Hello Voices! It’s officially the first day of spring! Yay!!! If you’re like me and live for sunshine and warm temperatures, then you know the anticipation of being able to say good-bye to old man winter (for now). Even so, I could literally hear Alanis Morissette singing inside my head when I went outside and saw snow had fallen and the temperature felt as cold as any winter day. Yes, it’s very ironic indeed.
Anywho, I wanted this post to focus on experiencing the arts from a cultural standpoint in our travels. If you’re someone who loves the performing arts, perhaps you’ve taken advantage of seeing plays, concerts, musicals, or other shows in the country you’re living in or visiting. Maybe you love getting a chance to test your listening ear by taking in a performance where the actors are speaking the language of that land.
Checking out performances is definitely something I enjoy when I travel. When I lived in Madrid and found out they were putting on a live Spanish musical version of “Beauty and the Beast” entitled “La Bella y la Bestia,” I knew I had to see it! As I was hungry for any opportunity to immerse myself in the language I was studying, I figured what better way than through one of my favorite Disney movies from my childhood that always sparks insane nostalgia. Maybe you’ve heard this advice as well, but if you’re studying a language you’d like to be fluent in and want to find ways to immerse yourself in it, I totally agree with finding any opportunity you can to hear the language outside of a classroom.
As it’s been a few years since I lived in Spain and I’m not in a fully immersive environment, I have to seek out opportunities to keep that area of my brain fresh and stimulated. It was almost a godsend last week when I came across info for a Spanish play entitled “Uz, El Pueblo” showing at the Cleveland Public Theater.
Being back in my hometown of Cleveland, I kind of feel like I’m rediscovering the city and learning what’s new and different after being away for so long. I’d always seen this theater, but had never attended a performance there. I saw the play Friday night (the 18th) and had a really great time taking in the language, the dialogue, and just laughing along with the audience to the hilarious craziness of the plot.
Written by the Uruguayan playwright, Gabriel Calderón, the story takes place in a small town called Uz. The play focuses on a woman named Grace who receives some morally questionable instructions from the voice of God and her inner desire to follow through in order to demonstrate her faithfulness and servitude. This not only brings her husband and children into the matter, but eventually some of the town’s residents get involved in this dramatic story with a major twist at the end that I did not see coming! “Uz, El Pueblo” is a dark comedy that touches on topics such as religion, marriage, family dynamics, and sexuality. I had a good time from beginning to end and almost didn’t want it to end. It was really great to be immersed in the language again and my goal is to remain active in seeking opportunities to stay fluent in mi español.
In fact, starting in April, I’ll be taking a 9-week Spanish conversation class each Saturday at the Cleveland Spanish School. I’m so excited for this because about a month ago as I was preparing to wrap things up in Korea, I felt Spain calling me back to her land again. I feel it’s a call I must answer as I did back in 2006 when I got the inclination to pursue studying abroad. I feel taking this class is one step closer in prepping me for the journey and an opportunity I shouldn’t pass up. I haven’t set a date yet for when I’d like to return to Spain, but I’m determined to make it happen within under a year. Stay tuned!
So, how about you? Be it music, TV shows, movies, YouTube or whatever your preference, how do you like to improve and build your foreign language skills? Share below in the comments!
¡Hasta la próxima!