Saturday, 31 January 2009

Tenerife Exhibitions – 'Zapatos de Cine' - The Shoe must go on!

This is the sort of exhibition that Carrie Bradshaw would just love. On show are replicas and actual shoes worn by actresses and actors in some of the biggest films on the silver screen.

Exhibits include shoes worn by Kirsten Dunst in the colourful ‘Maria Antoinette’ (by Sex and the City fave, Manolo Blahnik), James Dean’s boots from ‘Rebel without a Cause’, and the shoes worn by Marilyn Monroe in her last film.

It’s an exhibition with a difference…tell every ‘sole’ you know about it; you’d be a ‘heel’ to miss it.

Venue: Convent of Santo Domingo, La Laguna

Dates: 9th February to 27th March

Monday, 26 January 2009

Carnaval in Tenerife 2009 – Crisis, what crisis?

There’s a lot of press time being devoted to the fact that Carnaval in Santa Cruz this year might be somewhat of a toned down affair because of the current economic crisis. For sure money spent on the organised affairs is being cut, which might make it a bit less of a spectacular extravaganza for visitors who go to watch Carnaval. Although at Real Tenerife we’re not convinced.

Carnaval’s the people’s party and you can bet this year more than ever, they’ll be welcoming an excuse to forget the doom and gloom for one week at least.

Perusing the Carnaval agenda for Puerto de la Cruz, something caught my eye. All the favourite events are there as usual, plus there’s an extra street party with live music in Plaza del Charco on the Friday night before the opening parade.

That makes a whopping eight all night parties in nine days (the Thursday before the closing weekend is always a rest night).

And if anyone out there can manage to dance their way through the lot of them, it goes without saying…’you’re a better man, than I am Gunga Din.”

Well done Puerto de la Cruz Ayuntamiento for swimming against the tide.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Fiestas on Tenerife – San Antonio Abad in La Matanza & Buenavista del Norte

It’s a big weekend for party animals on Tenerife…wait a sec, let me rephrase that. It’s a big weekend for animals to party on Tenerife.

The fiesta of San Antonio Abad involves the gathering of oxen, goats, horses, donkeys, hunting dogs, ferrets, rabbits and…errr guinea pigs, snakes, chameleons and any other creature which fancies taking part.

The oldest Ganadera (cattle fair) on Tenerife takes place at, appropriately enough, San Antonio in the upper reaches of La Matanza with the main Octava Ganadera taking place this Sunday.

Probably the biggest celebrations take place in Buenavista del Norte where more than 1000 cows, plus assorted furry and scaly friends, are set to take to the normally sleepy streets.

Dates: Sunday 25th January. (La Matanza also celebrate again on Sunday 1st February)

Times: La Matanza – The Animals gather in San Antonio through out the day with prize giving taking place at around 15.00.

Times: Buenavista del Norte – The programme of celebrations begins at 11.00 and the romería heads from the recinto ferial toward the Plaza de los Remedios at 14.00

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Art of Photography

As much paintings as photographs, local Portuense artist Imeldo Bello’s haunting images from his collection ‘Retratos 1970 – 2008’ stay in the memory. Never one for sticking to the ‘rules’, Bello’s whimsical experimentation with the camera produces some truly stunning results. Check them out for yourself; hardly your average holiday snaps, are they?

: Instituto de Estudios Hispánicos de Canarias, Puerto de la Cruz
Dates: 9th January 2009 to 3rd February 2009
Time: 11.00-13-00, 18.00-20-00 Monday to Friday
Price: Free

Fiestas on Tenerife – Mueca 2009, Puerto de la Cruz

Okay it might be a bit early, but it’s worth sticking the dates of Mueca 2009 in Puerto de la Cruz in your diary right now.

One of the more modern, bohemian and creative of the fiestas which you’re likely to find on Tenerife, the town becomes an open air theatre for three days in March when it’s not unusual to share the cobbled streets around the old town with robots, fairies, acrobats and all sorts of weird and wonderful sights…much as it will be in February during Carnaval then.

