By KYLIE MADRY
Guanajuato’s famous International Cervantine Festival (FIC) kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 14, “raising its digital curtain” with a performance by the Ensamble de Música Barroca Capella Guanajuatensis.
The Mexican culture festival moved online this year after it became clear over the summer that covid-19 restrictions would not be lifted in time for a physical event to take place.
“The FIC had to reinvent itself in order to be a meeting point full of promises,” said Mariana Aymerich Ordóñez, general director of the festival, in a press release.
“We share with the public the desire to enjoy the artists on stage, and the artists’ desire to share their work with the public. This is the first time that 100 percent of the cultural presentations will be available on digital platforms and public media, completely free, which will allow it to reach the homes of Mexicans, inside and outside the country.”
Other highlights from Wednesday’s kickoff included a performance and interview with Welsh-Senegalese duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, who play the harp and the kora, a West African string instrument, and La Bruja de Texcoco, who performed songs off her latest album accompanied by Rubén Albarrán and the Ballet México de Colores.
The first night of the festival closed with a performance by Los Danzantes del Alba, from Teatro Línea de Sombra, telling the stories of migrants, in-bond maquiladora workers and residents of forgotten places, and the National Dance Company, who paid homage to Ludwig van Beethoven with “Beethoven in private. Ludwig en tu casa 2.0.”
The 48th annual International Cervantine Festival chose to commemorate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, also noting that it was particularly apt to celebrate a musician who was possibly black, in a year of Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and around the world.
The schedule for Thursday, Oct. 15, looks just as packed, starting off with Spanish band Toompak’s “Reciclart School,” a percussion-based performance using recycled materials. After that, viewers will take a virtual trip across the pond to join British a cappella octet VOCES8 at the Live from London festival, followed by Guanajuato’s own Son del Montón mixing Mexican and African sounds.
The festival runs five days, ending on Sunday, Oct. 18, and can be watched through the International Cervantine Festival website, social media and public television Channels 11, 14 and 22. Registration is free.
…October 15, 2020