Last year I went to Oaxaca for the first time. I got to know the capital pretty well and I must say it was one of my best trips so far. After a year of an insatiable desire for Oaxacan cuisine, I decided to spend my summer vacation in Huatulco. 

I had never been to the Oaxacan coast before and was very surprised when I got there. The main attraction in Santa María Huatulco is its nine bays and thirty six beaches. This beaches are completely different than those I had seen before. Most of the beaches I had visited where very plain. Usually, sand that extends alongside the water to what appears to be infinite. Instead, the narrow bays in Huatulco create a more intimate relationship with nature. The beautiful Pacific Ocean along with the jungle make every corner a splendid panoramic view. 

There are many ecotourism activities that can be done while in Huatulco. A great idea is to road trip to nearby beaches like Mazunte, Puerto Escondido and Lagunas de Chacahua (maybe I will do this next time I am around this area). 

I spent most of my time in Huatulco relaxing and doing nothing at the beach. I also went shopping to the town´s artisans market plus I got to eat delicious Oaxacan food. The good thing is that I ate enough Tlayudas for the rest of the year. 

The beach at Montecito Beach Village.

Amazing Montecito seen from above.

I am very grateful with Montecito Beach Village for inviting me to spend a day at their facilities and beautiful beach. MBV is a housing complex, perfect for a couple of days of relaxation, tranquility and contact with nature. My visit there was perfect. Amazing food, an almost private beach for myself and a very kind and warm staff (thank you Stephan and the rest of the staff!). Not many housing developments of this kind manage to crate a harmonious atmosphere along with nature. The establishment celebrates and revolves around the idea of a healthy relationship between urbanism and Mother Nature. This is why many of the materials used for the construction of Montecito Beach Village are the same that can be found nearby in the coastal region. Anyway, I had the best day watching the waves crash at the shore and letting my mind wander around. 

It is very exciting to go out of the country on vacation. But it is also important to get to know the wonders that our beautiful Mexico encloses. We should take advantage of our free time and explore the world, a great idea is to start discovering our own country. 


la Sylphide

Too perfect for this world.

La Sylphide, the ballet created  by tenor Adolphe Nourrit is set in a village in Scotland. James is engaged to Effie, a local girl. The day of the wedding James is haunted and seduced by a sylphide; an ethereal spirit which only he can see. James falls onto the    sylphide´s charm and follows her to the forest, interrupting his wedding. The sylph shows James her world in the forest, and he proclaims his love for her. The sylph avoids his grasp since she is a spirit of the air and she will die if touched. Desperate, James takes a veil from Madge (a witch with evil intentions) and is advised to use it to capture the sylphide. When he finally captures her, the   sylphide´s wings fall off and she dies.

Adolphe Nourrit brought this ballet to Filippo Taglioni, master of the Paris Opera Ballet. He choreographed it and casted his daughter the great Marie Taglioni as the sylphide in 1832. Marie Taglioni gained most of her prestige from this role. In 1836 August Bournoville choreographed his own version of La Sylphide, which is the most popular nowadays.

Taglioni is famous for what is thought to be the beginning of pointe work in the history of ballet. Before her many dancers had been going up to the very tips of their toes, but doing it merely as a trick. Marie incorporated this "pointe work" into her dancing but in a subtle, elegant and elevated way. Pointe work back then would be what it is today a really high relevé, almost on pointe but not quite. At this time they did not have modern day pointe shoes, instead they used softer satin shoes.

La Sylphide is commonly known as a revolutionary ballet because it brought Romanticism to the stage.  It is a great example of the emotions and ideologies of the Romantic Period. The unattainable love, the longing for a higher world, and the communion between nature and man.

This is my favorite picture overall, I have given it different meanings. The death of the sylph, maybe how she left the dress that made her visible to the human world, or simply what is left of her. For the entire season I have been perplexed with the idea that sylphides should not be able to die since they are spirits. I finally found a different point of view that gave me some peace of mind. A french Abbé named Montfaucon de Villars stated that " sylphides were made of pure atoms of air and yet they were mortal; the elements of which they were composed could decompose". 

Preparing the stage for Act I.

Today we have the last La Sylphide performance of the season. It is a beautiful ballet in the studio but once it is all set in the glorious Palacio de Bellas Artes´ stage it all changes. The lightning, scenery, and costume designs really bring out the best of each dancer while transporting the audience to a different world.

Dancer Sonia Jimenez in a pre-performance shoot with photographer Carlos Quezada.

Sylphides are less than angels but more than men, enemies of the Devil and servantes of God, according to Montfaucon de Villars.

Sylphs gazing at the earthly world.

Hope you enjoyed it and it would be great if you could come watch us perform this beautiful ballet. Your comments are always welcome!


All photos by Greta Elizondo