Theater, Tango and festivities

Uruguay has a long and rich theatrical tradition which is shown throughout the country as the theaters occupy a central place in the cities. Also Uruguay is synonymous with tango, a style that despite the passing of time, continues. Another characteristic is the number of festivals that take place in the country, occasionally various per department. That’s why we will highlight some of the most representative.
Montevideo Carnival

Montevideo Carnival

The past, present and future merge in an annual event in Uruguay: the carnival embodies the cultural traditions inherited from the slaves through candombe; it is a reflection of the present and is projected to posterity through the songs and parodies of the murgas (singing groups) about the national reality. Considered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2009, this carnival, the longest in the world, lasts from the end of January to the middle of March. One of the most important events of this popular celebration is the Llamadas parade, which has been held since the end of the nineteenth century and takes place on the first Friday in February in the neighborhoods of Sur and Palermo. To be present at the main candombe festival you can buy seats on the sidewalks or rent balconies from people in the area. Another typical expression of Uruguayan carnival is murga. The shows of these coral groups with touches of comedy are enjoyed in the Teatro de Verano (summer theater) in Montevideo (where the official competition takes place from January), and in the tablados, stages that are set up in different neighborhoods of the city.

Beer Week (Paysandú)

Beer Week (Paysandú)

It is the biggest celebration on the coast of the river Uruguay. It is held every year at the end of March in the amphitheater next to the river in the city of Paysandu. This festival concentrates people from all over the country, mostly young people, who take the city by storm. It began to be celebrated in the 1960s, but currently it has escalated to be transformed into a well-attended event in which the most popular Uruguayan artists as well as foreign artists perform.

La Patria Gaucha (Tacuarembó)

La Patria Gaucha (Tacuarembó)

From 1987, in March, all the people from Tacuarembo, in one way or another, have to be in their home. The festival Patria Gaucha is an obligatory appointment for locals and tourists, as it is an ideal event to learn all the national countryside traditions, like the legacy of the countryman and the Indian. On the Laguna de las Lavanderas, in a corner of the city, ranches and stables recreate the old skills and values of the countrymen. Also, this massive festival has important musical shows that bring a younger public together. It is celebrated at the beginning of March.

Heritage Day

Heritage Day

Coinciding with Heritage Day is a great opportunity for tourists to know many of the main cultural and architectural attractions in Montevideo, the city that has a good part of the festivities and proposals. The idea is that during two days (a weekend in October) people can enter museums, theaters, installations dedicated to culture and buildings that have great architectural value to the country. Some of these places are private and can only be visited on that day. This event takes place every year at the beginning of October

Tango and milongas of Montevideo

Tango and milongas of Montevideo

During the year you can enjoy tango in Montevideo, the city which together with Buenos Aires represents the cradle and world capital of the genre. The Uruguayan city offers a big variety of sights associated with this dance. For example, under the Palacio Salvo, where the café La Giralda once was, La Cumparsita was first heard. This is the most famous tango, at an international level. There also exists the possibility of visiting some of the milongas, which happen on a weekly basis, where people who go do not only listen to tango, but also dance. Garufa and Joventango are the two most well-known milongas. It is also possible to watch professional tango shows where bands and expert dancers perform for tourists. The most well-known of theses is El Milongón, which also has candombe and folk dance shows.

Mythical Stages of Montevideo

Mythical Stages of Montevideo

The capital of Uruguay is very rich in theatrical spaces. Amongst the stages associated with the dramatic arts El Galpón (http://www.teatroelgalpon.org.uy), is very popular with people from Montevideo, as well as, the renovated Auditorio Nacional del Sodre Dra. Adela Reta. However, the most famous stage in the city is, without doubt, the Solis Theater. This building inaugurated in 1856 does not only attract people for its history as it has been host to several mythical artists such Vaslaw Nijinski, Enrico Caruso, Arthur Rubinstein, Sarah Bernhardt, amongst others; but also for its architectural beauty. In fact, there is the possibility of taking a guided tour. They have different kinds of tours some them are dedicated to the history, others are centered on the masonic symbology associated with the building. (www.teatrosolis.org.uy)