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17th Fira Mediterrània committed to a renewed vision of popular culture, with a more international and ambitious music line-up than ever before

From 9 to 12 October, Manresa will host more than 300 artistic, professional and city-orientated activities The 17th Fira, which pays tribute to the memory of Peret, is committed to the popular culture of our times, ranging from video-games to traditional formats, urban art and circus, new types of performing arts, street theatre and festival tradition
2014/09/08 11:55:00 Europe/Madrid
  • From 9 to 12 October, Manresa will host more than 300 artistic, professional and city-orientated activities
  • The 17th Fira, which pays tribute to the memory of Peret, is committed to the popular culture of our times, ranging from video-games to traditional formats, urban art and circus, new types of performing arts, street theatre and festival tradition
  • Troba Kung-Fu and the Valencian band Unió Musical d’Alaquàs open Fira with an amazing Mediterranean spectacular: Revetlla Mediterrània
  • This year’s music line-up is more international and ambitious than ever before, featuring major artists like Dulce Pontes, Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, Massilia Sound System, Paolo Angeli, Eliseo Parra, Txarango, Kepa Junkera and La Iaia XXL.
  • The official programme champions unusual formats, and steps up its commitment to projects that use performing arts to drive social change
  • The iconic La Taverna venue is renovated and expanded as a result of the Estrella Damm sponsorship, becoming one of Fira’s main venues, set to host the opening show, the closing event and a world cuisine market
  • The Business Area in Manresa Technical Museum becomes the hub of professional operations for another year running: the venue, once again featuring a design based on recycled materials, will host a two-day professional conference, with 30 speakers, 25 cultural project presentations, 180 meetings between booking agents, showcases, and national and international networks
  • From Monday 8 September, tickets for all paid shows go on sale
  • It is expected that approximately 100,000 people will attend the event

The 17th Fira Mediterrània Manresa is nearly upon us. From 9 to 12 October, the capital city of the Bages region will once again become the cultural nerve centre of Catalonia, hosting more than 300 artistic, professional and city-orientated activities for four days. It is expected that some 100,000 people will attend the event.

This year, Fira undergoes notable developments. The event will take place earlier -until now it had been held in early November- and it is defined by a renewed vision, that is open to, and inclusive of, popular culture. Fira has decided to modernise its structure, based on the fundamental question: what is popular culture today? Video games and traditional formats; urban art and circus; new types of performing arts, street theatre and festival tradition. All of this encapsulates the popular culture of our times, without forgetting community-based performing arts projects that reflect the great and collective transformative capacity of culture, which connect culture with social inclusion, health and education.

The artistic programme, which includes 107 companies and thirty-five premieres, is still firmly committed to Mediterranean music, an area in which Fira has become a solid European benchmark over the years.

OPENING MEDITERRANEAN SPECTACULAR: REVETLLA MEDITERRÀNIA

Following the sad demise of Pere Pubill Calaf Peret, Fira Mediterrània recently announced its replacement opening show, a Mediterranean spectacular: Revetlla Mediterrània. The show is headed by Troba Kung-Fú and the Valencian band Unió Musical d’Alaquàs. More than thirty musicians will stage a collective catharsis, in search of Mediterranean essence, with the intriguing sub-heading: Hymn to Life, Dance of Death, Festa and Fire. The project, which has only been performed once at its premiere in July at the Grec Festival Barcelona, pays tribute to culture shared in the western Mediterranean and north of Africa, and is one of the most unanimously acclaimed shows to hit the stage this year.

The 17th Fira Mediterrània is dedicated to the memory of Peret, this year’s guest artist, and the opening show includes a special tribute to the father of Rumba Catalana.

OFFICIAL PROGRAMME

Commitment to an Open and Inclusive Vision of Popular Culture

Committed to an open vision of popular culture, the programme features a large number of projects based on unusual formats and street theatre, as well as traditional heritage art alongside pioneering technological and performance trends. Highlights include Tauromàquina by the company Animal Religion, in which two acrobats come to heads with a forklift truck; the fun and spectacular fusion of video games with vertical dancing by the Italian group eVenti Verticali, in the main square; the emotional intensity of the Tunisian dancer Hafiz Dhaou (known on-stage as Chatha) who becomes a modern street dervish; the progressive fusion of hip hop and Catalan cobla music, premiered by Kulbik Dance with Cobla Sant Jordi; the endearing high-up adventures of the French tightrope walker Pierre Déaux; the baby disco Baboo Experience by Imaginart; La Nit just abans dels boscos, a brilliant socially-inspired monologue with cutting-edge format by Arsènic Creació; the large format analogue video games, a work by Luthiers Drapaires; and Despertaferro Tocatta a series of improvisations using electronica music and bell ringing by Xavi Lloses, performed with a keyboard that controls the bells of Manresa Cathedral. This performing arts programme also includes showcases of culture of traditional and Catalan origin: the Unió Musical de Tarragona group, the Minyons de Terrassa and Tirallongues de Manresa human towers groups, the Falcons de Vilafranca, the Bastoners d’Artès, the Grup de Dansa Cor de Catalunya, Clavé choirs, traditional folklore, and much more.

