Title: Grease
Location: Santa Cruz Auditorium
Description: The hit stage show in its Spanish version. Weds 3 & Thurs 4 at 8.30pm, Fri 5 & Sat 6 at 6pm & 10pm, Sun 7 at 6pm.Tickets from 25 to 50 euros. Book in person at the Auditorium box office 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, or phone 902317327 from 10 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday or on line from

Start Date: 2013-07-03
End Date: 2013-07-07


César Manrique, The Awareness Of Landscape

Painter, sculptor, architect, and environmental crusader, Cesar Manrique is regarded as the father of modern Lanzarote but his influence touched all corners of the Canary Islands. As I learnt more about the man and his legacy at a new exhibition in Santa Cruz my mind wandered to the Parque Maritimo swimming complex a short walk across the Tenerife capital. The functional and stylish design was inspired by the great man and the park is adorned with samples of his work. I could have just as easily stretched my recall to the south of Tenerife and Plaza Cesar Manrique in Adeje and many points in between.

“Atlantic Ocean, my master, supreme and constant lesson of enthusiasm, passion, and freedom. My capacity of observation was tenacious in those summertimes.”

Observation was the key to Cesar’s work, he had a great love of his island and its people, early sketches, paintings, and photos showed locals working the vineyards, the salt pans, and the sea. The first of two floors reflected the rich colours and textures of a volcanic landscape that was born from eruptions between 1730 and 1736. Each alcove included a centre piece such as a model of the island, a video of the moving clouds, or a 3D frame of fishing nets. Where many would have seen destruction and burning, Cesar rejoiced in the creation of new shapes and rich colours left in the wake of fire and lava.

In the early 1960’s Cesar’s hunger for knowledge took him to New York and the Avant Garde movement, this phase of his work takes over on the second floor. Many of the paintings are abstract and surreal but his love of life and people still shines through. Travel added a new focus to Cesar’s life, he was determined to help Lanzarote develop sustainable tourism, years before it became a mantra for the industry. Returning home he worked closely with government to lay down basic laws and guidelines but first he made in depth studies of his island to assess traditional accommodation and to find out what new infrastructure was needed. Water supplies, communications, and even the airport featured in his plans to ensure the pieces all fitted together.

“My absolute worry was to defend the landscape and the environment, I believed habitat considered as a whole was an important factor since landscape and architecture can be perfectly integrated and adapted to the land.”

The exhibition includes sketches and plans for his building projects and there is even a recreation of one of his surreal designs, used here to link two of the display areas. Not everything Cesar created was purely functional, there is a sense of fun in much of his quirky landscape architecture. Each stage of his life and work is accompanied in the exhibition by background information and the published thoughts and teachings of Cesar Manrique in Spanish and English. The scope and diversity of the works here strike the right balance between the different mediums that Cesar worked in and give a great insight into the motivation of the man. On my visit there was a school party doing the rounds, it’s good to see his legacy carried on not only through his foundation but also in a new generation sharing his affinity with the diverse environments of the Canary Islands.

Cesar Manrique, La Conciencia del Paisaje; Espacio Cultural Caja Canarias, Plaza del Patriotismo, Santa Cruz; open Monday to Saturday 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm

Entrance €3 (free for clients of Caja Canarias, €1 residents)


Salsa Open Canarias

Title: Salsa Open Canarias
Location: La Cascada, Parque Maritimo, Santa Cruz
Description: A feast of salsa with 8 pairs competing for passage through to the international final in Puerto Rico in July. Plenty of guest musicians and dancers in the events hall inside the swimming pool complext next to the Auditorium. Starts at 10pm, tickets 12 euros from the box office.
Start Time: 22.00
Date: 2013-05-03


Circo de Los Horrores Is All Fright On The Night

On the way into the big black top I was charged by a zombie waving a chain saw, and taking the steps to my seat I felt a werewolf nuzzle my leg; this was not going to be an ordinary night out. Before you load up with silver bullets and holy water, I must point out that it was a traditional welcome from Circo de Los Horrores at their blood curdling circus in Santa Cruz.