Dates: 27th, 28th & 29th March 2009
Venue: Streets around Plaza del Charco and the old town

Sesame Street comes to La Laguna / El Show de Barrio Sésamo en La Laguna

By now the novelty of the new toys from Tres Reyes must have worn off so why not take the little ones to a bright and bubbly stage show where they laugh, sing, dance and join in with all the antics whilst undergoing subliminal persuasion in the benefits of healthy eating, exercise, sleep and hygiene?
Come to think of it, I know a few adults who could benefit from that…

Super Coco en Acción El Show de Barrio Sésamo

Venue: Pabellón de los Deportes, La Laguna
Dates: 29th January 2009 to 1st February 2009
Time: Thurs 29: 18:00 h
Fri 30: 18:00 h
Saturday 31: 12:00 h, 16:30 h, 19:30 h
Sunday 1: 12:00 h, 16:30 h, 19:30 h
Price: Tickets €20, €25 and €35 available through the Sesame Street Live website

Sunday, 18 January 2009

For Jazz Enthusiasts - Manolo Rodríguez Trío 'Buena Música' en el Centro Astoria- Bambi

The Manolo Rodríguez trio ‘Good Music’ will be playing at the Astoria-Bambi centre on Calle la Hoya in Puerto de la Cruz on the 24th of this month.

Born in Santa Cruz, Manolo Rodríguez has been playing the electric guitar since he was 18 years old and is a master of jazz improvisation. Together with Carlos Costa on bass guitar and Pepucho Hernández on drums, the Trio will be performing numbers from their acclaimed album ‘The Both Sides of the Coin’.

If you’re the sort of person who listens to improvised jazz and wonders when they’re going to stop tuning up and start playing, give it a wide berth. But if you’ve got an ear for some of the best avant-garde jazz rock to come out of Tenerife, you’re in for a treat.

Venue: Centro Astoria- Bambi, Puerto de la Cruz
Date: 24th January 2009
Time: 8.30 pm

Manolo Rodríguez Trío 'Buena Música' en el Centro Astoria- Bambi

The 'Line' extends from New York to Tenerife / La Cola - Una obra de Horovitz adaptada por Dadá y Cía

Israel Horovitz’ celebrated play ‘Line’, after running for 33 years in New York, has been adapted by Dadá and Cía and is being staged at the El Sauzal Auditorium this month.
Set in the 1970s, it’s a piece of surreal theatre in which five people (four men and a woman) are caught in a queue with no idea what’s causing it and no end in sight but they all want to get to the front first.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been caught in several rehearsals for this piece at Puerto’s Correos.

Venue: Auditorio in El Sauzal
Dates: 23rd and 24th of January
Price: €6

La Cola Una obra de Horovitz adaptada por Dadá y Cía

Friday, 16 January 2009

Fiestas on Tenerife - Fiestas de San Antonio Abad, Arona 2009

With barely the last Christmas decoration taken down (actually some of them are still strung up), it’s time for the first romería (harvest type procession) of the year to take place in the little hill town of Arona in the south of Tenerife.

A high percentage of the millions of people who visit the municipality’s tourist centres of Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos will probably never have seen the streets of the area’s administrative centre, so now’s a great time to make the short trip to see what goes on in Tenerife outside of the resorts.

The highlight of the Fiesta de San Antonio Abad sees the old streets filled with townsfolk in traditional costumes, bands and carts pulled by oxen and filled with local goodies and wine, which is handed out free to onlookers…it’s quite an experience and will stay with visitors much longer than their sun tan.

Fiesta Highlights:

Friday 16th January, 21.00 – election of the Romería queen with live bands

Saturday 17th January, 18.30 – religious procession followed by a firework display and dance in Plaza de la Iglesia at 23.00.