Music Line-up with International Scope

As regards music, the 17th Fira Mediterrània features one of the most international and ambitious programmes of recent years, based, as usual, on folk and world music: the premiere in Spain of Puertos de abrigo, a new show by the Portuguese diva Dulce Pontes; the debut concert in Spain of the koras duo, comprising the legendary African musician Toumani Diabaté and his son Sidiki; the hypnotic Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, a spectacular event with the prestigious Ensemble Al-Kindi; the first performance in Catalonia by Massilia Sound System, celebrating its new album and 30-year track record; the fusion of electronica music, ancestral sounds and visual sampling by the British group Addictive TV, who bring a special joint project with Txarango to stage; and the Spanish premiere of the new album S'Û by the renowned Sardinian improvisational artist Paolo Angeli (whose fans include Pat Metheny). Also of note are two landmark artists from the traditional Spanish scene: Eliseo Parra, the greatest exponent of Spanish folk music, who will perform the acoustic tracks from his new album Al Mansur; and the amazing Basque musician Kepa Junkera who will deliver a concert that pays tribute to music of the Catalan Pyrenees, a joint project with the musician and researcher Amadeu Rosell. Not forgetting one of the most successful orchestral projects of recent months: La Iaia XXL, a show that has come about through the surprising fusion of one of the best pop groups ever and the dynamic Cobla Bisbal Jove. Fira welcomes back Nit de Ball Folk which showcases traditional dance from different areas of the Catalan Countries, also featuring the Occitan group La Forcelle, the Balearic group Es Revetlers and the Catalan group Brunzit.

Art and Social Transformation

Fira advocates performing arts as a driver of social change, with the co-production of different community-based projects and through showcasing a selection of impacting productions. These include the world premiere of Tocant les pilotes! by Big Band Basket Beat Bcn, where basketballs are used as percussion instruments at the hands of young people who live in the Raval district of Barcelona – an unbeatable example of social action through art; an adaptation of Plato's Cave by the company TeatroDENTRO, formed by inmates from the Quatre Camins Penitentiary Centre; a dance and movement workshop for the over-60s, co-produced by Fira and Viladecans Street Festival, directed by Isabel Ollé and Quim Cabanilles and designed to enhance memory and well-being; the show Fòssil by Jordi Cortés – Alta Realitat, a pioneering company in this country for integrated dance, and involving people with physical disabilities, in addition to other successful projects.

Closing Event

This year’s programme comes to an end with the free closing event. Marcel Casellas and his Cobla Catalana dels Sons Essencials will be the Master of Ceremonies at a session featuring a whole host of guest performers: Gil, Llibert Fortuny, Unió Musical del Bages and more.

THE RENOVATED TAVERNA ESTRELLA DAMM VENUE – WORLD CUISINE

Both the opening show and the closing event will take place at the renovated Fira Taverna. This year, the iconic venue has changed location, now a large-scale marquee in Casino Park with a new name, Taverna Estrella DAMM – World Cuisine, becoming one of Fira’s central venues. Sponsored by Estrella Damm, the Taverna will host some of the most outstanding performances of the programme, while maintaining its focus on gastronomy. This year sees Fira beef up its commitment to cuisine and expand its horizons with a world cuisine market, offering food from countries including the Mediterranean, Uruguay, Colombia, Japan and Morocco.

The change in layout leads to Plaça Sant Domènec becoming an open space with interactive games, a circus stage, the usual ticket office and food stalls. The introduction of this open space will improve the circulation of people moving between the main square and Passeig Pere III, the latter being Fira’s main thoroughfare.

FIRA MEDITERRÀNIA’S OFF

Fira’s Off section this year complements the official Fira Mediterrània line-up, featuring two programmes: Humus Mediterrani and the Concurs Sons de la Mediterrània (Sounds of the Mediterranean Competition).