Circus was never a favourite of mine as a kid and the undead have a pretty bad image so what a good idea to give them a fair crack of the ringmaster’s whip by combining the two. Not that there was a ringmaster here. Our guide and MC was Nosferatu the vampire, fresh from his coffin. The pale, blood-drained one had some strange friends; as I settled into my seat a gravedigger with a spare head bursting forth dragged his shovel on the floor outside the ring and that chainsaw buzzed around my ear while I was distracted by a blood stained nurse with a knife big enough to outdo any politician’s NHS cuts.

The circus ring was marked out with a pentangle and decorated by grave stones and piles of yucky skulls with the cemetery gates doubling as a gateway to hell. There wasn’t much room for the performers but a decaying mummy made good use of it by rotating and spinning inside an iron wheel. Grimo the killer clown made his entrance and plucked a victim from the audience to humiliate and torture with a king size syringe. It was enough to have some of the audience squirming and screaming but the children in the crowd were loving it.

One of my favourites was the possessed children tucked up in bed before writhing above the covers in tortured positions performed by two female contortionists. Even a sweet, innocent looking young nanny turned out to be a murderous soul thrown into a coffin and set alight by Nosferatu. The fire juggling that followed was as expert as the Spanish bolas ( metal balls on chains) being spun and lashed in a frenzy.

A short break allowed the living part of the big top crowd to get our breath back and the second half opened with another clown, Enric, luring out a lady from the front row to ride in his imaginary car. Some daring climbing and twirling by the Black Widow on a sash suspended from the ceiling showed off some traditional circus skills and Grimo and Devora followed up with a bit of guillotine action.

In the first half they had gone straight for the jugular but the horror theme wasn’t as strong in the second half. The slow motion acrobatics with a hangman and prisoner showed great control but a lengthy return from Enric the clown lost the tension. Some of the grisly characters could have been used more but it was all ghoulish fun and a very enjoyable two hours.


Photos 1, 3 and 4 above © Circo de Los Horrores


Circo de Los Horrores until 9 December.

Thursdays 8.30 pm, Fridays & Saturday 7& 10 pm, Sundays 5 & 8 pm. Extra shows 4 Dec 8.30 pm, 5 Dec 7 & 10 pm, 6 Dec 7 & 10 pm.

Parque Maritimo car park, next to the Auditorium.

Tickets from 15 to 38 euros from the big top office or online


Eldorado Casts A Stylish New Reflection In Tenerife Waters

Rusting, neglected and with it’s glory days behind it, the fishing cutter Eldorado has undergone a total sea change and was taking a breather in San Miguel marina with a new image and new purpose. Forty years of fishing out of Ostend, Belgium took it’s toll but Jan Van Klaveren from Holland rebuilt from the water line up to extend it to a two mast gaff sail schooner ready to take slow sedate cruises to La Gomera from 26 November 2012.

Sat on deck surrounded by mahogany and steel Jan described the five year labour of love to make the ship a floating home for 12 guests and four crew. ” The hull was strong but all the fishing gear had to go and myself and three helpers cut away eight metres at the front and back and rebuilt to increase the length from 30 metres to 37. Dutch inspectors visited us each week to make sure we used the minimum amount of wood to avoid fire risks and also to check the quality stamps on the local steel, we could have brought it in from Poland for half price but it wouldn’t be approved.”

Home comforts are important for crusing, I couldn’t help noticing the lounge bar was well stocked and the galley was well equipped for cooking. The cabins had showers and toilets as well as decent sized bunk and double beds and a compact laundry room, fridge and freezer completed the functional must haves. Being nosey I had a good look around on deck, reclining on the rear netting, there was even a Jacuzzi waiting to be filled ““ perfect to soothe the sea legs. The masts looked imposing at 28 metres but sturdy enough to display the crowning glory, 325 square metres of sail.

Eldorado has already tested the European waters. ” We took to the sea in May 2012 and have sailed to Germany and Denmark, and came over to Santa Cruz to deliver a lady from Madrid. It took six hours to sail down to San Miguel, it will take a day to ease across to La Gomera from Los Cristianos, perfect for a weekend cruise and the other islands are well placed for slightly longer voyages.”

Eldorado carries her 170 tons with grace and style, it’s a far cry from the days of fighting the waves for the best of the catch. A new lease of life will see the sails billow with the spirit of adventure to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.

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