Thursday, February 2, 2012

Festival de las Artes 2012

This past weekend was the "Festival de las Artes" that I had promoted in a past post.  This festival seems to be the evolution of what used to be called "Carnivales Culturales," without the massive parade and concerts.   Although these two aspects are definitely missed, this festival does include a ton of interesting and varied events.  This year I had my schedule mapped out well ahead of time.  In some cases I was very pleased with what I saw, though others were not quite as I had hoped.

One of the things I felt a little let down with were the "Invasion Callejera" events.  There were 6 of them on the schedule, however what I didn't realize that instead of six completely separate events, this was six chapters of the same piece, Ser.  There were some great costumes, dances, etc.. however the first episode was in a location (in the median of Avenida Argentina) where it was difficult to hear when cars and micros passed, blocking the audience's view and eating up the dialogue.  Though visually appealing, I was not especially drawn into the story.  By the end of the second event, it had a weird, dream-sequence vibe, though I wasn't drawn in enough to keep attending the other chapters given that the visual part wasn't changing much.  I would have preferred to see a variety of artists and talents that normally form part of the scope of the Invasion Callejera events.

Really neat bicycles as part of the Invasion Callejera piece, SER.  

Actors in SER perform in the middle of Avenida Argentina on Friday. 

A definite highlight of the weekend was the show "Transeuntes" by a Chilean company, Balance, from Santiago.  I have, surprisingly, never seen or heard of this group before, but their show was fantastic!  It was a modern, city-themed, aerial acrobatic and dance performance.  Although they had a projected screen of metro-scenes and city life, the show took place on Muelle Baron with the whole city as a backdrop.

Aro/Lira in Transeuntes.   

Tela/Aerial Silks in Transeuntes. 

Tela/Aerial Silks in Transeuntes.

In the hills there were many events as well.  If I had a toddler, I would have been more than impressed with an adorable performance of Repunzle.  Since I don't have a toddler, I myself sat in the middle of the carpet laid out on the floor to get a good view among all the screaming kids.   It was still good.

I was very excited to see the "Best clown acts from the UPA Chalupa Festival," however in the end I felt like I was expecting more than what I saw.  They did indeed get a few laughs out of me even so.

One of the cutest acts they presented was of a marionette Condorito who selected a young girl to dance cueca with him.   The dancing Condorito was absolutely adorable, however the little girl froze on stage and another girl came up to replace her.  When the second girl took the handkercheif out of her hand, the first girl started bawling.  It was a difficult not to laugh at the whole situation.
Condorito dancing with the enthusiastic replacement dancer chosen from the audience.

The first girl chosen to dance with Condorito froze on stage and burst into tears when she was replaced.

I think the Teatromuseo del Titere y el Payaso does some really wonderful things.   Something always neat to see are the giant puppets.   They had two parades during this festival.  I only went to one, but there was an incredibly low turnout.  It was also weird to see many busses taking tours of the hills, with tourists smashed up against the window to see these wonderful creations, and the tour operators wouldn't slow down or stop to let them really have a look.  Can you imagine just passing by something like this in a foreign country and not getting a chance to take a picture??
Freaking awesome.

Parade of giants.

I was also pumped to go to a cinema event where they were showing Mysteries of Lisbon, however I had a lot of things to do and the movie is about a million hours long, so I couldn't fit it in.


  1. Great photos, Lydia! Love the giants.

    I had never heard of Balance either. Now, I want to see them.

    Come to Santiago! Mysteries of Lisbon is still showing at the Moneda.

  2. hahah. i actually did go to Santiago today, though I didn't reserve half the day for the movie!

    I would love to see it, it was just too long on a day when I had many many other things I wanted to do!

    Balance was great! I'm personally not a fan of most ultra-modern stuff, though I go to a LOT of events where they have some sort of aerial act, and this was by far one of the better performances I've seen. It was VERY well put together, organized, safety measures, etc... which is usually not the case even if the artist(s) themself is very talented.