Not Your Typical Mexican Show

Wirikuta features acrobats, light up costumes and fire twirling
BY: LACEY STORER

There’s a new show in Los Cabos featuring traditional Mexican dance and music, but when we say traditional we don’t mean the same ‘ol folk dancing and mariachi band style of performances that you usually see around here. We mean traditional as in, it’s based on a legend from the Huichol tribe - ancient Mexicans who settled in the Sierra Madre mountains - that dates back 15,000 years.

Wirikuta, which opened last December at the Wirikuta gardens in San Jose, is more like a Cirque de Soleil performance, with acrobats, dancers, dramatic lighting and elaborate costumes. And although Wirikuta also includes a meal, it isn’t just dinner and show either; it really is an entire experience.

The experience starts when you walk into a Huichol village, where you can watch the people working and playing. There’s a guy making arrows for hunting and a woman doing embroidery. Another woman is making tortillas (and giving out free samples; take one, it’ll be the freshest tortilla you’ve ever had). Gathered around a fire in the middle of the village is a group of drummers and dancers. Signs hanging from the wooden huts give visitors information on different aspects of Huichol life, from their origins to how they lived and worked to their close connection with nature.

Past the village is the marketplace, where there are a few huts set up with merchandise, mostly just beaded jewelry and statues and Wirikuta T-shirts. Honestly, the most exciting thing about this area is the open bar, where you can get wine, beer and mixed drinks. But you can go back and forth between the village and the bar area, so there’s no need to rush in either.

After exploring the village and taking advantage of the open bar, it’s time for dinner. Guests walk around to another part of the grounds, where long communal tables are set up and lights hang from the trees, giving the outdoor dining area a magical feel. Dinner is served buffet style and the menu includes chile rellenos, tamales, fish Veracruz and chicken with mole sauce. There’s also a taco bar and a dessert bar.

After dinner, guests are seated in the outdoor amphitheater, which has stadium style seating so no matter where you sit, you’re able to have a clear view of the stage. Keep an eye on the walkways and seating areas too because the performers move around the entire area during the performance.

The Wirikuta story line is based on an ancient Huichol legend that a village was going through a terrible drought, and two boys left in search of food. Along the way, they ate peyote and then saw a magical blue deer who told them to return to their village because it would rain soon and everything would be fine.

Although the show heavily features music, the main attraction is the visuals of the dancing and acrobatics and lights and costumes. There are several scenes that stand out as highlights of the show. One of them is the fire scene, where performers dance and twirl with flaming batons while basking in the glow of fires lit along the pathways. There are even women wearing giant hoop skirts and headdresses that are lit up in flames.

Another impressive scene is the appearance of the mystical blue deer. The stage lights are darkened and the only light comes from the 20 or so performers who have strands of blue lights running up and down their bodies. Then out comes the head deer, who is wearing a ball gown and antler head dress made entirely of blue lights.

Although the show is definitely Cirque de Soliel-esque, it does focus more on dancing. Yes, there are acrobatics, but they’re on a smaller scale. There are no high-flying aerial artists or fancy trapeze acts.

mexicanshow.JPGA few words of advice before you go: Wear long pants and take a sweater. The entire experience is outdoors, and it can get quite chilly once the sun goes down (especially if it’s windy). They do provide light blankets for the audience, but it’s always good to have an extra layer. And ladies, don’t wear high heels. None of the areas or pathways are paved and in some places there is loose sand, which can be hard to walk in even in flats.

Finally, put on bug spray before you go. There were a couple of cans available for use sitting on the check-in table, but they were emptied pretty fast. Better to be prepared and spray yourself before heading out to the show.

Wirikuta performances are every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. Ticket prices range from $95 to $219 USD. There are three different levels of tickets: the Huichol Experience includes two hours of open bar and transportation; the Shaman Experience includes three hours of open bar, dinner and transportation; and the Shaman Experience VIP three hours of open bar, preferential table during dinner, preferential seats during the show and transportation.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.thewirikuta.com/ or find them on Facebook at TheWirikutaLosCabos.