As the sun goes down and the shadows lengthen at Xcaret, the smell of copal incense fills the air and flickering candles and torches light the path towards the huge Gran Tlachco Theater. It’s time for the evening show, an experience that sets the seal on an unforgettable day at the famous Riviera Maya park. This flawless performance is a colorful and moving tribute to Mexico, through joyous music, song and dance. When something is so magical that it can bring tears to your eyes and have you on your feet shouting “Viva Mexico” with the best of them, it’s hard to imagine that it could be improved yet Xcaret has done just that. After a $200 million peso investment in the latest light and sound technology and stage design, the new Xcaret show is more spectacular than ever.
Featuring 300 performers, different dances, impressive ancient headdresses and attire and traditional costumes, the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular show takes you on a whirlwind tour through Mexico’s history. Vignettes portray scenes from pre-Hispanic times, Conquest and Colonization to Independence, the Mexican Revolution and up to the present day. It is a celebration of the country’s rich heritage and timeless traditions.
The story begins in the days of the ancient Maya with the ball-playing prowess of the mythical Hero Twins as told by the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya. The courageous pair challenged the Lords of Death to a ball game, the game of creation.
Wearing beaked masks and wings, the Owl Dancers take to the stage. Owls were sacred birds for the ancient Maya who believed that they were the divine messengers of the Underworld, bringing omens of death and disaster. This ritual dance is said to herald the coming of the Spaniards and the betrayal of the Tlaxcalteca people who became allies of the invaders.
The arrival of the Spaniards in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán and their fateful meeting with Emperor Moctezuma is also depicted. The Aztec ruler remembered the prophecy foretelling the return of the ancient deity Quetzalcoatl as a pale bearded man from the east and he welcomed Hernan Cortez as a god, relinquishing his kingdom.
Other vignettes show the Conquest, the resistance of the Aztecs and Maya to Spanish rule and the coming of Christianity. Over time, as Spaniards and indigenous peoples shared and exchanged experiences, ideas, art and customs, two different worlds gradually became one through music, song and history.
The miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe who first appeared in 1531 to bring hope in a time of suffering is also depicted. At the time, Mexico’s indigenous people were laid low by epidemics of plague and smallpox, racism and cruelty and the Virgin became their protector and the patron saint of a nation.
Life in Independent Mexico is represented through music, dance and 19th-century dress, and then the scene is set for the Mexican Revolution, the struggle for social justice from 1910 to 1921.
The new show takes you on a journey the length and breadth of Mexico, showcasing dances, music, legends and colorful fiestas from all its cultural regions. It also features three traditions in the UNESCO World Heritage list: Mariachis, the death-defying Papantla Flyers from Veracruz and Pirecua music from the Purepecha communities of Michoacan.
Huapango, a lively musical and dance genre that binds the states of Querétaro, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí and Puebla in the Huasteca region is also performed. Other favorites are the Viejitos, the comical dancing old men from Michoacan, the Dance of the Pineapples which forms part of the famous Guelaguetza Fiesta in Oaxaca and the Jarabe Tapatio from Jalisco.
A rider and his beautiful steed also take to the stage to show the grace and skill of charrería, the Mexican art of horsemanship.
Don’t miss Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, for more information on the new show and trips to the park contact Thomas More Travel.