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 is Holy Week, the central celebration of the Christian liturgical calendar, in Cuenca and its surrounding areas. Cuencanos begann the celebrations on “Domingo de Ramos” Palm Sunday, following that, on “Jeuves Santo” Holy Thursday. To mark this day, they visit the seven churches, followed by processions revering “El Señor de la Pasion” or “Passion of the Christ” on “Good Friday”. In rural areas, they celebrate in much the same way, but you may also observe manifestations of religious fervor. This can be seen in the many men who represent Christ in the procession, who travel long distances carrying very heavy crosses. Holy Thursday marks the beginning of the Easter Tritium: Last Supper, death and the resurrection of Christ. On Holy Thursday the pilgrimage of the churches is performed. These visits and prayer, recognize, and symbolize, the faithful followers of Jesus, the arrest of the traitor, and ultimately, the crucifixion.
In Holy Week, Cuenca has always embraced religious tourism, which is enhanced by the great variety of handicrafts and gastronomy, predominantly Fanesca and rice with milk, a simple, yet very traditional dessert. Fanesca is a thick soup consisting of a base of 12 grains. These grains represent, according to the tradition, the Twelve Apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel; and the fish, represents Jesus, as it’s the main ingredient of the soup.Hope you can enjoy many of the holiday festivities.
Monday, April 15
The University of Cuenca presents: Requiem de Verdi!
8 p.m. More than 200 artists on stage under the baton of Maestro William Vergara, the of the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Cuenca. Organized by the Polyphonic Choir and the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Cuenca.
Soloists: Ruth Díaz – Soprano (Guayaquil): Nathaly Dávila – Mezzosopranos (Quito); Cristian Karim Taleb – Tenor (Argentina); Diego Zamora – Baritone (Cuenca)
Invited guests: Montecristi Lyric Choir; Coro Pichincha; Polyphonic Choir of the Municipality of Loja; Juvenile Choir of the José María Rodríguez Conservatory
Also performing on Tuesday, April 16.
Tickets $10, available for sale at Almacenes la Victoria and at the Teatro’s ticket office on the day of the event.
Located at Carlos Cueva Tamariz Theater by University of Cuenca.
tattleTALES: Critique Group for Writers of Memoir and 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 will be held at idiomART at President 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week in LaGuarida: movies, soccer, music and GoT!
La Guarida continues to showing free movie and champions league matches, Game of Thrones and an incredible musical tribute to one of the best female Mexican singer songwriters: Natalia Lafourcade.
On Monday, at 7 p.m. “Carne Trémula (Live Flesh!)”, a film by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem(in Spanish with English Subtitles).
About: Pedro Almodóvar is arguably Spain’s best director and his earlier films like ‘Carne Tremula’ show his willingness to tackle hard subjects with comedic flare, suspense and like usual an incredible script filled with plot twits. ‘Carme Tremula’ is packed with an incredible young and sexy cast starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.
On Tuesday,at 2 p.m. Champions League Quarter Finals: Barcelona vs Manchester United. Come check out this awesome clash by two European Titans.
Also on Tuesday, at 7 p.m. “The Basketball Diaries”, a film by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo Di Caprio(presented in English with Spanish Subtitles).
About: Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is consumed by his life as a high school basketball star. Pressured by a wicked coach and a concerned mother, Jim develops an appetite for heroin. Soon, the mean streets of New York City have replaced the basketball court as his main destination. Jim and his friends scrounge, steal and prostitute themselves to score drugs. Jim’s only chance to escape addiction may be Reggie, a neighborhood friend and hoops companion.
On Wednesday, 2 p.m. Champions League Quarter Finals: Manchester City vs Tottenham
On Thursday, 7 p.m. A musical tribute to Natalia Lafourcade by one of the most enjoyable couples in Cuenca: María René and Daniel with Special Guests. Tickets: $7
On Sunday, at 8 p.m. (dubbed in Spanish) and at 10 p.m. (in English with Spanish subtitles)
A showing the Game of Thrones Saga. We will show the second episode of this global phenomenon.
Reservations: 099 806 8071, call after 8 a.m.
La Guaridais located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.
An exhibit by Scott McDonald, “So Far”, opening at idiomART!
Come by and see Alaskan-born artist, Scott McDonald, fabulous paintings influenced by his year-long stay in Ecuador.
Exhibition continues through April 29
idiomART’s Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, from 10 AM to 3 PM.
idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella.
Tuesday, April 16
Virtuoso Singer-Guitarist Luis Ullauri performs at Café La Joyapa!
Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7:30.-10p.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.
Wednesday, April 17
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: email@example.com Theirschedule 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.
The Oldies But Goodies Dance will be continuing at Common Grounds
Happy Hour is from 5 – 7p.m. with food all evening. Drink Specials and Music from 7 – 10 p.m.
