Archive for the 'Art & Culture' Category
Late Goals Save Face For CD Tenerife

It was easy to feel the Ibarra goalies frustration, CD Tenerife didn’t trouble him for 70 minutes but bailed themselves out from a 2-0 deficit at Ibarra for an unconvincing 2-3 friendly win. The first half in particular was disjointed, aimless, and confused and not just because there were a lot of B team players filling in for injured seniors.

These warm up games are the perfect stage for the young rising players to get noticed, Bolaños had a shaky start at the back but settled well and Oscar Gonzalez played wide on the right and left before finding his groove in a more central role. Omar was playing as a central striker and it didn’t work that well, Cristo Gonzalez played behind him but did very little. The injured Nano was sorely missed, our striking options are a little worrying at the moment, with Southampton still keen on Nano, Cristo needs to raise his game this season to become a genuine contender for the next big thing.

Ibarra (in El Fraile) play in the same Segunda B section as CDT B and had most of the first half play, their 9th minute lead had a touch of good fortune about it as a shot deflected in off Adrian Garcia. Marc Crosas failed to shine apart from a good cross to Adrian who blasted well wide of the target. Less then 20 minutes gone and Tenerife were exposed down their left leaving Sandro to finish off from a probing cross. Two goals down at the break prompted a wave of changes for the second half. Angel Galvan took over in goal and was relieved to see a shot that beat him ruled as offside, Tenerife suffered the same fate a few minutes later. Camille slotted in at left back and looked strong and eager to support the breaks, it was a neat cross from him that fed Omar to pull a goal back after 70 minutes.

It was good to see Suso back on the pitch, he may be clocking up the birthdays but he is still full of fire and took great delight in crashing the ball into the goal to draw the scores level. Senegal born Younousse Diop arrived in Tenerife on a refugee boat with little more than his football talent to sustain him, last season he was loaned out after a poor pre season but he looked more determined after coming on in the second half. A hand in the build up for the 2nd goal was eclipsed by a superb finish to get a winner with just three minutes left. Maybe this will be his season to write another chapter in his incredible life story. Pre season games are notoriously poor indicators of league hopes, although this was hard to watch, it was a win and players and coach can learn as much from this below par display as from an easy goal fest.


Ten Diez Lift The Lid On Their Tenerife Art Box

Bringing art to the people of south Tenerife has been a mission that I have enjoyed following so I was keen to see Art Box, the latest international exhibition from Ten-Diez. Their latest presentation found a modern, stylish home at Baobab Suites, just above Fañabe in Adeje and is on until 14th November.

The exhibition space just beyond reception allowed plenty of room to browse and enjoy the 200 works on offer. Some of the 41 artists were familiar to me from previous shows but as the reputation of Ten-Diez has grown so have the queue of potential exhibitors. The works were mainly photographic this time but Max Mala was the first to catch my eye with a display of richly textured urban sculptures next to a quartet of high fashion photos with a distinct Mary Quant sixties feel. Scotsman Andy McLeod had exploited the infrared spectrum to spin out some atmospheric black and white landscape shots.

Art is a very subjective thing, you can’t please everyone but Ten-Diez make sure there are plenty of diverse styles to cater to individual tastes. A more traditional large portrait came from thee brush of Jesus Martin with his El Arbol, a magnificent study of a tree of considerable character standing out against a Tenerife pine forest.


The artists eye can always pick out the changing moods of nature, reflected in the case of Ana Cristina Perez, by the coast and mountains. Nitgard chose unusual angles and light to make his point, and Dayana Dominguez found art in unusual settings. All the works on display are for sale, you can stretch to 1,550 euros or bag a unique addition to your wall for as little as 35 euros. The haunting faces of Toto Morin drew me to them, he really brought out the character in his eight subjects. Another quite startling collection was the Ghost Images of Los Realejos photographer Ohiane de Felipe, by super imposing two views in one picture it made a real impact.

The artists come from many different backgrounds, fine art, technical, or in the case of Dublin born Phil Crean, commercial photography but he showed in his Fluid Horizons that he can appreciate and capture the soul of an image. Subjects don’t have to be spectacular to attract the lens, Javier Gea made a strong case for the mundane with his black and white close ups of a pencil sharpner, and Jorge Bonet found a rich source in graffiti and an open book. Conflicting emotions were summoned up by David Malledo with a faces parted by darkness, light and shade combined perfectly to offer a new perspective.

