Introduction: Mexico City, Really?
Using The Cross Border Xpress
Review: Tijuana VIP Lounge
Review: Aeromexico Salon Premier Tijuana
Aeromexico 787 Business Class Tijuana to Mexico City
Review: Las Alcobas Hotel Polanco Mexico City
Hot Air Ballooning Over Teotihuacán
An Evening Of Lucha Libre
Floating Around Xochimilco
Day Trip To Coyoacán
Exploring Mexico City’s Historic Center
Dining At Dulce Patria
Palacio De Bellas Artes & The Ballet Folklórico
Mexico City: Andrew’s Thoughts
Review: Minute Suites DFW
We loved exploring Mexico City’s historic center, and particularly enjoyed the diversity of architecture. One of the most stunning buildings was the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Like many buildings in Mexico City, this one is also sinking.
Palacio de Bellas Artes exterior
The exterior is a blend of Neoclassical and Art Nouveau, and it seemed like something fun was always happening in the front of the building or in the adjacent park.
The interior leans more towards Art Deco. The building houses the Architecture Museum on the top floor, with murals by local artists throughout. It’s well worth spending some time here.
Ballet Folklórico de México
One of the main draws to the Palacio de Bellas Artes is the Ballet Folklórico de México, which is hosted in the grand 1,000-seat theater.
Palacio de Bellas Artes theater
The theater itself is gorgeous, and feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1930’s.
The ceiling is crowned with an intricate Hungarian glass mosaic (it’s worth going up to the balcony just to appreciate the details here).
The juxtaposition of cultures in Mexico was reflected in the art of the theater. Light panels featured images of Aztec and Mayan gods, while the stage was framed by the Greek Muses.
One of the most unique features is the stage curtain, which features a mountain landscape:
But the “curtain” isn’t fabric at all — it’s made up of stained glass panels.
The curtain is made of Tiffany glass, and is the only one of its kind.
There are millions of little glass pieces, and the entire installment weighs 24 tons!
The performance itself was incredible!
This isn’t Swan Lake ballet, but rather a combination of traditional dances and music, with some modern interpretations. My husband was particularly impressed by a number that featured dancers interacting with a lasso; my favorite was a portrayal of a traditional deer hunt.
The costumes were stunning, and the choreography was well-designed. It made for a lovely evening out, and I would consider this a “must do” on a visit to Mexico City.
Tips for the ballet
This is another situation where there are dozens of companies offering tour packages to attend the ballet, but it’s so simple on your own, and I really don’t think there’s any value in a tour.
While you can buy tickets from Ticketmaster, I don’t recommend it. For one, I would never recommend Ticketmaster. For two, the surcharges are outrageous — about 30% of the ticket price.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office, and with the adjacent Metro station it’s easy to stop in while you’re sightseeing downtown.
Ballet Folklórico box office
The box office takes cash or American Express only. There are three prices for the Ballet Folklórico:
- $1800 MXN for Orchestra seats
- $880 MXN for the first balcony
- $300 MXN for the second balcony
This will go a bit better if you have some Spanish, as I’m pretty sure better seats were available than what we were offered, but I don’t know that it matters much. We purchased seats in the second balcony, which wasn’t even half full on the evening of the performance, so everyone ended up moving around anyway.
Obviously the more expensive tiers provide a better view of the stage, but we liked having the overview of the theater from the upper balcony.
Palacio de Bellas Artes theater
There also seemed to be an official/unofficial upgrade program run by the ushers. Think the Vegas $20 trick. I might try that versus paying $100 each for orchestra tickets.
You definitely want to make time for the ballet while in Mexico City. Go in the morning, go for a matinee, make an evening of it — it doesn’t matter.
The performers were incredible, the costumes were fabulous, and the theater is one-of-a-kind.
Even if you don’t think dance is your “thing” — give it a try. Tickets aren’t expensive, and if you’re miserable you can always leave halfway through (but you won’t, because it’s great).
And the venue…
Have you been to the Ballet Folklórico? Any other suggestions?