Mexico will be the one who offers the greatest tribute to Miguel de Cervantes on the 400th anniversary of his death. The Cervantino Festival, which dedicates precisely this edition to the author of Don Quixote, will serve as the culmination of a year of timid celebrations for this writer who died on April 22, 1616. It will be a cultural festival in which more than 700 proposals from 3,500 artists, From 28 countries, they will meet in the city of Guanajuato from this Sunday.
Music, dance, theater, opera, literature … The arts come together to offer the great tribute that was pending to be performed to the writer. His literature will be reinterpreted by the Peking opera, Cervantes will attend a drug traffickers party, led by the Northern Theater Company, some of his most legendary books will sound to the rhythm of rap and even Chinese electronics will make a Cervantine version of his music.
A great diversity of cultural proposals, among which the representation of Don Quixote de la Mancha that will be performed by the Dutch National Ballet and the flamenco rhythms of Tomatito or the jazz of the American Diane Schuur stands out. The innovative circus proposal of the Australian company Circa will also have a place in this festival in which, thanks to the Ruelas project, the theater will bring the theater closer to the most degraded neighborhoods of Guanajuato.
A Cervantino in which funeral music from the seventeenth century will be played. The musical group The Great Chapel he will honor his memory by interpreting some chords that, surely, did not cover his funeral. His funeral, surrounded by the austerity that accompanied them at the end of their days, will be reinterpreted with this concert and a procession to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato.
Three Cervantes awards will also attend this festival. The Mexicans Elena Poniatowska and Fernando del Paso will study together with the Chilean Jorge Edwards the literature of the Castilian novelist and playwright. Also the Spanish Antonio Muñoz Molina, the Mexican Margo Glantz or the Peruvian Fernando Iwasaki will participate in the contest, in which they will present their vision of the writer, Jordi Gracia, author of his latest biography.
But, Cervantes 400, from madness to idealism, in addition to the greatest tribute paid to the author of In Galatea, also aims to be an invitation to “transform the arduous, difficult and violent reality that Mexico suffers through art.” That is why he will seek to infect attendees with the spirit of Don Quixote. A character who “preferred to take risks and defend his ideals until he changed the world around him”, as the director of the festival, Jorge Volpi, highlighted when presenting the program.
This long tribute to Cervantes is celebrated in a city that has paid tribute to him for six decades. Guanajuato, more than 9,000 kilometers away from those mills that he portrayed in Don Quixote, on a continent that the author of The exemplary novels, It is considered the Cervantine capital of America by UNESCO. His fever for the Spanish writer began in 1952 at the hands of the Entremeses. This work that is still performed in its streets today prompted the birth of this festival, considered one of the most outstanding inter-artistic contests in Latin America.
Thus the Cervantino returns to its origins in an edition that has Spain as a guest country. From October 2 to 23, Guanajuato will experience a true outbreak of its passion for this writer. A city with a glorious mining past that, thanks to this event, has been transformed into one of the most important cultural capitals of Mexico.