About a week ago we heard that a traveling troupe from the Quito Ballet company was going to perform a program in San Jacinto on Thursday night. We looked into it further and Mary found the web-site for the Quito Ballet and found out that, sure enough, there was a dance program scheduled for 7:30 in San Jacinto and we started to spread the word and arrange rides for interested neighbors.
Early this week we heard that the same program that was scheduled for San Jacinto would be performed in San Clemente on Friday night. There was no mention of the performance in San Clemente on the Ballet company’s web-site, so we were confused. Many of those who had planned to attend in San Jacinto decided to forgo that trip and just attend on Friday in San Clemente.
Early Thursday morning I rode downtown and asked Mr. Zambrano if indeed there was to be a dance program in San Clemente on Friday and he assured me that there was a program set for San Clemente on Friday. I had to ride over to San Jacinto after that and while I was down there I saw people setting up a travelling museum and dance floor area, so I asked them if they would be in San Clemente on Friday and they told me, “No.”
It was pretty confusing for a while, but it turned out that everyone was right (sort of…)
The big ballet/interpretive dance program by the Quito Ballet company was scheduled for one night in San Jacinto on Thursday and promised to be a spectacular show on Ecuadorian culture. On Friday another group of people would perform in San Clemente doing some different program.
Mary and I decided to attend both nights. Ramon drove us and some other friends over to San Jacinto. We took time before the performance to visit the traveling museum which highlighted many Ecuadorian cultural achievements and development.
We were very early, so we got the best seats in the house (actually the street) – right in the front row!
They had laid down a temporary dancing surface in the street with a large back drop and professional lighting and sound equipment. We watched them practice and listened to the emcees announce coming events and introduce people who were visiting from six other countries. The program consisted of numerous dance scenes depicting Ecuadorian history and development. It started with a woman (Mother Ecuador?) being born and babies rolled out of the raised platform and joined in an opening dance depicting native aboriginal culture.
I was reluctant to take flash pictures so there are only a few representative pictures of the dancers (non-flash photos of moving dancers were much too blurred). Suffice to say that the program involved over thirty dancers who were highly professional. The technical support for the program was excellent and we were treated to a wonderful performance right in the middle of the street in our neighboring town of San Jacinto!
At intermission, I turned and got some pictures of the large crowd of people who had come out to see the dancers.
The program lasted two hours and even a culturally challenged person like myself was captivated right up until the final scene!
We loaded back into Ramon’s truck and the men rode home Ecuatoriano style!
After the great performance on Thursday we were very excited to go to the show in San Clemente on Friday. We expected a dancing show again, but the show in San Clemente was a variety show performed by some of the foreign visitors. The first woman warmed up the crowd with comedy, songs and group activities to entertain the children – or as she said, “Ninos pequeno y ninos grande!”
There was a lot of audience participation. See if you can identify the woman dancing behind the life-sized woman figure.
Whoops – there she is! Mary was actually getting up to stretch her legs when the woman (in Spanish) was asking for a woman volunteer. The woman thought Mary was volunteering and waved her up to the stage! Mary did not know she was being called and turned away from the stage at the end of the row and the crowd started to laugh. The woman would not give up and eventually got Mary’s attention and Mary (reluctantly) stepped forward. She was a great sport though and had a good time with the dance!
Mary told me that she whispered to the woman that she understood very little Spanish and the woman whispered back, “It is not important!”
Perhaps because many of us were sitting in the front two rows the woman actually called on quite a few ex-pats to participate in various skits.
After the warm-up acts, performers from Mexico, Argentina, and some other South American countries performed.
This gentleman from Mexico also played Peruvian music. He played pan-pipes at the same time as he rapidly strummed away on a mandolin!
This woman accompanied him and both sang a number of Latin American folk songs.
An extremely wild comedian got everyone (especially the children) laughing.
The final numbers of the evening were performed by a couple from Argentina. The woman played the violin and the man accompanied on a guitar. They had excellent harmony and were very entertaining.
The overall theme of the presentations for both nights was that all of Central and South Americans have very much in common and need to work together.
We ex-pats were proud to join with our friends and the performers in a wonderful celebration of arts and entertainment here in San Clemente where…
Life is good in Ecuador!