The Teatro Bolivar had a policy of presenting innovative programmes, as it wished to provide entertainment that other theatres and concert halls in Quito did not offer. The variety of programes therefore included charity events, such as Miss Quito, pop music concerts and evenings of chamber music. The latter were frequently performed by the Tuhuamari Ensemble, playing music composed by Ecuadorian composers that was not as well known as the usual classical repertoire.
One of the most unusual events was an art show. Now you know what art exhibitions are like - everyone arrives, picks up a glass of wine and socialises. By the time a crowd gathers no one can see the actual paintings so the Director decided to make this a different kind of presentation.
Guests who had been sent invitations were gathered in the big foyer of the theatre with no wine and no explanation. They were addressed by professional actors and actresses who introduced the history of the theatre. Then small groups of visitors were sent on their way through the dimly lit theatre. They were specifically asked not to speak on their walk. On their way they were able to view the perfectly lit artist's paintings, but they also met more Ecuadorian actors and actresses who acted out the dramatic events associated with the theatre's past history, such as the Pizza Hut fire. Sometimes the performances involved music and others included recitation. Finally, when the group of attendees reached the third floor, they came across the dramatic image of the artist painting a canvas, his hand moving in time with the piano music being played by a Russian pianist on the stage, now visible from the third floor. Only then were refreshments served and people were allowed to burst into conversation after their unexpected experience. It was events such as these that made the Teatro Bolivar special.
(From Chapter 6 in "South America Under the Skin of a Foreign Country")
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