French jazz at the Sucre, Belly Dance at Tribal Fusion, Monty Python at La Guarida, Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky, ‘Sylvia’ tickets on sale

Mar 19, 2019

If you plan your time around what’s happening in Cuenca’s creative community, then this column is for you. Published every Monday, “What’s Happening Under the Domes” highlights the exhibits, concerts, workshops and other not-to-be-missed artistic events scheduled for the coming week. We cannot guarantee a complete listing, but we’ll try our best to keep you informed. 

This week

Michel Blanchard

Cuenca recently lost one of its greatest supporters of the arts, Michel Blanchard. He was my friend and I will be eternally grateful for all his encouragement to me. He was a beautiful man – inside and out!  Michel’s spirit will always be part of what’s happening under the domes. RIP Michel.

Monday, March 18
tattleTALES: Critique Group for Writers of Memoir & Personal Essay

This free critique group is for anyone who wants to tell a life story–to write about lived adventure, adversity, trauma, and/or redemption. No writing experience is needed.

Sessions are held at idiomART (Presidente Córdova 1-77 y Manuel Vega) on the first and third Mondays of each month, 10 a.m. until noon. Coffee, tea, and chocolate croissants will be served.

Facilitated by Carolyn V. Hamilton and Kathryn M. McCullough, for more information, email:

New Classes of Belly Dance at Tribal Fusion

A new cycle of classes in The Tribal Fusion House are starting.  Work mind and body at the same time… and have fun doing it.

Tribal Fusion Belly Dance is a modern Western form of belly dance which was created by fusing American Tribal Style belly dance and American Cabaret belly dance. Artists frequently incorporate elements from Popping, Hip Hop, ‘Egyptian’ or ‘Cabaret’ belly dance, as well as movement principles from traditional forms such as Flamenco, Rock, Odissi, Indian Fusion, Pagan fusion, Ritual Fusion and other folkloric and classical dance styles.

If you want to know more about this, go to The Tribal Fusion House on the web, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram or email,

Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. or 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: $40 a month

The Tribal Fusion House is located at Presidente Cordova 14-43 and Coronel Talbot.

Artists Maité Eusebio and Janda Grove exhibiting at Miguel Illescas Gallery

In commemoration of International Women’s Day this month, two of Cuenca’s most popular artist are having a show entitled “Reflections”. Maité Eusebio, originally from Peru, paints still lifes and landscapes in an exuberance of color.xJanda Grove, originally from the U.S., works mostly with figures, both real and imagined, using various palettes, sometimes subtle, sometimes strong. Come view art created by women, for women, and about women.

This show will continue through the month of March.

Miguel Illescas Gallery is located at Calle Larga 1 -209 y Miguel Ángel Estrells.

Free films in La Guarida!

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, directed by Terry Gillian
Monday, March 18,  at 7 p.m.

“Volver”, a film by Pedro Almodóvar
Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m.

Food and drinks served. The first 10 guests receive free popcorn.

Reservations: 099 806 8071, call after 8 a.m.

La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.

Tuesday, March 19
Virtuoso Singer-Guitarist Luis Ullauri performs at Café La Joyapa!

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7:30.-10 p.m.

Cover charge $7.

Café La Joyapa is a rustic, candle-lit space on the second floor of of El Doblón restaurant. Food and drink service, provide by El Doblón, includes a wide selection of reasonably priced Ecuadorian, Italian, and North American fare.

Café Joyapa is located at Honorato Vasquez 6-60, between Presidente Borrero and Hermano Miguel.

A.C.T.’s “Sylvia”

Azuay Community Theater new production, “Sylvia, directed by Tony Harding has gone into production.  The play is a memorized, staged comedy about an exuberant, lovable dog who changes the lives of a middle-aged couple.  It’s a smart, playful, sophisticated and occasionally gritty comedy about relationships, nature and growing older.  You will laugh your tail off!

Show dates: Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 31 at 4 p.m., April 6 at 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m.

Tickets $15.  Cash or PayPal

Tickets sales at the following:
The Castle: Tuesdays, from 5:30– 7p.m. (Trivia Night)
A.C.T. Theater: Wednesdays, from 2 – 3 p.m.
Sunrise Café: Thursdays, from 10 a.m. – noon
IdiomArt: Every day, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

For help or questions about ticket sales, contact Marilyn at or 099 138 9130.

“Smoking Mirror” Exhibit at Museo de los Metales extended until April!

The Aztec conquistadors scare the bejesus out of the poor Europeans.

Quito artist Eduardo Villacis’ “Smoking Mirror” exhibit at the Museo de los Metales is an amazing show. The exhibit includes painting, illustration, a video, and sculpture, with a big dose of humor. It graphically illustrates how history is written by the victors.

Free. Museo de los Metales is located at Av. Solano 11-83.

Wednesday, March 20

Muestra Antológica de Jorge Chalco

7 to 8:30 p.m.

Hosted by Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno de Cuenca and Dirección Municipal de Cultura Cuenca.

Jorge Chalco, an artist between two centuries, that presents a series of works from 1958 to 2019 — in an anthology of his artistic life.

Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno de Cuenca is located at Mariscal Sucre 1527 y Coronel Tálbot.

Live Jazz at the Jazz Society Café

Wednesdays through Saturdays

Food and beverage service: 6:30 through 10 p.m. Jazz Concert: 7:30 through 10 p.m.

