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Deconstructing the night Illustration: Mayo Bous Illustration: Mayo Bous

The house that was Thursday

The problem with the Casa de la Trova is not getting there, a short walk from anywhere in the city is enough. It's not hard to find either: located on one of the busiest streets in the downtown Sancti Spiritus —note the love that goes with the irony— has no loss or confusion.

It is one of the reference spaces in the town of Sancti Spíritus, which are used to give directions and define distances.

The really difficult thing is to get past the queue, get around the groups, endure the wait and enter A thursday. Yes, because the rest of the week La Trova closes prudishly and judiciously at 12 but not on the day that corresponds to the FEU (University Student Federation), to which it gives one more hour. Thus, Thursday has become the agreed date for the mob. Of course, everything has its trick. Here's a tip: the best time to enter is around 10 at night and the strategy is to make friends with Lázaro who is a doorman, collector, even security if necessary. And he's also a good guy.

The popularity of Thursdays is not random. To begin with, El Colgao, the fashionable café, is given a break that leaves the university students who come from their municipalities to pursue a career and social life in this city without protection or leisure. The entry price also influences, which until a few months ago was just five pesos in national currency, although it is already double. Life things. The crowd does not seem to mind because it is still very affordable and leaves a margin of expense for the beer and the star product: the bottle of rum on sale + soft drink combo.

Those who arrive first grab a table, settle in, and keep stalls. Those on the side of the bar are unpopular, due to the proximity to the bathrooms and the drinking of the drinkers. All seek the ones that mark the sides of the central patio, from where you have control of the entrance, the movements of those present and everything that happens on stage. However, the tables are never enough for the crowd that overflows the steps to the central patio, the flower beds that divide the space and any supporting wall.

Once inside, the Casa de la Trova can become an exercise in social study. If at the door the queue is an indefinable mass, in the patio of the mansion it is reordered and located. It is easy for the observer to distinguish the young professors dressed with that programmed nonchalance that gives them away—, to the students boys with hair in all directions, clothing between trend and nonconformity, who get together to buy a bottle in poninas—, nostalgic young workers who do not part with their university freedom and make space a misleading time machine—, and those who never went through high school and are attracted by young girls or the opportunity to spend the night better those have other clothes, other garments—and that surely passed through the Lázaro filter, so that he would let them in. I repeat, he is a good guy.

Illustration: Mayo Bous

Illustration: Mayo Bous

This mosaic of beings and strata, this anomalous convergence, is proof that La Trova on Thursdays is a bag in which everything fits. The lack of spaces profiled according to public, of offers according to demand, have made the mansion the space where everyone accommodates to his own and with his own. And, strangely, it works.

The night thickens and it is difficult to walk. Among so many people, the tall and anthological mangoes, those who dance, those who try to converse by shouting at each other and those who smoke, time begins to slip away. The DJ tries to please the tastes, building the night atmosphere according to the public, the requests, the playlist trendy: pop rock to start with, some salsa in the middle and sometimes some reggaeton. At certain times of the night, Miguel Ángel Cruz, who also has “university discharge” on Facebook, encourages the typical and encourages off-key singing competitions, dance attempts or mental agility questions with a bottle as a prize. There are many who are daring in this pedestrian fair that is lost among good intentions to end in a moment that is sometimes uncomfortable.

By programming, the second Thursday of each month there is space for the performances and choreographies of the future doctors. On fourth Thursdays DNA plays, a band that does covers “a lo retro” by Carlos Varela, Maná and David Blanco. I want to think, so as not to feel old, that those are someone's contemporary classics.

The university party on Thursdays at the Casa de la Trova is a mirror of the city itself. The town, aged and stiff in its ways, receives a youthful crowd confused who needs spaces to have fun and be. In La Trova, where the trios animated the night with pieces from another century, a FEU without a house has found a way to fill today a house of yesterday. 

Of course, sometimes La Trova feels like a flimsy copy of El Mejunje villaclareño and reasons are not lacking: the open air space, the bustling youth in an ancient building, the cheapness of the entrance ... and if Silverio's project managed to inspire this is a happy event, but unfortunately it lacks the drive, the rebellion, the different. Because also sometimes La Trova tastes like a reduced copy of other spaces to which these future engineers, psychologists and doctors would go if they were more solvent. But they are here, they chose to stay and they are the faithful conspirators on Thursdays. 

At one in the morning the music ends and the door fills up again. Some go to have a snack nearby, perhaps later to the park or to sleep. Others will follow the night in that kind of after party and post all from Sancti Spiritus, which is Parque de los Viejos, near the Hostal del Rijo. There, as long as they don't disturb the tourists, the enthusiasts will continue with a guitar and whatever is left over from the party. Next week they will return to the door, to the patio and to say good night to Lázaro.


First name: House of the Trova «Miguel Companioni»
Address: Maximo Gomez Street, No. 26, Sancti Spiritus
Schedule: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. at 12:00 a.m. On Sundays, 9:00 a.m. at 12:00 p.m.
Entry price: 10 CUPS
Beer price: 1.25 CUC
Accommodation: 120 people
Modes of use of music and genres: Recorded and live music
Property model: State
Avatar photo Gladys M. Quesada Degree in Spanish Philology, Announcer, Scriptwriter. Master in Communication Sciences. Convinced that there is life outside the Earth and life. Crespa by conviction, Philologist by vocation. Voracious consumer of series and music. Eternally, guajira girl. More posts

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