Dancing: All styles are welcome to the music provided. Music: A variety of music styles including Oldies Rock ‘n’ Roll. Venue: Seating re-designed to accommodate our dancers Parking: Free parking information: Behind Common Grounds on Jose Asudillo
Bus service: Bus service to Common Grounds location: #13, #14, #19, #3 & #50
Donation: $5 per person. Club: This is a private party of people who just want to have fun dancing, without complications.
No dues. Please do not be shy. Just get up and dance as the mood strikes you. Most of the songs invite different dance styles, so don’t worry, just do your own thing, whether alone, as a couple, or in a group, it doesn’t matter. Feel free to invite your friends and come with the intention of having fun.
For more information, email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Common Grounds is located at Eduardo Crespo Malo y Gran Colombia.
Thursday, April 18
Musical Tribute to Natalia LaFourcade at La Guarida!
8 p.m. Natalia Lafourcade is one of the most prominent Latin artists in the world. She has conquered hearts with her beautiful melodies and has garnered all type of awards. An intimate evening of music that you cannot skip for any reason, music by María René and Daniel with Special Guests.
Tickets: $7. Reservations: 099 806 8071, call after 8 a.m.
La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.
Paco’s Blues and Pandora’s Box at Lirón Lirón!
7 p.m. Paco’s Blues will be playing Lirón Lirón Bar Restaurante. Pandora’s box, the great vocal duo, will be starting out the evening so be sure to come early to catch these two talented women. If you’ve not heard them before you are in for a treat.
Come on out and dance. A great night of music, dancing, and great company at one of Cuenca’s best music venues.
Lirón Lirón is located at Gran Colombia 9-41 y Benigno Malo in El Centro (see their Facebook page at “Lirón Lirón Bar Restaurante” for a map).
Friday, April 19
idiomART’s Friday Salon!
10:30 a.m. to Noon (Doors open at 10 a.m.)
Every Friday a new presentation! Great way to meet local artists and writers, learn more about Ecuador’s art, history and culture and meet new folks!
This week, a special discussion will be led by RicardoSegreda, author and screenwriter, based in Quito.Rick is the founder of the Ecuadorian Literary Fiction. He will be sharing about literary community in Ecuador and some of his own experiences of publishing in Latin America.
Also, Cuenca-based writer, Tom Larsen, will share about his new book. A few years ago, the Dirreción Municipal de Cultura, Educación y Deportes undertook an important project. They visited all twenty-one rural parroquias in the Cuenca Cantón and collected oral stories, fables and parables. Some have been handed down for centuries while some are fairly recent.Tom became aware of these stories and thought they would be of great interest to the local Extranjero population. With the permission and support of the city, he took on a project to translate them into English. The result: “Parish Memories” a beautifully illustrated paperback book.
Free event. Coffee, tea, and snacks available. Ron’s book will be available for available for purchase.
Open to all. No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.
idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.
Saturday, April 20and Sunday, April 21
Meditate with Shambhala
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 ChögyamTrungpa Rinpoche and SakyongMipham 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 email@example.com
Gel Plate Printmaking Workshop at idiomART! Monday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 23, from10 a.m. to 3 p.m.(includes one hour lunch break).Instructor: Scott McDonald. In this playful, low tech 2-day printmaking workshop you will learn how to make beautiful mono-types with inexpensive materials. You’ll learn how to apply color and texture, develop your images with stencils, stamping and drawing. Perfect for scrapbookers, cardmakers, and artists of all levels.No experience necessary!
$50 (include materials) for this two-day workshop. For more information, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella.
Spoken Word on Thursday, April 25, at the Sunrise Cafe, 9-38 Calle Larga near Benigno Malo. Readers include Michelle Moore, Duane Connell, Ricardo Segreda, Barbara Snow and Robert J. Bradley. The doors open at five, readings begin at six.
Race for the Roses at idiomART. Save The Date:Saturday, May 4 — Kentucky Derby in Cuenca! Food by Double D’s Delights, Music by Deb Davis, and so much more! Mint Juleps and Premium Bourbon Bar too!
One-day Workshop with Caro: The Art of the Mandala on Thursday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at idiomART. In this creative class you’ll learn how to design, draw and color your own intricate mandalas.The balancing visual elements of a mandala symbolize unity and harmony. Using both geometric and organic forms, you choose the shapes and colors that express your individual personality and emotions.This will be an enriching personal experience as you discover how to create this wonderful tool for meditation and increased self-awareness.
Your instructor, Caro, is watercolor artist & award-winning graphic designer, Carolyn V. Hamilton.$45 includes all necessary supplies plus a delicious lunch.
To register call Caro at 099 998 8777 or email CaroModernArt@gmail.com Advance registration is required, Paypal& major credit cards are accepted.
idiomART, Presidente Cordova 1-77 between Manuel Vega y Huana Capac.
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’sthis enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at email@example.com and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at www.underthedomes.org.