Entry to the exhibition is free and hopefully you will find it interesting, uplifting, and inspiring. Opening times are 9 am to 11 pm everyday until 14 November, go and have a look, you may find that perfect unusual gift ready to leap out at you from the Art Box.



More Than A Splash Of Colour On The Adeje Canvas

Staring at brick walls night not sound the most interesting past time but it depends on what they are covered in. I always find myself drawn to street art, the bolder the better, and Adeje has some fine examples of how to crash into people’s minds when they least expect it. There was an early bonus for me on my latest walk up the Calle Grande in Adeje town centre, a new arts space La Musa de Adeje, only a few weeks on from its opening and full of delights by 11 artists from Tenerife and La Gomera.

Their first exhibition is called Musas and featured paintings, sculptures, and works in metal and stone. Each artists area had a brief written introduction in Spanish and English to their inspirations and choice of materials and the gallery hosts had plenty of knowledgeable information for browsers. A few of the artists names were familiar to me and one was to feature again later on my Adeje tour. It’s a commercial gallery and all the works are for sale, there is a shortage of outlets in the south of Tenerife for local talent and exhibitions will run here for around six weeks before they ring the changes. You can find a full run down of the works on the website but it’s so much more rewarding to pop in and browse, Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm.

Onward to my planned calls, both murals, Adeje Ayuntamiento has encouraged a series of large artistic tributes to the traditions of the area and I passed between some in Avenida de la Constitution and Piedra Redonda before reaching La Postura where a giant red and white communication mast has dominated the eyeline – but now it has competition. Artist Matias Mata has transformed an ugly wall in Calle Telefonica into a bright, flowing display of positive faces with calls for freedom, humanity, and liberty. The detail on the facial expressions brings them to life and the bold colours reach out and grab you. Matias may have already tweaked your attention with his multi coloured bus stops on the TF1 motorway as you head into Santa Cruz.

Las Nieves was still left on my tick list but I needed to remind myself of the suburbs exact position so I took an overview from the modern church Plaza Antonio Moreira Bua. Even with a glorious view out to sea and a clear outline of La Gomera, the 240 square metre homage to Adeje’s agricultural past hit me straight between the eyes. It looked even more impressive close up, the church like central arch, common to the neighbouring modern pink blocks, was offset perfectly by the scenes on the brick canvas. The artist Conrado Diaz had already impressed me with his smaller works at the La Musa De Adeje exhibition but the sheer scale of this was awe inspiring. If you want to see some more of Adeje’s triumphs here’s a previous crop but do yourself a favour and take a wander through the streets of Adeje for the real thing.


Anthem Of The Seas Hits The High Notes On Tenerife Visit

Talk about making a grand entrance, the newest quantum class cruise liner from Royal Caribbean glided majestically into Santa Cruz dwarfing a Fred Olsen ferry and almost causing the mountains of Anaga to wolf whistle. The Anthem Of The Seas is something special, and it knows it, the Tenerife capital is used to naval giants but at 168,367 tons, and 16 decks high this ship is the second biggest in the world and boasts state of the art technology that puts everything at the 5,000 passengers finger tips.

As it moored at the far dockside I raced round to joint the press pack just as passengers began to stream down the walkways. Traditional Canarian musicians and dancers were on hand to add a little flavour and coaches were lining up for pre booked excursions. As well as shuttle buses to take passengers into Santa Cruz I counted 20 pre booked  excursion coaches, about a third were off to Loro Parque but there was a nice diversity about the others, volcanoes, Teide, Puerto de la Cruz, cultural Tenerife, and Tenerife city sights.

Most of the those on board were Brits, this maiden cruise set sail from Southampton. It was amusing to see a couple of Union Jacks draped over high balcony rails and quite a few familiar football shirts on the crowds leaving the 10 day voyage. Cruise holidays are much more informal these days and this trip had attracted lots of families, I chatted to a few people and they were full of praise for the ship and its facilities. With the dignitaries gathered it was time for our on board tour to start, checked in and taken to the second deck esplanade our group assembled in the plush Boceros bar where champers and nibbles were served.

