2019/01/11

Hello Internet;

I may have gone away on vacation for a week, but that doesn't mean I stopped watching shows! This week I was staying at Occidental et Xcaret resort in Cancun, Mexico. This all-inclusive resort (as most of them are down here) sits right next to Xcaret Park. A family-friendly park featuring tropical reefs, parasailing, boat tours and so, so much more. We went for the day and had been told not to miss this “amazing show”.

At 7 pm every night the park pours into the Gran Tlachco Theatre for a two-hour long spectacle of Mexico's history. The show opens with the Mayan people playing Pitz. A galaxy was projected onto the stadium floor. Nets were placed in front of the audience and the actors began to play. The balls were really on fire and all the music was live. Next came the Spanish Inquisition, horses rode through the stadium and a quick battle ensued. The Mayan temples were torn down and crosses were erected with the labor of the Mayan people.

show-xcaret-mexico-espectacular-3.jpg

When I say "spectacle", I mean it. After intermission, there was a performance of one of the parks daytime attractions, the Papantla Flyers. 5 men sit atop a very tall pole. They are not strapped in and there are no nets below. The drummer stands at the top of the pole and plays, hopping between his feet. soon after the 4 men drop, lowering themselves slowly with a single rope. This traditional performance is done in Mexico as an honor to the four elements.

papantla-flyers-pre-hispanic-ritual-3.jpg

Next was a myriad of dancers and floats that turned from jungle creatures into a coral reef. Large fabric jellyfish made their way towards the stage and the performers made their way out using one of the three trap doors or 4 main exits.

The rest of the night was a parade of dancers, singers, lasso-men and mariachi bands. The grand finale had the 2000 plus spectators chanting “Mexico! Mexico!” as the streamers went bang and the parrots were released into the air.

show-xcaret-mexico-espectacular-4.jpg

I don't often get to see spectacle shows in New Brunswick. They are costly to create, hard to travel and we don't have the viewership to make it profitable. While I was watching entrances and exits, watching the crews during transitions and seeing how the costume changes worked, my partner was enjoying the show.

From both a technical perspective and a general audience perspective, its a blast. Its 2 hours of noise and color. Exactly what a family wants from a park in Mexico. It's expensive, but if you're looking for a show your children will remember, Xcaret Mexico Espectacular may be the one for you.

-Laura-Beth Bird

Xcaret Mexico Espectacular runs every night in the Gran Tlachco Theatre. 7-9pm. $121.90 CAD for adults and $60.94 CAD for children. Price includes admission to park. Rates subject to change, check online for details.

https://www.xcaret.com/en/attractions/xcaret-mexico-espectacular/

https://www.xcaret.com/en/attractions/voladores-de-papantla/