Tickets (really) Available Online!

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Yes! It’s true! Really! This time it works! As of this past Monday we can buy tickets to CULTURA Mazatlán events in the Angela Peralta theater online!

Mazatlán is blessed with world-class cultural events—my beloved opera, classic and modern dance, theater, music—but until now domestic and international tourists have been frustrated by an inability to purchase tickets in advance of their travel to Mazatlán. Residents have also been frustrated. Those who live outside the Centro Histórico have for years been handicapped—we fight traffic and torn-up roads only to get to the theater to find the box office isn’t open. Good tickets get sold out before we can get any, or we have to impose on friends who live downtown to get them for us. Even those who live downtown can struggle.

Our prayers have fortunately been answered. Even though for years it’s been announced that people can buy online, the system never worked. Lic. Raul Rico and his staff wanted to farm out the work, but the municipality said they wanted to do it in-house. They never did. Finally, however, the IT people at the municipio have come through! So far, the online purchase does not work for events in Casa Hass and elsewhere, but I’m told that will come soon. Fingers crossed.

The process for purchasing tickets online is as follow:

  1. Begin at the calendar/cartelera: http://www.culturamazatlan.mx/calendario.php  Sadly this page is currently only in Spanish. Cultura has been looking for months for English-language assistance…
  2. Click on the event of interest to you, and you will see (in Spanish) the date, time and location at the top of the pop-up window. Below it will appear intended audience, ticket prices and a summary of the event. On the upper right you will see an aqua blue box that reads Comprar boletos (buy tickets).
  3. Once you click on Comprar boletos, on the next page you will need to select the time of the performance you wish, and then click Continuar sin registrarme, or “Continue without registering.” Alternatively you can enter your “Yo + Cultura” card information to track your purchase for goodies.
  4. Once you finish there, the system will take you to a map of the venue. As you mouse over the seats available the ticket prices appear. Click on the desired seats, and click on Confirmar tu compra or “Confirm your purchase.”
  5. You’ll be taken to a confirmation page where, if everything is ok, you’ll click Realiza tu pago or “Enter your payment.”
  6. The next page will ask you for your email (correo electrónico) and cell phone number. This is great, because you’ll get a confirmation email for your purchase, and they will send the tickets themselves to your cell phone!  So, be sure to enter the numbers correctly and double- and triple-check them. That way, you can print them out, or you can just have a virtual copy on your phone to show at the door and save a tree.
  7. On the final page you’ll enter your payment information:
    1. Cardholder name (Nombre del titular)
    2. Card number (Número de tarjeta). Supposedly any credit or debit card except American Express will work.
    3. Expiration date (month/year)—Vigencia (mes/año)
    4. Security code (Código de seguridad/CVV2)

I trust you are as excited about this news as I am. Kudos to the city, and to the folks at Cultura, for getting this done. It’s obviously the new administration who will get the advantage of all their hard work—what a wonderful parting gift—but the biggest winners should be all of us who enjoy our Cultura events!

Modern Dance This Weekend

DSC_6607You like to help talented young people succeed, just like I do. Many of you know Isa Medina, our local stellar interpreter and translator, and her husband, Jorge, who does the magnificent wrought iron. Elisa, their daughter, is one incredibly talented young woman. She has studied dance for years, and has traveled the world quite extensively while performing her craft. Bless her soul, she also organizes events here in town that bring all of us the benefit of her connections and the talents of her and her colleagues.

This week she has helped bring us two choreographers from Costa Rica and Romania, plus twelve contemporary dancers from Guatemala and throughout Mexico, for three different performances. The shows are:

  1. Saturday January 20, 8pm in the Art Museum
    This performance is entitled “Componiendo el Plural.” The team of dancers will exhibit their creative projects and individual work. Cost is 80 pesos that will pay for the lighting and help defray travel costs for group members. The Art Museum is at Sixto Osuna 71 in Centro Histórico.
  2. Sunday January 21, 1pm in Casa Haas
    This function, titled “Entre Quijotes,” is for children. Be sure to let all the kids in your life know about it! Directed by Andrea Catania, from Proyecto LasAfueras in Costa Rica and Romania, and Adrián Arriaga from Colectivo Clá in Costa Rica, entrance is 100 pesos. Casa Haas is on Heriberto Frías 1506B downtown.
  3. Tuesday January 22, 6pm in the Teatro Universitario
    UPDATE: Please spread the word! Today’s modern dance performance in the UAS (Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa) has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
    The third event is the most informal and it’s free! It will be an open house/demonstration of the residence project, “Bitácora en Común.” It will be held in the theater at Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, on Leonísmo street facing city park/Bosque de la Ciudad, just beyond north of the roundabout with the deer statue.

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Today I visited the group in the theater at UAS to watch them rehearse. They were having so much fun, enjoying themselves so completely and joyfully, that it reminded me of watching the manta rays have their party. The dancers include:

  1. Andibii Gallardo (Mazatlán, Sinaloa)
  2. Rodrigo de la Cruz Abúndez (Cuautla, Morelos)
  3. Cristina Zamora (Guanajuato, Guanajuato)
  4. Yunuén Mejía (Morelia, Michoacán)
  5. Noemi Sánchez (Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes)
  6. Elisa Medina (Mazatlán, Sinaloa)
  7. Fernando Leija (Tampico, Tamaulipas)
  8. Alejandro Chávez (Tijuana, Baja California)
  9. Mayra Barragán (San Diego, California)
  10. Kenia Navarro (Cuernavaca, Morelos)
  11. Yutzil Pablo (Guatemala, Guatemala)
  12. Brayan Córdova (Guatemala, Guatemala)
Below I’ll share a few of the photos I took during rehearsal today. Click on any picture to enlarge it or view a slideshow. Let me know what you think of the performance!

