A moving Mapuche ritual and Menorcan horses are among the new additions to Fira Mediterrània’s line- up
Eighteen new additions complete the artistic programme of the 21st Fira Mediterrània Manresa
Malen, a show devoted to the ancestral Mapuche legacy, featuring 16 females aged 9 to 70, will close the “Rituals” cycle, Fira’s leitmotif this year
The Focus Balearic Islands line-up brings a display of traditional culture to Fira Mediterrània from Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, which includes an impressive Menorcan dressage show
Cabaret 13, a production that takes its inspiration from the burlesque spirit of Paral·lel in Barcelona at the beginning of the twentieth century, comes to the art nouveau building Casa Torrents (La Buresa)
The guitarist Pau Figueres and the Cobla Catalana dels Sons Essencials début their latest music projects at Fira
Katakrak is added to the line-up for family audiences with an installation in the main town square of mechanical constructions produced with recycled materials
La Mostra de Grups Amateurs de Teatre de la Catalunya Central (Selection of Amateur Theatre Groups in Central Catalonia) is once more included in the “Off” section of the Fira line-up, and it brings five groups to perform at the event
Eighteen new productions are added to the 21st Fira Mediterrània Manresa, taking place from 4 to 7 October. The announcement of the new productions added to the programme, the preview of which was presented in July, marks the completion of this year's artistic line-up. The new additions include Focus, devoted to traditional culture in the Balearic Islands, and a show by the Chilean choreographer Ricardo Curaqueo, Malen (an ancestral Mapuche legacy). A heartfelt dance production connected with rituals, this year’s central theme, it stars sixteen females, aged 9 to 60.
Focus Balearic Islands
Fira Mediterrània devotes “Focus” this year to the Balearic Islands, with a representative selection of outstanding traditional culture from Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. This is the fourth consecutive year that an area of the Fira Mediterrània programme is devoted to the immaterial heritage of a particular city or geographical area, with the aim of publicising it. The main highlight of Focus is four Menorcan horses from the Eqüestre Equimar centre, with a dressage demonstration entitled Aires de Menorca, showcasing a much-valued aspect of traditional culture on the island.
The selection of culture from the Balearic Islands also features fire, which is deeply rooted to traditional celebrations across the whole Mediterranean. The Federació de Dimonis, Diables i Bèsties del Foc de les Illes Balears (The Balearic Islands Association of Demons, Devils and Fire Creatures), which aims to promote the culture of fire, brings to Manresa a selection of the main devil and demon groups. They will do two fire parades, one at night and another during the day.
Music to accompany the fire parade will be played by the Xeremiers de Sacalatrava and the Xeremiers des Pla, two duos that have spiced up traditional festivals across Majorcan towns for the past thirty years. In Manresa, they will perform alongside Pau and Càndid, two young musicians that have been inspired and influenced by their older compatriots.
The Federació de colles de ball i cultura popular d’Eivissa i Formentera (Ibiza and Formentara Association of dance troupes and traditional culture) will perform “ball pagès”, an assortment of age-old traditional dances from the islands, accompanied by music on the drum, flute, espasís and castanet.
Ancestral Mapuche legacy in contemporary language
Another top addition to Fira’s programme is the production Malen (an ancestral Mapuche legacy), a show of contemporary dance designed by the Chilean choreographer Ricardo Curaqueo, in which he brings the ancestral legacy of his town to the present day. Malen, which means “girl” in the Mapuche languages of Chile and Argentina, comes to the stage of the small auditorium at Kursaal Theatre on Sunday 7 October, and features sixteen females aged 9 to 70, in a heartfelt production about rituals, land and femininity. Malen signals the end to the productions at Fira Mediterrània this year connected with its leitmotif of rituals as a source of artistic inspiration.
Latest performing arts additions
Another new addition to the Fira Mediterrània programme for performing arts is Cabaret 13, a production by the director and choreographer Roberto G. Alonso. Combining humour, nostalgia and eroticism, he brings to the stage the burlesque spirit of the original edgy cabaret performances on Paral·lel in Barcelona, which were a hallmark of the era at the start of the twentieth century. The show will be performed in a special venue, the art nouveau building of Casa Torrents (La Buresa), owned by the Santasusana family.
At the same time, Katakrak, aimed at children, brings a hands-on play installation Enginys eko.poètiks to the main town square. It consists of mechanical constructions based on the company’s main defining drives of creativity, recycling and games in conjunction with electronics, renewable energies and poetry.
The selection of performing arts also includes a Mostra de Grups Amateurs de Teatre de la Catalunya Central (Selection of Amateur Theatre Groups in Central Catalonia), in the Sala Els Carlins on 6 and 7 October. This year, five groups will perform: the ACR-Associació Cultural Recreativa de Fals, with El principi d’Arquímedes (The Archimedes Principle); the Agrupació Teatral i Cultural de Castellbell i El Vilar, with Embolics a l’oficina (Misunderstandings in the Office); the Grup de Teatre Paranys, from Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, with La cançó de les mentides (The Song of Lies); the Grup de Teatre Qollunaka, from Terrassa, with the classic Qui té por de Virgínia Woolf? (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and the Grup Escènic de Navàs, with El pare (The Father).
New developments in the music line-up
The world music and folk line-up sees the addition of two world premières as part of Fira’s Circuit Folc (Folk Circuit). On one hand, the guitarist Pau Figueres, who traditionally accompanies top name artists, such as Mayte Martin, Eliseo Parra and Judit Neddermann, will début his latest studio album Nada nuevo bajo el sol (Nothing New Beneath the Sun), on 5 October at El Sielu. His music features a fusion of flamenco, jazz, classical music and folk. At the same time, Cobla Catalana dels Sons Essencials, headed by Marcel Casellas, will showcase Si són flors, floriran (If they're flowers, they’ll bloom), at Taverna Cervesa Guineu on Saturday 6 October. This newly produced repertoire features Mediterranean beats to explore new ways of expressing everyday feelings through rumba, sardanas, jotas and ball pla.
Finally, the Showcases in the Fira Business Area are set to include: Orquestrina Trama, an ensemble of young musicians connected with culture and music from the Pyrenees, which presents their latest studio recorded album Hèsta; Biflats with their edgy Cobla music in a production entitled Catalan fanfare!; the Andalusian Banda Morisca, a combo that combines the legacy of Andalusia, Flamenco music and Mediterranean music with Andalusian rock; and the female polyphonic Occitan trio Cocanha, which, as well as performing at the Nit de Ball Folk, will showcase a small selection of their music in Fira Business Area.