Coinciding with the 168th city birthday celebration, is the Manizales Theater Festival, or Festival de Teatro Internacional de Manizales. Come along with us as we show you the fruits of our on-site live coverage of the event.
Manizales Theater Festival
The oldest theater festival on the continent, the Manizales Theater Festival is part of a national heritage which spans more than 50 years. Street theater is considered the origin and strong point of the festival yet also accompanied by special performances by theater companies from around the world.
Local, national and international theater companies presenting adaptations and original dramatic works are displayed during the weekend nights of the festival. We witnessed the presentation of “En Este Pueblo Solo Hay Ladrones” by Teatro Libre de Bogota. It was a thought evoking drama which captured the angst of a small pueblo, three billiard balls which went missing, and a couple in distress with limited future opportunities.
The theater tradition of Manizales is closely tied to the street theater where many of the artistic concepts are shown from a very uniquely Latin perspective. Plays and presentations were given at Plaza Bolivar and the Amphitheater near Parque Caldas.
The picture shown is from the theatrical presentation of three opera singers and a drum line performed by a French theater company. It was a very interactive event which moved freely through the plaza involving the crowd and encouraging their participation in the fun, the jokes and the overall presentation.
Cabalgata – Horse Parade
As part of the Manizales birthday celebration, a very traditional horse parade ensues. Horse parades are very typical to the region. Locals will often bring or rent horses, dress to the nines with new ponchos and sombreros, then prance down the Avenida Santander. It is a fun spectacle to see, we encourage anyone who chooses to participate to always remember to consider the safety of their person and their animal above all other diversions.
Recorrida – Bullfight
This year’s Recoridda, or Bullfight featured the only female bullfighter in Colombia. Sunday it was packed to the brim with proud Colombian’s who gathered to celebrate this timeless tradition. Of course, this isn’t for everyone. It is a local culture which is very unique and specific to certain types of people.
On the other hand, the pastures where these bulls are raised protect some of the major sources of clean water which flows to the city. Love it or hate it, it is a timeless tradition which has been around for many years and which is tied to natural conservation practices, and the funding of an important Childrens Hospital in Caldas.
Manizales is a central point of reference for Colombian Art and Culture. It is an active scene which inspires poetry, theater and music. Academically, Manizales is the capital of Colombia for University study courses with more than 19 universities. The chilly weather is said to create a very academic setting for the study of knowledge. In future articles we plan to reveal more about life in Colombia. If you are planning to visit, be sure to check out our Manizales Travel Guide where we walk visitors through sites of interest.