The Captain, Claus Andersen of Norway, made a speech about his joy at being in charge of such a ground breaking vessel and the President of the Tenerife port authority, Pedro Rodriguez Zaragoza offered his welcome with a book and a bottle of Malvasia wine. My feet were itching to explore and one of the crew led our party out into the esplanade where several of the bars and restaurants were. Upstairs I was eager to see the Bionic Bar with its robot cocktail waiters, just send an Ipad request for any drink and they mix and serve it, when the DJ is playing some hot tunes they join in the dancing – and are probably more graceful than I am.

The ship was packed with focal points, light, colourful, and amusing works of art are scattered around the decks to encourage a relaxed mood, thee Wonderland Cuisine restaurant had a large hand pointing the way in, and a shiny trombone sculpture was a real eye catcher in a communal area. I couldn’t resist the Pulse Spiral chandelier, by placing my palms on a pad it recorded my heart beat and used that as a rhythm for the individual lights to sparkle to. Even the background music was to my taste, I caught whiffs of Peter Gabriel, and OMD from the 1980’s. Taking the glass elevators we visited the beautifully laid out Teatro Royal with its views out to the port and the city beyond.  Bristling with hi tech and with seating for 1,300 on split levels, it cost a cool 36 million dollars, the standard currency choice on the ship.

Skirting around the bumping cars and thee full size basketball court we popped out on the top deck for the viewing platform and the Rip Cord para diving simulator. Sport is big on the Anthem, a running track laps around the 16th deck circling the clutch of pools below a giant screen tv and more bars. The other big attraction up top is the North Star pod, a clear glass booth like the ones on the London Eye, attached to a crane arm it swings out to be suspended 300 feet over the sea.

There were so many other notable features to please passengers, of the 2,090 rooms, 1,571 have balconies, and 148 of them have outside views, another 375 have virtual views, think of the back projection behind news readers and apply that to views from the top deck projected onto a blank wall. Disabled passengers are well looked after, I noticed that all the bars had some lower serving sections and there are 34 wheelchair friendly rooms on board. Access to all services is simple and quick, passengers can wear an interactive Wow band to order and record food and drink sales and pervasive Wi Fi is streamed on board at 115 megabytes a second, even with so many users it outstrips most peoples home coverage.

Our final call was lunch at the self service buffet in the Windjammer Marketplace, the choice was incredible and there were lots of little touches to make the Brits feel at home, like Tetley tea on tap. On the way out I had a further nose around and found the Music Hall with stylish décor for a good old fashioned sing along night out. Anthem Of The Seas is an amazing ship and it was fitting that its first big voyage brought it to Tenerife as the Seatrade Cruise Med has chosen Santa Cruz for its September 2016 trade convention. The Canary Islands were historically an important hub for sea trade and exploration, it’s good to see that it’s shaping up nicely as a must stop off point for holiday cruisers.




Stage A Play In 10 Days On A Fun, Creative Journey

After performing, directing, and choreographing with Circo Soleil, Italia Conti, and the cream of UK theatre, Mandi Ashwood is ready to share her secret with Tenerife youngsters. The performing arts are fun, and as diverse as the imagination, that’s why she is mixing elements of all the stage crafts in a series of summer performing arts schools for just 20 euros a day.

There’s no star culture, no rigid formats, and no competing against your new friends and performers. The Best Tenerife hotel in Playa de Las Americas is the venue and it will be transformed into two stages, one inside and one in the open air as flexible daily sessions from 9 am to 5 pm lead up to a performance in front of family and friends. Separate age groups featuring 7 to 10 year old, 11 to 13’s, and 14 years plus will give everyone the chance to realise their potential with full professional teaching, props, and 3,000 costume choices.

Mandi has been involved in the big high profile shows at top venues like the Royal Albert Hall and her passion and knowledge will see her draw on music, acting, mime, circus and all other aspects of stage work. The key to it all is enjoyment, developing skills, and awakening new interests. The full four star range of leisure facilities at the Best Tenerife Hotel will be available for the young performers under responsible supervision.

