As millions leave Bogotá to enjoy a Holy Week with warm and (hopefully) dry weather, those who decide to stay in the capital will find that moving around is more easy than usual as streets are de-congested from bumper to bumper traffic. More mobility means taking full advantage of the cultural offerings, and opportunity to visit the many museums of El Centro.
Let’s begin with the temporary exhibition ‘Molas: Layers of Wisdom’ at the Gold Museum (Cra 6 No.15-58). Here, visitors can appreciate the mola – elaborately woven cloths worn by women of the Kuna indigenous people. This tribe that inhabits the Darien and San Blas Islands, use motifs and geometric shapes to represent the seen and unseen worlds, and by leaving as little space as possible on these appliquéd squares, the Kuna believe their molas guard against evil spirits. Similar to the art of traditional body painting used by indigenous groups in the Amazon, Molas are an ancient cultural expression with plenty of folk-art appeal. The exhibition ends on June 17.
The cultural highlight this month is the thematic musical festival ‘Bogotá is the Romantic Russia‘ that coincides with the celebrations of Colombia France Year 2017 and also marks the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Works by the 19th Century composers who became known as the Russian Romantics dominate the programme of this III International Classic Music Festival. For three full days, starting April 12, it will fill concert halls of the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo and venues including the iconic Teatro Colón, Auditorium León de Greiff and Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theater. This unprecedented musical undertaking by the Teatro Mayor includes eight leading orchestras, 19 soloists, seven international conductors and three choirs. Artists from Germany, Spain, the United States, France, Lithuania, Macedonia, Ukraine and Russia will interpret classical works spanning two centuries with 54 performances. Colombia is represented with the National Symphony Orchestra and Medellín Philharmonic Academy.
Once the musicians leave us, the silver screens of Cine Colombia theaters will shine as the European Film Festival begins on April 19. This year’s Eurocine presents 47 films from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Nether- lands,Portugal,Spain,Switzerland and the Czech Republic, including a debut for films from Bulgaria and Hungary. As it is Colombia France Year, the country of honor is France! A retrospective of the prolific auteur Francois Ozon whose filmography includes See the Sea (1997) and Eight Women (2002) is included in the program. Eurocine runs until May 10 and will also be screened in Medellín, Cali, Pereira, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga.
Villa de Leyva is one of the most coveted destinations for Semana Santa and if you are one of the fortunate vacationers to find a room in this colonial town, then sit in on the concerts of the ninth edition of the Encuentro de Música Antigua. Hosted by the Fundación Amigos del Silencio, this Ancient Music festival starts April 12 and for three days the Claustro de San Agustín is the venue for concerts with period instrument ensembles from Colombia and Switzerland. The San Agustín cloister is located near the town’s white walled main square.