Sunday 18th January, midday – the big event, the Romería gets going, followed by another dance in the plaza at 16.00. These people know how to party.

Sunday25th January, 11.00 – cattle fair in the Triana area of Arona followed by another Romería at 14.00 and yet another dance at 16.30.

Who needs karaoke bars when you've got all this going on?

Friday, 9 January 2009

Hollywood Motor Show in Tenerife – Puerto de la Cruz

It’s good news and bad news time in Puerto de la Cruz. Having left a trail of destruction from Santa Cruz and along the south coast, the monster trucks head north to Puerto de la Cruz to carry on with the fun and mayhem throughout January. That’s the good news. The bad news for Puerto residents is that days after the free car park in the harbour has just been vacated by the funfair, the Hollywood Motor show is taking its place. So limited parking for another couple of weeks then. Still, it’s worth it to have this fantastic show in town.

Venue: Explanada del muelle (harbour car park)
Dates: 17th January – 1st February 2009
Time: 18.00 on 23rd and 30th January; 12.30 & 18.00 on 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, 31st January and 1st February
Price: €15 adults (14 years and above); €10 children

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

More Bach than Britney – Tenerife’s Cultural Face

I’m aware that it might seem that much of ‘Tenerife Matters’ seems to include information about shows and exhibitions which are maybe a bit more on the cultured side than many visitors to Tenerife might be looking for. It’s not a deliberate approach; it’s simply because many of the official websites that we use for information are desperately trying to promote an image that is light years away from the ‘karaoke and kebab’ image that has dogged the island. Take the blurb for the 25th Canary Islands Music Festival for instance.

“The (second) goal is to heighten the international profile of the Canary Islands through something other than the cliché of sunshine and beaches for which the islands are so often known. This in turn brings us to the third goal, which is to attract more cultural tourism to the islands.”

So if you happen to be a more cultured visitor, then welcome to the Tenerife that the newspapers don’t tell you about and you’re just in time for this festival which includes performances by classical musicians from all over the world.

Dates: 9th January to 14th February 2009
Venues: Auditorio de Tenerife and the Teatro Guimerá in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Programme: Click here for full details

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Christmas on Tenerife - Tres Reyes

Whilst in most places the Christmas trees have dropped most of their pine needles, the final party popper of the festive season has been popped and the empty champagne bottles have been discreetly dumped in the recycling bins, here on Tenerife the festive fun is still set to continue for another few days.

On Tenerife, Christmas and New Year is the time for the adults to have some fun, but now it’s the kids’ turn. The 5th January sees the arrival of the Tres Reyes Magos bearing their gifts. On the 6th January children all over the island wake to find if they’ve been good enough to warrant presents.
It might seem strange to those of us who are used to handing over gifts on the 25th December, but if you think about it, it makes more sense to hand over gifts on the same day as the three wise men bestowed their gifts on the baby Jesus.

If you’re not on Tenerife, then you’re probably dealing with those back to work blues. If you are on Tenerife and are close to a Canarian town, you can bet that Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior will be parading through the streets on the back of gaily decorated floats, or even camels.

Venue: Most towns on Tenerife
Time: Between 18.00 to 20.00 hours

In search of Tenerife’s best belénes – La Orotava

The historic and picturesque town of La Orotava must win the award for the biggest belén on the island. Their life-size mini village takes up three sides of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and features hosts of angels, flamingos, camels, bunnies (presumably taking refuge from the island’s hunters) and a Middle Eastern market with some dodgy looking carpet sellers; thankfully there’s even a Roman Centurion to keep order.

In search of Tenerife’s best belénes – Santa Cruz

Housed in the Cabildo building beside Plaza España in Santa Cruz, the capital’s belén is somewhat of a curious affair with Jesus being born in a cave set in the middle of a seriously overpopulated Canarian town where crowds of tiny residents go about their daily business dressed in traditional costume.
Interesting, but not one of the best we’ve seen.