Monday, September 3, 2012

Domingo En Guadalajara

Teatro Degollado
Eventually, everyone here in Guadalajara makes their way to the Ballet Folklorico.  We were gifted with a series of dance concerts at the famed and beautiful Teatro Degollado, our local opera house.
Teatro Degollado - Interior
Teatro Degollado (Degollado Theater) is a neoclassical Mexican theater known for its diverse performances and artistic design. It is located on a downtown plaza on Belen Street between Hidalgo Avenue and Morelos Avenue in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. Many performances (from cultural Mexican dances to international operas) take place at this building.  Meant to be a monument to Guadalajara's culture, the theater was inaugurated on September 1866, breathing new life into the city through its innovative artistic beauty.
So like most visitors here, we decided to make a day of it by taking in the Ballet Folklorico in the morning, strolling through the city's main pedestrian plaza, visiting the Museo Regional and lunching in a turn of the 19th century mansion, turned restaurant.
Ballet Folklorico de la Universdad de Guadalajara
Ballet Folklorico de U de G
The Ballet Folklorico de la Universidad de Guadalajara is still a student dance company, although they perform professionally.  And as with most student efforts, the true meaning of the words plastic arts shine through.  The company takes artistic risks in costuming, choral arrangements and staging, which breathe new life into the traditional dances, while maintaining the authentic foundation of this art form.  This is why I love student artistic expression, and the Ballet Folklorico U de G did not disappoint!

Fuente - Plaza de la  Liberacion

These two boys could be my brother George and I on a typical Sunday morning in Guadalajara, many years ago.  My parents would bring us to this exact spot on the weekends to stroll and play in the park and fountains.
16 de Septiembre - Preparations
16 of September is Mexico's Independence Day, commemorating Mexico's separation from Spanish rule.  The street vendors are selling patriotic memorabilia, and their displays always tickle the eye.
Museo Regional Patio
After experiencing the color and majesty of the Ballet Folklorico, we visited the Museo Regional de Guadalajara.  The Regional Museum of Guadalajara is installed in a building dating from the 1800's.  Originally it was used as a college and seminary, the old San José Seminary.  During the war of independence, it was used as a cuartel (jail for insurgent troops).  In 1863 the bottom level was used as the State Library.  The building was inaugurated in 1758 and is a tourist and cultural attraction of great importance.  It opened its doors in 1976 as the public Regional Museum of Guadalajara.
Museo Regional Fuente
As fate would have it,  there was a temporary exhibit on indigenous textiles at the Regional Museum so we decided to take it in.
Exposicion Temporal
As most of you know, Brad is a weaver by trade so this exhibit was of special interest.  Here we would gather more information on natural dyeing techniques and materials.  The examples of the woven and dyed work were stunning.
And when in Rome (or Guadalajara this day) we did as the locals do and strolled the main pedestrian walkway known as the Plaza Tapatia.  Lined with shops and eateries, this is one of our favorite walks.

Plaza Tapatia
And as stomachs would have it, we realized it was time for we darted into another of our favorite haunts....La Rinconada.
La Rinconada Restaurant
La Rinconada Restaurant is situated in a restored 19th century mansion.
We were told by our waiter that the home and mansion belonged to a Spanish family prior to the Mexican revolution. What we had present day was only part of the great original hacienda that was maintained for family summer vacations.  When the revolution arrived in Mexico the Spanish family disappeared and the government took possession of the grand home.  It then became sleeping quarters for Mexican soldiers, a military stable and eatery.  The room where we had lunch that day had originally been the kitchen, and the house was subdivided into what we today know as La Rinconada Restaurant...a gem of colonial classicism.
Brad Reposing
Fco. Enjoying
After our comida we walked a bit, but then decided to take a Calandria or horse driven carriage back to our car.  This slice of old world charm still resonates in the city, and it is a smart way to avoid the long walk back to the center of town...and it beats any auto taxi ride I've ever taken!
Happy Travelers
At the end of a lovely, colonial inspired day we were ecstatic to drive out of the city toward our lake home....Ah! Casa Sweet Casa.

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