Dos de Mayo Celebration Guide

May 2nd marks the anniversary of Spain’s popular revolt against the French empire’s grip on the country’s sovereignty back in 1808, an event immortalized by Goya’s celebrated depiction of the terrors of war in Los Fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo. Yes, that’s right, the colonial powers also have their own independence day, and Madrid knows how to remember it in style: starting Sunday there is a week’s worth of cultural activities organized by the local government—here are four events well worth going to.

Corrida Goyesca in Las Ventas

To the culture interested picture-snapping-exploring foreigner, it doesn’t get any better than this. The Corrida Goyesca, happening this Sunday May 2nd at 18:30 p.m., includes all the usual trappings of a bullfighting session and adds a little extra flavor and color: bullfighters and staff alike dress in clothing from Goya’s time (late 18th and early 19th century), turning Las Ventas into a colorful sight. Also marking the event a special occasion is the opportunity for the general public to walk down to the sandy ring and listen to music by the city’s municipal band. There will also be an old fashioned carriage procession before the corrida, making this a truly notable cultural event. Tickets range from 6.50 to 150 euros, click here for more information.

Haiti benefit concert at the Auditorio Nacional

Many of Madrid’s accomplished band and symphony musicians have taken advantage of the public event season and organized a charity concert for Haiti. On Tuesday May 4th at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica de Madrid director Jose Miguel Perez Sierra, violoncellist Beate Altenberg, soprano Angel Blue and many others will be revisiting old age tunes for enjoyment and charity. The first part of the concert will feature pieces by classical music composers Albert Ketelbev and Vakthang Kakhidze, while the second section will include pieces from swing legend George Gershwin, musical man Leonard Bernstein and jazz icon Miles Davis. The concert will begin at 19:30 p.m. and tickets range from 20 to 30 euros, click here for tickets and more information.

Film Marathon at Bellas Artes

The great Circulo de Bellas Artes is also joining the Dos de Mayo celebrations with a cinema marathon that will take place this Saturday May 1st and Sunday the 2nd.  In the spirit of celebrating independence—in this case independence from Spain—the selection will be of classic Latin American films. This is a great opportunity to see rare and well known classics from different periods and genres, each for only 3 euros! See below for the list of film’s that will be shown.

Saturday May 1st

17:00 h, La perla de Emilio Fernández. México, 1947
18:50 h, La historia oficial de Luis Puenzo. Argentina, 1985
21:00 h, Tierra en trance de Glauber Rocha. Brasil, 1967
23:05 h, La vendedora de rosas de Víctor Gaviria. Colombia, 1998
01:25 h, Nazarín de Luis Buñuel. México, 1958

Sunday May 2nd

17:00 h, El lado oscuro del corazón de Eliseo Subiela. Argentina, 1992
19:30 h, Doña Bárbara de Fernando de Fuentes, México, 1943

Misa Flamenca

La Misa Flamenca is a spectacle that fuses art and religion and so joins two very Spanish traits: Catholicism and flamenco. This event brings a complete flamenco company—guitars, percussion, dancing, palm clapping, singing—to lead the day’s mass. Those with even little knowledge of Flamenco know that it is an art brimming with emotion that often leans, as the singer’s voice makes clear, towards tragedy and lament. To have such a show in a traditional Spanish church—that is, one bursting with iconography—is to adjoin emotion, folklore and culture.  The Tito Losada company is behind the organization of this event, which will take place on May 1st and May 4th, further information can be found below.

Saturday May 1st, 20:30
Iglesia Santuario del Perpetuo Socorro
Tuesday May 4th, 20:45
Iglesia de Santa Teresa y Santa Isabel

By Daniel Sznajderman

Que Se Mueran Los Feos Comes to the Screen

If the movie’s title is Ugly People Can Just Die then the main characters must be ugly. That’s the way it goes with Eliseo and Nati, the two lonely townies whom destiny may give a second chance at love. Played by screen favorites Javier Camara and Carmen Machi, both serve as a delicious image of all that which standard romantic comedies never include in their reels. Filled with familiar faces if you are familiar with Spanish television, it’s also a film that indulges itself with depicting small rural life as it’s known in Spain. Click here for a full list of theaters and tickets.

By Daniel Sznajderman

Madrid Weekend Roundup – Friday April 30th

Late Night  – Sammy Jo DJ set

Low Club always comes through with your late night weekend party plans and this Friday, April 30th,  they will be bringing internationally renowned DJ Sammy Jo in to work their booth.  Sammy Jo got his start in New York in the late 90s at some of the city’s most mythic parties, then he was later recruited to be the tour DJ for the Scissor Sisters and since has built his reputation for world class DJ performances.  For those of you who are fans of extending your Friday into the early hours of Saturday morning, Low Club is one of Madrid’s best places to make that happen.  For more info click here.

Theater:

The Bridge Project returns to Madrid’s Teatro Español.  Due to the amazing talent of the company, this is one of the most impressive theatre productions you will find.  With Oscar Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) at the helm as the director and creator of the project and Kevin Spacey as his partner in the venture you know that production quality couldn’t be any higher.  This marks The Bridge Project’s second year, bringing together a collaboration of American and British actors.  This year there will be two modern takes on Shakespeare: The Tempest and As You Like It. The production opened in New York and will close in London, making stops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, Amsterdam, Germany, and lucky for us Madrid.  The performances will be in English and will run through the 9th of May with As You Like It going first and The Tempest to follow (beginning on the 5th of May).  For tickets click here.

Movies in Madrid: Oceans

Four years and over fifty million euros in the making (the most ever for a documentary film), Oceans aims to become an essential nature documentary—and there’s a chance it will be. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, the film follows the currents of the all of the world’s oceans to bring rare and impressive shots of the sea’s majestic, mysterious, sometimes funny and sometimes scary creatures. Directed by Jacques Cluzaud and Jaques Perrin, who achieved international fame for the eco-documentary Winged Migration, the film takes advantages of today’s newest technologies to bring the sea to the screen. Watch the film in English at Cines Ideal and Cines PrincesaClick here to see schedules and buy tickets.

The Palacio de Deportes: Alejandro Sanz

Alejandro Sanz has been one of Spain’s biggest exports for well over a decade as well as one of pop music’s main faces, riding the wave of internationalization of  pop in Spanish along with Juanes and Shakira. After many hits, Grammys and six albums Sanz is kicking off a tour to please fans with well known tunes and also promote his new album “Paraiso Express”. The Madrid native will give two concerts for his city in the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid on May 5th and 6th. Tickets range from 32.50 to 232 Euros, click here for purchases and information or call 902 40 02 22.

By Daniel Sznajderman

La Escalera de Jacob: Yuri Gagarin Trio

The fantastically named Yuri Gagarin Trio take you on a trip through hybrid jazz Thursday April 29th at La Escalera de Jacob. Located in the middle of the Lavapies neighborhood, Jacob is well known for its deviations into personal live music, acting and poetry shows, so you can be sure it will be an appropriate and relaxed atmosphere.  Headed by composer and keyboardist Basilio Marti, the band experiments with funk and even drum and base, but their axis remains tightly knitted to jazz. The show begins at 22:00 p.m. with an 8 euro entrance fee.

By Daniel Sznajderman