Border / Zone… between us

16112882_459015117820393_2403868806841955938_oClaudia Lavista from Mazatlán’s Escuela Municipal de Danza tells me she’s heartbroken she won’t be in town for our Mazatlán Women’s March on Saturday evening. We do hope you will join us, and bring your whole family, all your friends and colleagues. If you are coming with a group from the same workplace, school or club, please wear your uniforms to show your group pride. Otherwise, there is no clothing recommendation. Do, however, bring the sign you would like to carry. “Defending Dignity,” “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” “Diversity and Inclusion,” etc. Get out a piece of cardboard and a marker, and exercise your voice. The march is NOT political, please, and is peaceful and respectful. We will meet at 4 pm on the malecón where Alemán intersects it, in front of the Hotel Freeman, and walk to the Cliff Divers/Glorieta Sanchez Taboada.

This post, however, is about an event AFTER our march, at 8 pm. Claudia tells me, “It’s our first cultural action against the Trump wall idea!” And does it look beautiful! (BTW, Colin, kudos on the pics!) The performance is a collaboration between Vermont’s Middlebury College and our own EPMD (professional dance school). Click on any photo to enlarge or view a slideshow.

Here is the full event description:

EPDM and Dance Company of Midleburry Present Border | Zone… entre nosotros

Please join us for this evening of new contemporary dance performance, Border | Zones… entre nosotros on Saturday 21st of January at the Angela Peralta Theatre, 8:00 pm. Tickets are 200 pesos and can be purchased at the box office 9am-3pm and 5-7pm or Saturday 9am-2pm.

Centering on themes of the boundaries and borders between nations, people, and ideas, this performance was produced as part of an international collaboration between Middlebury College (Vermont, USA) and the Mazatlán Professional School of Contemporary Dance (EPDM). The project features an exchange between the students of the Dance Company of Middlebury (directed by Scotty Hardwig) and choreographers Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista, who have created choreography with the company.

During the last two weeks, the Dance Company of Middlebury has had the opportunity to study in Mazatlán and integrate with the classes, teachers and students of the EPDM — this provides them both with a new cultural lens and introduction into the training methods and high-level of artistic creation at the school, as well as an opportunity to work with internationally renowned choreographers like Carrum and Lavista. This exchange also allows for the students of both schools to experience different processes of studying and training in dance, the different approaches of the two schools, as well as connect to other international student dancers and perform together.

For this performance, Hardwig has created a new work, “Sun Breaks Down,” in collaboration with the student company, and the evening will also feature a repertory work by Carrum and Lavista entitled, “Dulce, Disonante, Entorno,” alongside works from the students of the EPDM. This performance will be followed by a tour of these works in the United States by DCM, as well as by EPDM student dancer Paola Reyes Guzman who will be performing a new original work by Xitlali Piña Poujol.

Formed in 1980, the Dance Company of Middlebury includes student dancers, selected by audition, who create new work annually under the direction of professional faculty choreographers and designers at the Middlebury Dance Program. This model creates a pre-professional environment for students to engage in intensive dance training, experiencing the inner workings of the choreographic process from varied perspectives. Each year, DCM premieres a new piece in Vermont in conjunction with a national or international tour.  This year’s company, directed by Scotty Hardwig, includes dancers Miguel A. Castillo, Mandy Kimm, Deborah Leedy, Amanda Lorena Neira, Andrew Pester, Otto Pierce, Liv Reuss, and Emily Schreffler.

Border Zone | EPDM | MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE from DELFOS DANZA CONTEMPORÁNEA on Vimeo.

We Burned Our Dancing Shoes!

DSC_0318… last Wednesday night at the Hotel Playa with the 24 new graduates of the Escuela Profesional de Danza. What a wonderful evening! It was a benefit to help send the kids to Florence, Italy, in July for a dance festival and ten days of workshops—they’ve been offered free tuition/scholarships and home stays. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow:

I was most looking forward to dancing to my favorite local band, La Falsa Orquesta Cubana, and indeed, we danced to salsa, bolero, cumbia and conga till well after midnight. The highlight of the evening, however, were the three performances by the new graduates.

It is unbelievable how talented these young adults are! Representing ten different states of Mexico, they are, indeed, a national pride. I didn’t attend the Delfos fundraiser last weekend, but I’ve heard from 7-8 people how disappointing the choreography was. Not Wednesday night! This choreography rocked! There were three student-choreographed performances:

  1. Bripola, a two-person dance about the vibrations that occur when the strings of a small guitar are plucked and strummed.
  2. Diagram of the Trajectory of Laurence, another dance by two dancers, representing the steps forward, backwards, up, down and sideways through space.
  3. Passaro, a group dance representing the intense energy of flying birds.

Many of the graduates’ families came from out of state to support them, and donated items for the silent auction and door prizes. The dinner was also amazingly good.

THANK YOU to all of you who read this blog and bought your tickets and got a table together! Seeing the energy, excitement and talent in these young people gave everyone who attended such encouragement.

If you would like to support their effort to raise money for the airfare, you can deposit your donation to Bancomer #0193238377, in the name of El Espacio del Verbo. You can also donate from US$5 upwards via Internet on Fondeadora.

If any of the students would like high-resolution images of these photos without the watermark for your personal use, just let me know.

I do sincerely hope the event raised a lot of money for your journey. Best of luck! Show them just how talented Mazatlán and México are!