San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Feminist Band Claroscuro Plays Swan Song

THE National Theater will be the venue for the last-ever concertby the all-female band Claroscuro, famous for promotingwomen’s rights in its lyrics throughout Central America and abroadfor the past 14 years.The band was formed in 1991 when three Costa Rican women,Ileana Alfaro, Ana Carter and Ana Cecilia Eduarte, realized noother groups were voicing women’s issues. Claroscuro’s lyricsaddress topics such as discrimination, violence and sexual abuseand convey an empowering message of equality and dignity forwomen.“We realized there were no feminist groups at the time,” Cartersaid. “Many wonderful women fight for female equality on a dailybasis. Our aim was to help the struggle through art and music.”CLAROSCURO is comprised of eight women who composeand perform upbeat original music in Latin rhythms. They haveperformed throughout Central America, as well as in Switzerland,in support of women from third-world countries living in Europe,and in New York, at the request of the United Nations.“The most important thing is for women to hear us, no matterwhat age they are, where they come from or what job they have,”Carter said. She went on to explain the band always gave at leasttwo free concerts a year in places such as female prisons and ruralschools, for women who rarely got a chance to see or hear a bandsuch as Claroscuro.“If we were able to change at least one woman’s mind andmake her understand the rights she has, then it will have been worthit,” Carter added.AFTER so many years together, the band members have decidedtheir time has come. Catherine Hayes, bassist and the only non-Costa Rican in the band, said they are all enjoying practicing for thefinal concert, which is their way of saying goodbye to their publicand closing the project.“It has been very fulfilling,” Hayes said. “We have been spreadinga message which is very much needed in this country.”The group’s long-term violinist, Carla Kountoupes Landsberg,who moved back to the United States a few years ago, will be joiningthe band once again for their swan-song performance, whichwill include the group’s most significant songs.“Claroscuro Forever!” the band’s last show, will take placeMarch 11 and 12, at 8 p.m., in the National Theater. Tickets cost¢1,500 ($3.25) for gallery or ¢3,500 ($7.50) for all other areas, andare on sale now at the National Theater ticket office. Call 221-1329or visit

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