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Valentine’s Day, lyrical boleros, and other happenings around Costa Rica

Valentine’s Day

Remember: Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day, and if there’s somebody special in your life, it’s about time you took them to that fancy fusion restaurant in Santa Ana. Everybody celebrates Valentine’s Day in different ways, and shops and eateries across the country will have special deals and events. Just keep an eye out for “Día de San Valentín.”

Music: Bolero Lírico

The traditional “bolero” is a slow and sultry musical form, but the hip performers of Orquesta Madera Nueva give the genre a whole new twist at the National Theater.

Concert takes place Feb. 14 at The National Theater, downtown San José. 8 p.m. ₡7,000-10,000. Info: National Theater website.

Little Theatre Group Wine and Cheese Party

Costa Rica’s only English-language theater company welcomes veterans and newcomers to their open house event. Learn about auditions, catch some previews of these season’s productions, and make some new friends.

Open house takes place Feb. 14 at the Hallette household, Escazú. Call for information and to RSVP at 8858-1446.

Music: “Symphonic Summer”

The National Symphony Orchestra celebrates fine weather in the most playful of places – the Parque de Diversiones amusement park.

Concert takes place Feb. 15 in Parque de Diversiones, Pavas. 5 p.m. Free. Info: Parque de Diversiones website.

Film: “Blue is the Warmest Color”

Abdellatif Kechiche’s spectacularly intense lesbian drama earned intense acclaim and criticism. Catch this French-language drama at the Alianza Francesa.

Film screens Feb. 13 at the Alianza Francesa, Barrio Amón. 6 p.m. Free. Info: Alianza Francesa website.

Film: Cinema Cycle

Slowly but surely, seriously bicycling is picking up speed in Costa Rica. The “Ciclo de Cine” celebrates two-wheeled conveyance with the second in its film series, “Still We Ride,” about the controversial Critical Mass movement in New York City.

“Ciclo de Cine” takes place Feb. 10 at Museo Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia, Barrio Escalante. 5 p.m. Free. Info: RedCultura.

Theater: “The House of the Spirits”

Isabel Allende’s masterpiece comes to life during this stage adaptation by U.S. playwright Caridad Svich. After last year’s extremely successful run, Teatro Espressivo revives the Spanish-language production for a second round.

“La Casa de los Espiritus” runs Jan. 15 – Feb. 15 at Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡10,000-15,000 ($20-30). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Theater: “I’m Not Going to Carry This Corpse”

Teatro Arlequín presents a deadly new comedy of errors, written by Luis Daell Barth.

“Este Muerto no lo Cargo Yo” continues through March 22 at Teatro Arlequín, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Theater Facebook page.

Art: Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance Genius

Classical German printer Albrecht Dürer receives a stunning retrospective at the Central Bank Museums.

“Alberto Durero: Genio del Renacimiento” displays through April 26 at the Central Bank Museums, downtown San José. Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museum website.

Film: “Maikol Yordan”

From the madcap minds of “Media Docena,” the hit Costa Rican sketch show, comes their first feature film, a comedy about the well-meaning yokel Maikol Yordan. How will this goofy campesino fare on his globe-trotting tour? Find out by catching this super-Tico comedy at almost any local movie theater.

“Maikol Yordan” screens at various cinemas across the country. For more information about the film, visit the official Facebook page.

Exhibit: “Juan Rafael Mora”

Recognized for his muttonchops and paternal demeanor, Juan Rafael Monge is widely considered the Abraham Lincoln of Costa Rica. The National Archives displays images of this founding father to the public.

Exhibit continues through Feb. 28 at the National Archives, Zapote. Free. Info: Archives website.

Art: “Ricardo Ávila: Urban Observer”

See city life in a whole new way through Ricardo Ávila’s unique landscapes.

“Ricardo Ávila: Observador Urbano” continues through March 29 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana. Wed.-Sun., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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Otton Bexaron

The “bolero” is the romantic music of the “Latinos”. It originated in the first half of the 19th century in Cuba from inspiration of the romantic music from Naples/Italy which was popular internationally and the traditional “Contradanza” – which later developed the “Danzon” and also influenced the “Habanera” which was the primary origen – believe it or not – of the “Tango” which originated after the 1870’s in Argentina. The “Contradanza” had its origen in the English 17th century “Country Dance” which became “Contredanse” in France – and later as in Mozart’s Contradanza. Of course in Cuba it developed with both the influence of Spanish and African music. The most famous living composer of “boleros” is the Mexican Maya, Armando Manzanero – who even composed once a long time ago. among his 500 composition, some that were popularized by Sinatra and Elvis. Manzanero is now nearing the eighties, but still “romantic” see the youtube : DOMINGO MANZANERO MIA, and the jazz version as youtube: MANZANERO BIG BAND JAZZ MIA (the long version shows him with that Mexican humor, which, believe it or not – comes from the Indians !).

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