Flicking through Mandi’s career CV and photos on the website is like a tour of the most innovative and exciting aspects of theatre, music, and dance. Using her passion for performance and decades of practical experience Mandi has built several theatre groups in her native Birmingham and taken them to perform on big stages like the Royal Albert hall.

The Summer Performing Arts Schools begin on 13th July and run through until 21st August. The Monday to Friday development stages are broken down into relaxed sessions with plenty of food and rest breaks and time to make friends and build confidence. Find out more at the website, or contact Mandi at  or call on 922752807 or 602626736.



Fresh Fields For Canarian Food Fair

Never let it be said that tradition isn’t flexible in Tenerife, even the most long running events are open to a little tweaking and fine tuning, but of course it doesn’t always work. The Feria de Alimentas Canarias (Canarian Food Fair) tried a new approach this year with the two large marquees moving from outside the Casa del Mar between the two Los Cristianos beaches to outside the Cultural Centre.

Biscuits, bread, cheeses, wine, and all manner of tasty goodies were again gathered together from all seven Canary Islands to the separated marquees at either end of the Plaza del Pescador. In between there was an array of artisans stalls selling arts and crafts, and in front of the Centro Cultural a stage provided traditional music throughout the two days.

Even allowing for it being a bit quiet in Tenerife at the moment the turnout of potential customers was much lower than at the previous location. I popped in several times and it wasn’t the usual scrum down of free sample seeking jabbing elbows around the stalls. The old site was on a main walkway as tourists went back and forth the beaches, they have to be the main target of sales, locals buy and use these foods and drinks all year round and have cheaper local stores to buy from.

The variety didn’t seem quite wide this time, I assume the stall holders had to pay for their pitches, maybe the prices were a bit steeper this time. It was still possible to buy fine products like Avocado Oil, Aloe Vera, honey, gofio, mojo sauce, spices, and chocolate almonds but I didn’t see the constant stream of carrier bags that normally parade out of the tent flaps. Fair play to Arona council for trying something different but maybe next year they will revert to the busier beach site.

Adeje In Awe Of The Passion

Roman soldiers shuffled their boots, goats bells jangled, and an air of expectancy hung over Calle Grande in Adeje. It was Good Friday in Tenerife and around 20,000 people had flocked to see the annual performance of The Passion with a cast of hundreds and an eye for detail that transformed the main street into a highly charged canvas for this colourful masterpiece.

I go along most years to experience the raw emotion of the story of Christ’s crucifixion, I have no strong religious beliefs but appreciate the significance it holds and as a piece of street theatre it is hard to beat. Just after the church bells struck noon the procession of soldiers, horses, religious leaders of biblical times, and assorted livestock turned into Calle Grande where people had staked out their favourite viewing positions since early morning. Café and restaurant tables spread onto the pavements while artisans, traders, and townsfolk created the feel of bustling streets. The detail always catches my eye, post boxes and rubbish bins covered in sacking so they don’t shatter the illusion, even the film crews relaying the event to television audiences wore traditional dress.

The story unfolds via a series of stages as the amateur actors (only Jesus is played by a professional) perform key scenes with their words and actions broadcast over giant speakers and screens en route. It seemed to be more stretched out this year and didn’t flow quite as easily, The Last Supper took place as always down at the smaller plaza but afterwards the progression of story and action went back and forth a little and it seemed at times to lose some continuity. The betrayal, arrest, and trial of Jesus hopped between the court and the emperor’s palace and the Garden of Gethsemane didn’t feature this time. Those are just small quibbles, on the plus side they added extra big screens including one at the top of Calle Grande that was a welcome addition, and there were more songs and even some dancing.

It’s always a squeeze to follow the action but past visits had taught me some handy vantage spots and a quick detour via a couple of side streets helped me to get around the jams. Calle Grande is a perfect setting for spectators but the armour clad soldiers on the sunny side of the street must have been sweltering in their uniforms. The shovel patrol were doing brisk business clearing up the leftovers from the horses while police and stewards managed to stop young children from squirming under the ropes. By the time Jesus had been sentenced, whipped, and made to carry his cross everyone was funneling up to Plaza de España for his crucifixion. The stone steps on the church side were packed and hundreds swelled into the plaza as guards forced Jesus onto the raised stage with the Barranco del Infierno as a magnificent backdrop.