Reservations:  Their schedule of events is posted on Facebook page: Jazz Society Café

The Jazz Society Café is located at 5-101 Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo, Upstairs (2nd Floor) of La Viña Italian Restaurant.

Artist José Luis Alfaro at CVA Gallery

Jose Luis Alfaro exhibition,“Park of Dreams”, continues through March at the Cuenca Visual Arts gallery. Alfaro is a recognized artist with a great career. His beginnings go back to his years as a cartoonist. Later he entered the Superior School of Fine Arts Macedonio de la Torre, in Trujillo, Peru. After completing his studies there, he visited a variety of countries and exhibited his art, that, in his own words “is something that one carries in one’s blood. It is a passion that grows every day.”

Also showing will be an emerging Cuencano artist, Wilson Cueva M.

Don’t miss this amazing show.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 1 to 6 p.m.

CVA is located at Calle Larga 3-82 y Vargas Machuca, in the Santa Canela Building.

Salsa lessons at Santa Canela every Wednesday

Do you want to learn Latin dances?

Every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Salsa, Merengue, Tango. $7 per person.

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill and Lounge is located on Calle Larga 3-82 Y Vargas Machuca, pass Todos Santos.

Thursday, March 21
Jazz Cabaret from French Jazz Band Rimendo

8 p.m.

In homage to the 60 years of Boris Vian’s death, the French group Rimendo will take you  on a journey through time, in the atmosphere of Saint-Germain-des-Prés jazz club of the 1940s/50s. Rediscovery French artist’s best songs with enthusiasm and passion.

Free admission.

Located at the Sucre Theatre.

Concierto: Encuentro de Orquestas

8 p.m. Free admission.

Under the musical direction of the masters: Manuel Campos and William Vergara, the orchestra will be performing works by Tchaikovsky, Villa-Lobos and Ginastera.

Hosted by Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Cuenca

Located at the Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Azuay, Edificio Mayor on Luis Cordero 7-22 y Presidente Córdova

Friday, March 22
Architect, Artist and Printmaker Marco Martinez at idiomART’s Friday Salon!

10:30 a.m. to Noon (Doors open at 10 a.m.)

Every Friday a new presentation!  Great way to learn more about Cuenca, Ecuador’s art, history and culture and meet new folks!

This week, Cuenca-born and renowned artist Marco Martinez will be sharing about his roots, and inspiration for his exquisite works of art. Art Historian Berenice Cárdenas will be hosting the event.  Optional field trip in the afternoon to his studio.

Cost $10.  Coffee, tea, and snacks available.  Presentation translated in English.

Open to all. No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.

idiomART is located at Presidente Córdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24
Cooking class at the Alliance Française

Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $10 for AF members – $15 public

Chef Marc Dullin will conduct the class.

Assorted Shellfish “Au gratin”
Pork medallions in port wine and morel cream sauce.
Potato cake – Sarladaise style
Marzipan Pear Tart

Afterword, you will enjoy this delightful lunch together.

To reserve your place, please register with Thibault at the Alliance Française.
Pre-paid and pre-registered only – No walk-ins.

Price includes a full set of recipes, a generous serving/tasting of the menu, plus bring your kitchen’s knives for a free sharpening and always … a glass of chilled Chardonnay.

Class fills up quick and spaces are very limited. (Spanish, English and French spoken)

Alliance Française is located at Tadeo Torres 1-92 y Av. Solano.

Meditate with Shambhala

Every Sunday, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Free, though donations appreciated.

All are welcome! The Cuenca Shambhala Meditation Group invites you to meditate together.

Shambhala International follows the tradition of Pema Chödron and her teachers Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Sunday’s practices include group chanting, silent seated meditation, and group walking meditation.

Chairs and cushions are provided. Everyone is invited to join us for brunch/lunch at a restaurant after meditation.

Meditation instructions are available free with advance notice at 9.30 a.m.

Located at 8-81 Calle Larga, east of Benigno Malo, south side, upstairs at Namaste India Restaurant.

Volleyball on Sunday

Have you played regulation international 6-on-6 volleyball in the past and are looking for a fun way to exercise? Good news. Play will be from Noon to 2 p.m.

Location is tournament style outdoor net on the grass just west of the soccer field at the

west end of Parque El Paraiso (not too far from Banos and refreshments!) – at the intersection of Pje. Del Paraiso and Avenida Diez de Agosto.

For more information, email Gary at

Coming soon!
Friends of Frank’s: Frank Angelo Birthday Party and Fundraiser

Join us at idiomART for a celebration of the past year’s accomplishments in Frank Angelo’s life, money raised, and innovative new ways forward for 2019.

Bring your party shoes, your party attitude, and your party wallets. It’s a Party!

For more information and to reserve contact Paul Marquis: or 099 291 6457. Call after: 6 a.m.

idiomART is located at Presidente Cordova 1-77 y Manuel Vega, Cuenca.

Piano concert from Belgian pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir

The Belgian pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir, as part of International Francophonie Month, will give a piano recital, with commentary, Tuesday, March 26 in Carlos Cueva Theatre at 8 p.m. He will perform from the works of three great Romantic composers: Frederic Chopin, Enrique Granados and César Franck. Free admission.

What’s Happening Under the Domes is a weekly column by Sara Coppler. Sara has lived in Ecuador for over 5 years. She is an architect by training, who has worked for more than two decades in the field of international development and poverty housing. She is a co-founder of idiomART, a creative community center in Cuenca. Having admired the creative process throughout her life, she describes herself as a “Head Cheerleader for the Arts.” It’s this enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at

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