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Column 102212 Wall

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mexico's Cervantino Festival Marks its 40th Anniversary

By Allan Wall

The central Mexican city of Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name, is a great place to visit.  The climate is pleasant, the prices are reasonable, and it's safe.  The city's colonial downtown and other tourist attractions are really worth seeing.  My family and I have enjoyed visiting the city.

There is plenty to see and do in Guanajuato year round.  And, in the month of October, the city hosts the annual Festival Internacional Cervantino, the Cervantino Festival, which has been called the most important festival in Latin America.

The festival draws performers from throughout the world, and their acts are performed at various venues in the city, including theaters, plazas and museums.  There are dramas, musical performances in various genres, exhibitions of art, film and literature.  There are street performances and academic presentations.  Past performers have included such internationally-known groups as the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia, and Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Cervantino Festival is named for Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of the famous novel Don Quijote de la Mancha.  The Don Quijote novel is the premier literary work penned in the Spanish language.  In fact, it is considered a classic of world literature.  After the Bible, Don Quijote is the world's most-translated book.  Here is a classic illustration of Don Quijote and his sidekick Sancho Panza, by the 19th-century French artist and engraver Gustave Dore.

It's significant that the festival is named after Cervantes, as it grew out of annual performances in Guanajuato of the entremeses, short plays penned by Cervantes.

This year's Cervantino Festival is being held from October 3rd to October 21st.  It's the 40th anniversary, as the year 1972 is considered the founding year of the Festival.

Besides many performers from Mexico, the 2012 Cervantino Festival has performers from Austria, Poland, Germany, the U.S., China, Argentina, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Cuba, Estonia, South Korea, Belgium, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Mali, Portugal, Canada, Togo, Uruguay, Japan, and Peru.

For more information on this year's Cervantino Festival, you can consult the festival's official website.

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Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info/.


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