a play that told the true story of twenty Mexicans who died of suffocation when the train car in which they were going clandestinely to the US was shunted onto a siding. Poetic lyrics, powerful acting and singing by Lourdes Ambriz and others. Supertitled even though it was in Spanish.

I kept finding that one FIC event played off another. Just one example, seeing the staging of the soldiers in Coriolanus and then in the scenes I saw in Mexiamora. Once again, I was fascinated by  how much the costume design contributes to the effect a work has. Hats off to the unsung hero(ines) who design and make these clothes.

We were lucky with the weather this year, although the one rainy day almost wiped out the Tea Ceremony.

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