This week in Cuenca: Cabaret classics at Mansion Alacazar, The art of breadmaking, Salsa lessons

Feb 25, 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:
Carnaval is coming!  Prepare for the waterworks!
Monday, February 25
La Guarida is showing, “Blancanieves” (Snow White)

A film by Pablo Berger, in Spanish with English subtitles;

7 p.m.

Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves” combines two recent movie trends: the updating of classic fairy tales and the rediscovery of silent film. The Brother’s Grimm “Snow White” is Mr. Berger’s source and in his film, he sees the opportunity to use special-effects-heavy action spectacles which makes this film a pleasure to watch. Set in Spain in the 1920s, it replaces the spooky northern European romanticism with a swooning, tragic sensibility. The Snow White character, named Carmen, is the daughter of a bullfighter and a flamenco dancer, and her story hums with jealousy, vanity and other volatile passions. “Blancanieves,” surely delivers a film filled with an incredible updated story, it is a visual carnaval with a music score that only adds to the rhythm of this most needed adaptation. You cannot miss this incredible film.

Pablo Berger’s classic film Blancanieves

Reservations: 099 806 8071

La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar 22-23 y Luis Pauta, Cuenca.

Artist Kelly Harding’s exquisite watercolors at idiomART is extended!

By popular demand – the show has been extended through March 8. Come see the paintings that everyone is talking about!

Exhibition continues through February 28. Gallery hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday, February 26
Mansion Alcazar presents Music from Various Cabaret Venues

Mansion Alcazar presents sounds from various cabaret venues. In remembering cabarets such as those in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and others from around the world, Mansion will present music and song that drew crowds to frequent those cabarets often. At the piano is the talented Robert Brinkmoeller and songs presented by velvet baritone Umberto Ballone. The first presentation will contain music from the upper east side of New York City.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge. Reservations suggested. 07-282-3918 or 099-825-4612.

Mansion Alcazar is located at Simon Bolivar 12-55 y Tarqu.i

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

Cabaret favorites at Mansion Alcazar.


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.


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

Wednesday, February 27
Collection at CVA last week

The extraordinary collection of art at CVA, shown by collector and artist, Eduardo Segovia, is in its final week. The collector has agreed to special pricing this final week of the show, so please come back for a second look at works definitely worth collecting.

These works have been collected over decades and include some of the greatest masters in Ecuador and Peru, including, Jose Alfaro, Miguel Betancourt, Alejandro Beltran, Whitman Gualsaqui, Luis Lopez Cruz, and more.

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, February 28

Caro’s Paint & Play at idiomART!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn to salsa!

Bring your watercolor WIP (work-in-progress), your art journal, your bullet journal to work on.  Acrylics painters are welcome too! Caro (Carolyn Hamilton) will hover and coach as requested.  $10 and a bottle of wine (a delicious lunch will be included)

Spaces will be limited so, to save your spot, email at:

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

Friday, March 1
Art Salon at idiomART

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

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

Cost $10.  Open to all.  No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.  Presentation in English.

This week, Art Historian Berenice Cárdenas will be covering the ART of Breadmaking in Cuenca.

The presentation will explore how during the XVI century the bread production was one of the biggest sources of income for the local Spaniard conquerors who adapted the European bread making to the local indigenous tradition.  And the different types of bread for different occasions: meals, religious celebrations, local festivities, etc.

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

Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3
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 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!
Mardi Gras Costume Ball at Santa Canela

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill Lounge is hosting the first Mardi Gras costume ball on Fat Tuesday, March 5.

Prize for the best Mardi Gras Costume.  Theywill serve Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo, Jambalaya, etc.

Please order ahead of time with your reservations.

Happy hour from 4-6 p.m. with specials on Margaritas, Frozen Daiquiris, Hurricanes and Jelly shots.

Music starts at 5 p.m.. Beads tossing from the balcony from 4-5 p.m. Masks and beads available for purchase.

Let the good times roll with Beads, Food, Drinks, Dancing and Fun.

Admission is only $5. Please make your reservations now by email: or phone: 099 726 9237.

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill Lounge is located Calle Larga 3-82 y Vargas Machuca.

Pinshi Juchay: A Musical and Art Gala

On Friday March 15, Crea tu Espacio, in collaboration with Tejemujeres, will host a fundraiser event at the Teatro Sucre. There will be a variety of music including the very talented violinist Sulgui Medina, Tabano band, Raices de Guasa (Marimba), the Cuenca’s own Polyphonic Quintet. There will also be a fashion show featuring outstanding creations by the weaving group Tejemujeres.

Tickets are $15 per person with proceeds being donated by Crea tu Espacio. To obtain your tickets, you can drop by the offices of the Foundation Crea tu Espacio, located at the corner of Vaticano and Juan X111 streets (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 3 – 6:30 p.m. weekdays or 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturday); or at Café San Sebas (Parque San Sebastien) during operating hours.

Doors at the Theatre open at 7:30 p.m.; program will run 8 – 10:30 p.m.

Proceeds from this event will be donated to Crea tu Espacio (a registered Ecuadorian NGO) who provide support and essential services to migrant and immigrant families living in and around Cuenca.

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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