Rhythms of the Night
25 January 2019 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
We arrived on the south shore via power boat three nights after the blood moon. The waves were rough and we were being tossed back and forth, left and right. Four gentlemen (two on shore, two on the boat) connected a plank from the boat to land and then helped each passenger step off carefully. No one got hurt.
We followed a line of people along the footpath that was lit by small candles along each edge. Every ten feet or so, a torch stood tall guiding our vision. Slowly we climbed higher and higher. The beating of drums echoed through the jungle. The natives were restless.
Las Caletas. A hidden cove along the south shore of Banderas Bay which can only be reached by boat, horse, or on foot. In the daytime it is a tourists’ playground where children can fly through the air on zip-lines created just for them. They can ride a donkey, hike, snorkel, swim, or just lie along the beach. There are even waterslides.
At night, Las Caletas turns into “Fantasy Island” and from the moment you step on shore you are transported to a world far, far away. We were there with our friends to see the newest show from Rhythms of the Night, Savia: The Legend of the Five Suns, presented by Cirque du Soleil.
After stopping to take the obligatory photo with a woman dressed in costume, we were shown to our seats. We had splurged for VIP tickets, so we watched the performance from the third row.
We sat in an outside amphitheater surrounded by tall palms along the hillside. The stage was set to look like the exterior of an ancient pyramid. The story background is this:
“A small village surrounds the structure full of people who have lived in harmony with nature for generations. Each night, the spirit world of the ancients comes to life in a theatrical presentation.
“Legend has it there were four civilizations of humanity prior to ours. Each period saw the evolution of the human race as well as its demise. These previous worlds were destroyed by tornadoes, fires and floods, yet rituals and sacrifices have kept the human spirit alive. From the bones and ashes of the ancients come a celebration of the new Sun and hope for a better world.”
The lights dimmed. Dry ice shot up from the stage, creating a fog-like atmosphere. The music began and four native drummers were lowered down out of the sky. (via crane) All senses were involved, including scent through the use of incense. The mood was set.
It was an absolutely amazing show, complete with acrobatics, gymnastics, and graceful dances. Two women sang the vocals live. The rest was prerecorded. The music was haunting, rhythmic and authentic to the culture. Jay was so taken by it, he wanted to buy a CD, but alas, no joy. (Someone should speak to their promoters.)
Four Asian women folded themselves into pretzel-like forms and then stood on top of each other, balancing on one hand. A man hung from a rope with one hand. Only his his feet held his partner as they swung across the stage fifty feet in the air. A couple expressed their love through dance. There was so much going on we were overwhelmed, afraid we were going to miss something.
The costumes were fabulous too. They paid tribute to The Day of the Dead with all the performers dressed in skeleton leotards. A fifteen-foot skull danced across the stage.
Not to be left out, the court jester provided us with laughs.
After the show, we were escorted back down the footpath, through a bamboo jungle, to our dinner table. It was pitch black but we knew we were on the beach from the loud sound of the surf. It even splashed up once, covering our neighbor’s table as well as the harp player who, along with his band, was serenading us.
Dinner and dessert were served buffet style. Typical and decent.
We were told to head back to our boat at the sound of the bell ringing. Off we went, into the night.
We were served yet more drinks (drinks on the boat ride up and wine on the dinner table) and were entertained by our waiters. Lots of laughter. In the quieter moments, we couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the city lights twinkling around the bay.
All in all, it was one fantastic evening. If you ever come this way, don’t miss Rhythms of the Night.