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The Rise of the Bolero

By David Johanssen

When we think of the romance of Mexican music, we are often really imagining the bolero, the songs of Latin love. The history of the bolero can be traced to the traditions of the Cuban trova, a musical style popular during the 19th century. Later, adopting the big band sound of the 30s and 40s, romance-themed boleros often allowed Latin dictators to distract their people from anti-democratic politics. During the “Golden Age of Mexican Cinema” in the same era, famous actors and singers popularized the sound in Mexico.

Documentary and Discussion
Risking It All: Children at the Border
Fri, Aug 26, 5pm
50 pesos
Live Concert
Rosa Guadalupe: Heart to Heart
Sat, Aug 27, 7:30pm
200 pesos

Classic Film
Kings of the Sun (1963)
Wed, Aug 31, 5pm
100 pesos (includes drink)

Documentary and Discussion
The Other Side of Immigration
Fri, Sep 2, 5pm
60 pesos

All events at: Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4
154 7524

The sensuous Rosa Guadalupe returns to the Shelter stage Saturday, August 27, at 7:30pm for another romantic tour of Latin America, this time with boleros from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Cuba. She will be joined by Remy Fenoy on the Cuban tres guitar. The duo will get you feeling “Heart to Heart” in that very special Latin way. Tickets to Rosa’s always-popular shows are now available at the Biblioteca or online at If you love romance, you won’t want to miss this one!

Don’t miss our showing of the rare classic 1963 film Kings of the Sun on Wednesday, August 31, at 5pm. The film stars a young Yul Brynner as an inexperienced new Mayan king who must move his people from Mexico to America’s Gulf Coast, where he must do battle with a local chief of a hostile tribe. 100 pesos (includes drink).

The documentary The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans have left home to work in the United States and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. “The Other Side of Immigration does more than any other work to give people otherwise disparaged as ‘threatening’ and ‘illegal’ a human face.” -Princeton University. Discussion to follow! Friday, September 2, at 5pm. 60 pesos.

Shelter Theater is part of the Shelter VG4 Cultural Center, located at Vicente Guerrero 4, a short walk from the Jardín down Insurgentes. Telephone 154 7524 or visit to see upcoming events. Shelter VG4’s theater and class/performance space are available for rent. Events subject to cancellation if minimum attendance not met.


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