Humus Mediterrani is an initiative centred on traditional music and culture of Catalan origin that brings us fresh and emerging projects from the Catalan folk and traditional Catalan music scene. The goal of Off is to publicise a diverse kaleidoscope of projects that have preserved, created or revived traditional music and song, by amateur groups who perform across Catalonia and students from traditional music schools based in the Catalan Countries. This year, ten groups have been chosen, which include three from the Bages area: Amar Mendé, Corrandes són Corrandes, the Gipsy Krokets Quartet, the Grallers dels Gegants de Manresa, La Puça Diatònica, La Taverna del Xatrac, Mirabèl, Piero Pesce, Ratafia and Rot.

Fira is set to host the live final of the 7th Sons de la Mediterrània competition. Organised by Fira, Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius, Grup Enderrock and the Department of Culture of the Generalitat (Regional Government) of Catalonia, the competition is open to emerging groups with projects based on folk and traditional music of Mediterranean origin that use the Catalan language, or that comprise instrumental works. The winning group will receive a recording session in a professional studio for an EP of four songs, an advertising campaign in the Enderrock magazine and Sons de la Mediterrània website, and will also be hired to perform at the Tradicionàrius Festival 2015, the 18th Fira Mediterrània Manresa  2015 and Circuit Folc 2015.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Fira Mediterrània Manresa is a marketplace and Fira’s Business Area, located in the Manresa Technical Museum, is once again set to become a hub of professional meet-ups, linked to Fira’s artistic orientation. Activities include a professional conference with more than 30 speakers; the presentation of 25 cultural projects; 180 arranged meetings between booking agents (speed dating); showcases; and national and international networks – all designed to accommodate the hundreds of industry professionals who regularly come to the event.

A particularly noteworthy and distinctive feature of Fira’s business venue is its commitment, the same as last year, to revamping the appearance of traditional stands with an innovative design based on recycled materials. The design and assembly has been fully implemented by the Bages based company A Nou Serveis d’arquitectura immobiliaris, SL.

The professional conference is based on the premise of ‘Who Do We Work For? Community Participation and New Audiences’. Using different formats -debates, thought workshops, training sessions, conference sessions, round tables and presentations- the two-day event, featuring 30 international speakers, will address new realities affecting the creative and culture industries. The conference will open with a dialogue between the choreographer Cesc Gelabert and the philosopher and educator Lali Bosch.

The Networking Area is structured around two activities: informal product presentations, cultural services and projects to explore up to 25 industry developments, and networking, featuring the Wine&Fest Forum, an international meeting of folk and world music festivals, combining workshops and knowledge exchange seminars with tasting sessions of DO Bages products. It will include the first seminar of the newly created Espectadors.cat, a Spectators Association and the Friends of the Catalan Performing Arts, entitled ‘Audience Participation in Catalan Performing Arts Practices.’ Fira will also host the first meeting of event booking agents of the Espai A Network - Association of Catalan Cultural Associations, as well as the first meeting of the major fairs of popular culture in Catalonia.

Other professional activities to be held in the Business Area include showcases (artistic capsules) which will take place on the Business Area stage in the museum courtyard, located in the museum building, and 180 speed dating meetings, designed to promote contact between professionals and boost the internationalisation of Catalan companies. Attending organisations include the Mission Folk Music Festival (Canada); the Suds d’Arlès Festival (France), the Jelenia Gora International Street Theatre Festival (Poland), the International Kulturbörse Freiburg (Germany) and the Teatro di Confine Festival (Italy). These activities also include the International Network Meeting, an informal lunch with national artists and national and foreign booking agents, specifically designed to promote links between supply and demand.

INTERNATIONALISATION

The additional promotional work outside of our artists is part of Fira’s International Action Plan, one of its major areas of work. This year has seen 22 strategic actions with countries including France, Portugal, Greece, Algeria, Italy and Germany. The main developments to take place in 2014 include agreements with the prestigious Foundation Royaumont (France), the French lobby of world music Zone Franche and the Portuguese circuit OuTonalidades, as well as the opening-up of relations with Algeria and the Valencia region. Furthermore, Fira has kept up its already-established relationships with festivals including Festival Estivada (France), and the Italian Mirabilia International Circus Festival and Medimex.

+DITERRÀNIA, SYNERGIES WITH THE LOCAL VICINITY AND AGENTS

+diterrània is the new name for the activity showcase by cultural agents in the immediate local vicinity and local organisations. This event groups together actions by heritage establishments for performances, workshops, exhibitions, guided visits and documentary screenings. Highlights include theatrical visits to Balç Street, an important part of Manresa’s heritage; the project Humanitarian Alliance for Feeding Children by Red Cross Manresa; a workshop for kids put together by one of Fira’s partners, Abacus; the Tercentenary Guided Visit organised by the City of Manresa Tourist Office and sardana dancing for lots of people with Cobla per la Independència, promoted by the Catalan National Assembly, held in the main square. All FiraPasseig activities, a corporate stands area focused on festivals, food and crafts on Passeig Pere III (Manresa’s main thoroughfare), are also included within the  +diterrània programme.