Disciples and supporters were held back by a row of Roman soldiers and behind them more modern security held the back the main tide. There were not many dry eyes as Jesus was nailed to the cross and then hoisted into position with his cries of forgiveness to his punishers followed by his wrapping in cloths before his body was carried away. The whole performance had taken two hours but the work put into costumes and rehearsals had started as soon as last years spectacle had finished. Adeje certainly knows how to put on a performance.

Injury Time Defeat For Depleted CD Marino

For 83 minutes a 0-0 stalemate seemed the inevitable outcome between Las Zocas and CD Marino but a late flurry caught the visitors with their guard down and the home side overturned a goal deficit for a 2-1 victory. It was my first visit to this tight little ground, they have an artificial pitch but real fans, plenty of vocal encouragement and a few drums.

Marino coach Espinel had to shuffle an injury ravaged pack but the first half play was pretty dour and from both sides with too many high balls and niggling fouls preventing either from establishing superiority. Lamine ran out of steam as he chased an early half chance and captain Airam was off target with his shot. Christofer broke down the right for Las Zocas but his wild attempt was high and wide. Kevin Castro was giving the home defence a hard time down the left flank, 13 goal Balduino was one of the missing players and it showed when the ball was put into the goal mouth.

Adan was a constant danger to Marino, he was unlucky when he took the ball wide and launched a slice shot that didn’t miss the goal by much. Sergio had to be at his best when Adan bore down on him just before the break, the keeper ran out and forced the ball away with a solid tackle. Las Zocas had a claim for handball in the penalty area denied and the first half ended with Castro running into the concrete terracing close to the pitch, thankfully he was just dazed and the break was very welcome for him.

Sergio had a busy start to the second half, first charging out to kick clear danger, followed by a smart save down at the left post. Cristian Barrios tested Aitor in the home goal, he responded well tipping aside a crisp shot. A scramble for the ball involving Barrios and defender Nacor left the ball loose, again Aitor mopped up. Las Zocas had the easiest of chances as a cross rolled slowly just in front of the Marino goal mouth, it was begging to be tapped in but a weak shot took it to Sergio.

Marino had the ball in the back of their hosts net after 68 minutes, Airam had provided the touch, the linesman was waving his flag for offside and it was not given. Home sub Kevin added some spice, he went close with a one on one followed up with a header that Sergio took with some ease. As the sun set most of the 300 crowd were resigned to a 0-0 but the game burst into life, first Airam tucked in a good cross to grab a Marino lead.

Celebrations had barely died down when Las Zocas hit back through Hector finishing off a break down the left wing. Maybe a lack of some more experienced heads cost Marino in the final minutes, the home team were fired up and hungry and charged at the blues. Deep into stoppage time a free kick from Christofer found Hector close in on goal and he converted his chance for a vital victory that will go a long way to staving off relegation for Las Zocas.

Recycling With A Kick For Christmas In Adeje

Here’s one they made earlier, or several in the Adeje Cultural Centre. The Cacharros Exhibition features the work of infant and primary school children from the Adeje municipality, recycling household rubbish to make some wondrously imaginative toy designs.

This was the first call on a sweep around Adeje town to see the festive lights and feel the build up to this years celebrations. It was a strange evening as I left Los Cristianos, a calima was blowing up a dust storm and the wind felt chilly, surely it would be even wilder up in Adeje, but it turned out to be very calm and a few degrees higher inland. The Cultural Centre is just off the lower end of Calle Grande, a bright modern building with plenty of activity and a very nice indoor café bar next to a large display area which was brimming with creative talent.

A high flying Santa was a good introduction, El Trineo de Papa Noel was made by Paula Cruz Gonzalez from CEIP Armenime, very jolly and laden with presents. Another airborne creation was Santa in a balloon, El Globo de Papa Noel came from Julia Aase of CEIP Fañabe. Another reason it grabbed my attention was the use of old beer bottle tops, I also noticed some beer cans twisted into other works, I’ve always thought that beer was educational.

