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The Literary Sala Unveils an Original San Miguel Film

By Tim Hazell

Rituales (Rituals) is a feature-length film dealing with fire, water, wind, and earth, four traditional native elements presented with acting, choreography, contemporary set design, and multi-camera effects. The text was originally translated into Spanish, adapted for the stage by El Caldero director Lilia Trápaga and given its inaugural performance at the Teatro Santa Ana in 2013. Filmed entirely in San Miguel, Rituales (the film) presents a layered version of the play with additional on-location footage and subtitles in English and Spanish.

Mon, Mar 23 and Tue, Mar 24, 5pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
English and Spanish with subtitles

The theater group El Caldero was founded in 2003 to expose the younger population of San Miguel de Allende to poetry and literature through theatrical productions presented in a creative and playful way. This concept was first developed by the avant-garde Mexican movement “Poesía en Voz Alta” (“Poetry out Loud”) established in 1956, which intended to bring texts of all genres, not necessarily dramatic, to the stage. El Caldero first explored personalities and roles of women and feminism, later expanding its repertoire to include more diverse themes. Although some cast members had previous theatrical experience, El Caldero provided most with their first opportunity to perform.

To date, El Caldero has presented 11 productions, including those that ask questions about our identity, connections to the moon, freedom and sensory experience, and those dealing with Mexico’s turbulent history, including the tragic student protests in Mexico City in 1968. Origins as a nation were explored through the legend of La Llorona (the Weeping Woman), and plays based on the works of various authors have also been performed: an homage to the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska; The House of Bernarda Alba (Lorca); The Damned Vowels (De la Borbolla), and my film, Rituales.

Director Lilia Trapága creates the majority of El Caldero’s scripts. She is the recipient of two grants from FONCA (the State Fund for Art and Culture). She describes her theater troupe as “grounded, rooted, and connected with the earth.” Rituales has taken two years to complete. Emmy award-winning pianist and composer Ken Bichel’s piano improvisations add a rainbow of tonal colors to cinematographer Bernard Czelakowski’s surrealist, shimmering camera work and Lilia Trápaga’s delicate, ephemeral set designs.

Susan Page, founder and director of the San Miguel Literary Sala and Writers’ Conference, became involved when she was invited to a preview of Rituales production footage in 2014. Her enthusiasm resulted in the decision to have the Literary Sala promote and sponsor the film as a fresh addition to their spring series of readings and performances.

Two special premieres of Rituales have been scheduled at the Teatro Santa Ana on Monday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 24, at 5pm. Both screenings are in English and Spanish with subtitles. The cast will be on stage after the presentations to meet the audience, followed by receptions on both nights. Tickets are 150 pesos, available at La Tienda, La Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25 and at La Conexión, Aldama 3.


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