BUDGET

Fira Mediterrània 2014 has maintained a budget of around one million euros, thanks to contributions by the Department of Culture of the Generalitat (Regional Government) of Catalonia, Manresa City Council and Barcelona Provincial Council. As regards sponsorship, Fira has received funding from the Obra Social "la Caixa" and DAMM, and has consolidated its policy of many micro-alliances, enabling the event to go ahead.

TICKET SALES

From 8 September, all tickets for this year’s Fira Mediterrània Manresa paid shows go on sale. Tickets can be purchased at the Theatre Kursaal ticket office (Passeig Pere III, 35, Manresa), via Internet (www.firamediterrania.cat) or by telephone (+34 938 723 636).

 

PREMIERES AT THE 17TH FIRA MEDITERRÀNIA MANRESA-CATALONIA

 

World Premieres

2 princesesbarbudes – Enciclopèdia baixeta de la nit (music / theatre / family audience, from children aged 6+)

Associació Baba Babarota – La Mula Baba (theatre / family audience)

Barbara Van Hoestenberghe – Versions Bàrbares (audio-visuals / family audience)

Big Band Basket Beat Barcelona – Tocant les pilotes! (community arts / music / family audience)

Brunzit – Encontredanses (music / family audience)

Cobla Catalana dels Sons Essencials & Convidats – Closing Event (music)

Comediants and Orquestrina Trama – Monts: faula musical del Pirineu (theatre / music / dance / family audience)

Corrandes són Corrandes – Cançó Fugaç (music)

Eduard Iniesta (music)

El Pont d’Arcalís – La Seca i les valls d’Andorra (music)

Eliseo Parra – El Mansur (music)

Inxa Impro Quartet – Kind Of Trad (music)

Isabel Ollé i Quim Cabanillas – Viladecans / Manresa. Dance and movement workshop (community arts / dance)

Jocs Ambulants Showcase of scientific artefacts and toys (games / family audience)

Kepa Junkera & Amadeu Rosell + Sorginak + Tururut Bonaigua Topaketa Ripollès-en (music)

Korrontzi ¡Gira décimo aniversario! (music / dance)

Kulbik Dance Company & Cobla Sant Jordi - Ciutat de Barcelona Hip Hop & Cobla (dance / music)

La Taverna del Xatrac (music)

La Festa catalana. La catalanitat cívica (exhibition / audio-visuals)

Le CroupierEsperança Dinamita (Cançons de la revista) (music / theatre)

Luthiers DrapairesPatufets, cuca-feres i graffitis de llum (games / audio-visual / family audience)

MapasonorEl cant improvisat a l'Ebre (audio-visual)

transFORMAS i cia teatroDENTRO La Caverna (community arts / theatre)

 

National Premieres

Addictive TV Orchestra of Samples (music / audio-visuals)

Cuncumén (music)

El Dey (music)

FolkMus - Young musicians and old stories, folk music in musEUms and more FolkMus Young Musicians and Old Stories (music)

La Forcelle Bal Gascon (music)

Massilia Sound System (music)

Paolo Angeli S'Û (music)

Redi Hasa & Maria Mazzotta Duo Ura (music)

Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté (music)

 

Premieres in Catalonia

Dulce Pontes – Puertos de abrigo (music)

Maintomano – Equilibuá (circus / family audience)

Toques do Caramulo (music)

 

Fira’s artistic director, David Ibáñez, has selected the artistic projects jointly with the Artistic Commission, formed by Cesc Casadesús (Mercat de les Flors), Jordi Aspa and Bet Miralta (Escarlata Circus), and Eulàlia Ribera (El Més Petits de Tots festival Sabadell).

Press room - http://comedia.cat/ca/comediateca/mediterrania_2014

Web oficial - www.firamediterrania.cat/

 

PRESS - FIRA MEDITERRÀNIA DE MANRESA

Sònia Parra

T. [00 34] 93 875 35 88 · sparra@firamediterrania.cat

 

Marc Gall · Nèstor Lozano

T. [00 34] 933 10 60 44 · 932 95 56 34

M. [00 34] 620 811 386 · nlozano@comedianet.com