San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

FIA Announces Lineup For March Spectacular

The biggest arts festival of the year is set to kick off in two weeks, bringing 115 performances from renowned names in national and international music, dance and theater.

The International Arts Festival, known by its Spanish acronym FIA, opens March 18 and will include 62 Costa Rican presentations and 53 international acts at 23 venues around San José, Alajuela to the northwest and Limón on the Caribbean.

The festival, which is being held in cooperation with the Culture Ministry of Spain, includes headlining acts such as the National Ballet of Spain, lauded Argentine singer Fito Páez, British theater maven Peter Brook, Puerto Rican salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa and German theater and arts company Titanick. Though acts from 20 countries will be presented, the lineup is heavy with dance, theater and singing performances from Spain, including traditional flamenco dance shows, music and cinematographic works.

“Costa Rica has also been linked to Spain,” said Jody Steiger, director of the National Theater in San José. “But this year we want to create a brotherhood between the two nations and recognize ourselves as descendants of the Iberian Peninsula.”

The opening act of the festival will be headlined by the famed National Ballet of Spain, which for the festival’s first three nights will be performing “Dualia” and “La Leyenda” at the National Theater. Spanish dancer María Pagés will close the festival at the same venue with performances of “FlamencoRepublic” March 27 and 28.

Most of the 11-day festival will be held in San José at as many as 20 different venues throughout the city, with outdoor and street theater performances held in the west-side La Sabana Park. Some headlining Tico acts include salsa band Son de Tikizia and singers Humberto Vargas and Sasha Campbell.

“For the San JoséMunicipality, we have always believed in FIA because we have always believed that the city has to provide cultural offerings for its residents,” said San José Mayor Johnny Araya. “A city without culture is a city without a soul. We are trying to recover the lost identity of our city. We are trying to recover the feeling of belonging in the city, and we think that culture is one of the best instruments to achieve (this).”

Check upcoming Calendar pages for a complete program of events, or visit the festival’s Web site at for information.

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