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Ribera Arts Review - January 2, 2016

Jewish Film Festival

The Seventh Annual Ajijic Jewish Film Festival kicks off a nine-week run of specially selected movies with “Precious Life,” a 2010 awarding-winning Israeli movie on Sunday, January 3, 1:30 p.m. 

All of the Sunday films begin at 1:30 p.m. at Cinemas del Lago at Plaza Bugambilias, located on the Carretera at Calle Revolucion. They are presented by the Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation. 

Tickets at 50 pesos are available at the movie box office. A portion of the proceeds benefit selected lakeside charities, including Chapala Cruz Roja. 

Other movies in January include: “Zwartboek” (The Netherlands, 2006) on Sunday, January 6; “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsolam” (Israel, 2014) on Sunday, January 17; “Hunting Elephants” (Israel, 2013) on Sunday, January 24 and “Diplomacy” (France/Germany 2014) on Sunday, January 31. 

ASA Meeting

Two creative-themed TED Talks will be featured at the Ajijic Society of the Arts meeting at La Bodega Restaurant on Monday, January 4.  The program begins at 10:30 a.m., following a 10 a.m. business meeting.

The short documentaries, created by photographers Eric Johannson and Louie Schwartzberg, focus on the creative aspects of art as opposed to the technique. The images included promise to challenge the imagination and awaken the artistic senses. 

Living Water

A series of hands-on demonstrations, as well as musical, poetic, and scientific presentations about biodynamic gardening and flow form sculptures to reveal the miracles hidden in moving water, begin at Huerto Café on Wednesday, January 6, 10 a.m. 

Following a healthy lunch, participants will build a meandering stream from clay. Participants should wear clothing and shoes that will survive becoming wet and dirty during the project. The cost of the demonstrations, lunch and the project building is 200 pesos. 

Huerto Café is on the Carreterra between Zona Fitness and Pizzaria Toscana in Riberas del Pilar. Space is limited and reservations recommended. Call (376) 766-5606 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information.  

LLT Auditions

Auditions for “Other Desert Cities,” an award-winning drama by Jon Robin Baitz, will be held Friday and Saturday, January 8 and 9 at the Lakeside Little Theater in San Antonio Tlayacapan. 

The play will be presented from Friday March 25 through Tuesday, April 5.

Directed by Russell Mack, the play’s cast includes two men and three women. 

Registration for the auditions is at 9:30 a.m. They begin at 10 a.m. 

The play is a riveting family drama of secrets, conflict and compassion. The fragile harmony of  Christmas at the affluent Wyeth home is shattered when daughter Brooke arrives bearing a soon-to-be-published memoir full of family secrets. 

For scripts and information, contact Mack at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Piano Concert 

Internationally renowned pianist Dr. Michael Tsalka is bringing a rare treat to lakeside.

At a performance sponsored by Viva la Musica at the Auditorio de la Ribera on Thursday, January 14, 7 p.m., Tsalka will perform the last piano sonatas composed by Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.

Tsalka has won numerous awards and prizes and has a lengthy resume of performances in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Latin America. He has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, the Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Volksbuehne Hall in Berlin, the Jerusalem Music Center and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has recorded 15 albums on different labels; eight of the albums are available on iTunes. 

Concert tickets are 200 pesos at the Auditorium, Diane Pearl Colecciones and the Lake Chapala Society box office on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-noon, and at the door before the concert.  All seating is open.

Good People at LLT

Often hilarious, sometimes poignant, and always fascinating, “Good People,” the Tony award-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire ,appears on the Lakeside Little Theatre state from Friday, January 15 through Tuesday, January 24 under the direction of Lynn Phelan. 

Cast members of this audience-pleasing piece include Russell Mack, LB Hamilton, Connie Davis, Greg Clarke, Alan McGill, Patricia Guy and Rosann Balbontin. The stage manager is Beth Leitch. 

“Good People” is the story of Margie Walsh, a minimum-wage earning, single mother living in South Boston, and her attempts to find work after she loses her job at the local Dollar Store. Her job search takes her to the office of an old high-school flame, who as a successful doctor, has moved to the much tonier Chestnut Hill, and developed convenient amnesia about his roots.

What happens when Margie meets Michael is the crux of the play. The plot is revealed through dialogue crackling with energy; the dramatist’s beady observation of the class divide consistently rings true. A skeleton in the suave doctor’s past is skillfully excavated, as the play reveals how much chance and luck play in the outcome of daily lives. 

Thought-provoking, moving and funny enough to make audiences laugh out loud, this play also has viewers laughing through tears, and left with real questions about the nature of class in the United States.  

Art in the Garden

The January Art XikXik Master Lecture Series highlights master sculptors, ceramists and 3-D artists during an exotic garden exhibit in an expansive estate on Rio Zula in Ajijic on Saturday, January 16, 1-4 p.m. 

Larkin Chollar, Barush Esparza Ugalde and Rigoberto Navarro Robledo are a few of the selected masters exhibiting and selling new work at the unique event.  Master works from Linda Sherman, Gethyn Soderman, Steve Weckel, Brad Mowers, Rene de la Peña and Carlos Alberto Paz will also be part of the garden exhibit and sale at the former Moon estate.                  

The event will include elegant exhibitions creatively displayed throughout the property’s expansive gardens. Music will waft throughout the garden courtesy of “Recuerdos de Mi Mexico.” Guests will find two bars and beautifully catered food.

The number of tickets for this event will be limited. Pre-sale tickets are 200 pesos at Diane Pearl Colecciones.  The exhibit and sale will continue on Sunday, January 17, 1-4 p.m. 

Yelapa Memories

Photos capturing life in the fishing village of Yelapa, near Puerto Vallarta, before it became a popular tourist destination, will be featured in an exhibition showing during January at the Gecko Gallery and Art Studio, Ocampo 61, Ajijic. 

“Yelapa: A Mexican Coastal Village in the 1970s,” showcases photos by Celeste Greco  who lived there at the time and later studied visual anthropology with John Collier, Jr. at San Francisco State University.  An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday, January 9, 4 to 8 p.m.

Greco, who was seeking a refuge from personal and political tumult she experienced in San Francisco, arrived in Yelapa in 1972. She spent 10 years teaching kindergarten and taking photos of the villagers as their self-sufficient life gave way to an economy increasingly reliant on and subverted by tourism. 

Her images highlight portraits and scenes of Yelapans at everyday tasks as well as community rituals, depicting a peaceful and abiding culture that was both receptive to and tolerant of the foreigners who were beginning to settle there.  

The show also includes photos of Lake Chapala native and sculptor Margarita Solorio at work on figures of pre-Colombian deities, completed in Yelapa in the early 1980s.

“The photos are the result of the attention I paid to my subjects and, in return, I received their attention and love. It was a healing quality that Yelapa possessed then and still does today,” says Greco. 

Laura Thomas, a former features editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, helped curate the show that was previously exhibited in California. 

Charity Sinatra Event 

“The Man and His Music,” a fundraiser to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra, related the story of the singer’s life and career through 19 songs. 

The event took place Saturday, December 12 at El Bar Co.

More than 27,000 pesos were raised through the sales of raffle ticket sales to around 130 generous attendees. Winners took home Sinatra memorabilia, tickets for the Mac Morison concert and dinners at Roberto’s and the new Club Go. 

Event organizers Bill Dingwall and El Bar Co owner Carlos Pantoja said the proceeds will be divided between Niños Incapacitados and the School for Special Children. 

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