Swan Lake in San Lucas

Events, Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By Chris Sands on July 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

You don’t have to spend any money to enjoy local arts and culture in Cabo San Lucas. Whether it is the free admission to the natural history museum, Museo Cabo San Lucas, or the Friday night fiestas on the town square that showcase traditional Mexican food and music, there are a host of great options for those seeking a more authentic cultural experience during their visit to Baja California del Sur. Intrepid travelers can even immerse themselves in the local community, where dedicated teachers are passing along their knowledge to the next generation of students, with results that are sometimes wonderful to watch.

Perla Pulido and her class take a bow after performing Swan Lake.

Photo courtesy of Perla Pulido.

A great example would be the ballet recital held earlier this month at the Leon Cota Collins stage on the Delegation esplanade in central San Lucas, when a group of five young girls (America Velazquez Davila, Valentina Cesena Casillas, Atenas Llamas Urias, Andrea Carillo Leon, Andrea Dominguez Jassel) all under the age of ten, gave a delightful performance of the second act of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake for an audience of family, friends, and other interested spectators. The girls are all taking classes from teacher Perla Pulido at the Casa de la Cultura, and had been preparing for the performance for several weeks. Pulido had given costume designs to the girls’ mothers, who made the swan costumes themselves.

“Cabo needs more participation in arts and culture,” Pulido said. “Higher education in the arts provides professional discipline for the children, and gives them tools to be more successful in their lives. In a tough environment, they are able to put themselves in a situation that is healthy for the body, the mind, and the spirit. They can become better, more educated people.”

Pulido, who performed as a ballerina for the Compania Metropolitana de Danza and Ballet Teatro de Mexico in Mexico City, has been teaching ballet for nine years. She currently teaches two age groups, 3 to 6, and 7 to 10, with plans to open up classes for older age groups soon. The classes focus on teaching correct posture, positions, and alignment. Ballet is more sophisticated than other dances in that performances are multi-dimensional, and incorporate music, acting, dance, and set design.

“But it all starts with story,” she said, when speaking of how she prepared the classes for the Swan Lake performance. “I have to story board the narrative to build the scene in their imagination. That way I can show the correct positions, to fly in a “V” formation like birds. They begin to feel like a swan, and move that way. They imitate the attitude of a swan, the flapping of the wings, the feeling of being a bird.”

Watching rehearsals at the Casa de la Cultura is instructive to a spectator, with the challenge of teaching correct posture, positions, and choreography to young students whose attentions are wont to wander. It takes patience as well as expertise, and Pulido possesses both, giving her students warm encouragement as well as keeping them focused on improving their skill sets, and maximizing their potentials as both dancers and people.

“Now I understand how my teachers felt, because you miss the times when you were dancing, but you are living a second time through your students. You have the wings to fly, but you have to show them how to fly,” Pulido said, speaking not just of Swan Lake, but of the art of ballet and the art of teaching in general. “Then you can fly together.”

Those visiting Los Cabos with children may arrange for ballet lessons through Ballet Perlformance on Facebook.

Tags: Arts, Ballet, cabo san lucas, Culture, free admission, Los Cabos, students, teachers, travel