Back at a lower level there was a smashing train that would have put Thomas and Gordon in the shade. The Polar Express was another product of CEIP Fañabe, this time from Michelle Bautista Camacho, Icould almost hear the jingle for a well known fizzy pop company. The last of my selection was a sturdy looking airplane with plenty of detail, a Boeing AGA 15605 to be precise, this one was made by Alejandro Garcia Armeanu of CEIP Adeje Casco. There were plenty more to admire from Pepa Pig to oil can Santas and a tree reflecting another year of financial crisis – good to see them aware of the challenges around them from a young age. Prizes had been awarded at various levels but I thought they were all brilliant and a credit to the schools in Adeje. The exhibition is on until 19 December.

Full of cheer and inspired I headed up Calle Grande admiring the decoration of the town hall before finding a busy Plaza de España. An exhibition of martial arts was taking place on the big stage so I lingered a while, Capoeira students were showing off their skills. This is a non contact cross between martial arts and dance originating from Africa and big in Brazil, I had seen the regular Saturday displays in Los Cristianos but was still impressed by their expert timing. Next up was a Kendo class, quite awe inspiring in their all black outfits and with the loud clashes of the staffs it made for a powerful demonstration. There’s a full programme of events in Adeje town over Christmas, New Year, and Reyes, you can find out more at

Rock Stars And Astronauts Gravitate To Starmus Tenerife

It started with short booming taps on the microphone as a hint that Professor Brian May was about to take the stage to deliver his lecture. Garik Israelian, the driving force behind the Stramus Festival is not just a professor but also a self confessed rock fan so he increased the tempo and it was quickly recognized and picked up as the opening beat of “We Will Rock You? That crossover between science, music, and art is what inspired 7,000 people to sign up for this years event, quite a quantum leap from the 60 at the inaugural Starmus back in 2011.

It was clear from the opening registration day at Abama Golf & Spa Resort (above) that the organizers had created a monster, but I could see it was one they were nurturing and directing well. This year saw a big increase in former cosmonauts on the VIP list as well as Nobel winning scientists from astronomy and related fields. Delegates and enthusiasts were drawn to Tenerife from all over the globe, a young lady checking in ahead of me had come from Bulgaria.

Before the serious science kicked in, I took the opportunity for a nose around the luxury resort, it certainly is flash, boarding the resort train I had a full tour down to the beach past the mirador and the views across to Playa San Juan. Locals still use the beach (they cannot be sealed off as private) but they have a long trek on foot and cannot use the sun beds and train. I bet later all the brightest minds in science would also be tempted to ride the train like a kid in a theme park.

In the main hall Garik Israelian (above) welcomed all and there was a media scrum to get photos of the big names, with Brian May the big prize closely followed by Professor Stephen Hawking, a real coup for the festival. It was an unusual mix of people as many tour t-shirts showed long standing allegiances to Queen and their famous guitarist. Brian May was well on his way to a PHD in Astrophysics before rock fame distracted him, years later he completed his thesis thanks to lengthy research at Tenerife and La Palma observatories.

The second day saw the action switch to the Magma Artes & Congresos centre just below Siam Park, but for once the big crowds were heading into the architectural icon. Brian Mays speech was “A Brief History Of Stereoscopy In Astronomy” and was delivered via the latest 3D giant screen with state of the art glasses for all us in the crowd. The glasses had plenty to focus on, not just Brian’s latest large multi coloured shirt, but also over an hour of amazing stereo produced photos of comets, asteroids, planets and volcanoes. The professor’s commentary explained the development of 3D imagery and its practical uses in measuring space sized distances and creating eye popping photos of new horizons. The Rosetta probe is currently orbiting a far flung asteroid and we were shown the newly downloaded images provided by stereo viewing techniques.

Our host didn’t quite have the same nimble command of the hi tech projector as he does of a guitar but his delivery was down to earth and easy to follow for those like me with just a loose grasp of science. It went down well with the experts like Richard Dawkins and Robert Wilson (above) sat just in front of me and the finish was greeted with a tidal wave of applause. There’s plenty more ground to cover as the delegates take in a star party up on Mount Teide and visit the observatories in Tenerife and La Palma. Then there is also the big Sonic Universe concert when former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman joins Brian for a musical blast. It’s all astronauts and rock stars in Tenerife these days.