The 26th Fira Mediterrània, a barometer for the outstanding creative period the traditional arts are in.
The 26th Fira reaped the benefits of the first five years under its current artistic directorship, which have transformed the Fira into a hub for arts with traditional roots.
44 sold-out shows, with an 84% average attendance rate.
The Fira welcomed 1159 accredited professionals.
An event that revived the international artistic pulse and offered a vision of roots from which to speak about the future, with artificial intelligence taking centre stage.
The 26th Fira Mediterrània de Manresa drew to a close today, Sunday 8 October, with its work completed and objectives achieved. This year’s event reaped the benefits of the vision of artistic director Jordi Fosas, who is coming to the end of his first term (2019-2023), during which he has worked to position the Fira as a strategic marketplace that puts folk and traditional culture at the heart of its creativity, and champions arts with unapologetically traditional roots that speak to us in the present. This line of work will continue over the coming three years thanks to the reappointment of Fosas as artistic director.
It has been a busy four days, with 84 performances – 73% of which were premieres – that from the stages and squares have expounded the Fira’s discourse, its 360º working concept, and the objectives of the creative support plans, such as the Roots Workshop and the Plan to Promote Roots Dance (with 28 productions at this year’s event). All this confirms the Fira’s status as a hub, a nexus, a driving force for traditional roots arts, and an event that serves as a barometer for the outstanding creative period that the traditional roots arts scene is currently going through.
In terms of the figures generated by the programme, the average attendance was 84%, with 44 shows selling out their venues (based on data from 2 p.m. on Sunday 8 October). And with regard to the market component, there were 1,159 accredited professionals in attendance, slightly up on last year’s figures.
The 26th Fira was an event that revived the international artistic pulse. One of this year’s most remarkable international productions was the opening concert Evoé!, a reinterpretation of the Southern Italian rituals of collective catharsis in honour of Bacchus, performed by musician and composer Raül Refree and Apulian singer Maria Mazzotta, with accompaniment from the Cor Plèiade. Evoé! marries measure and restraint with staging that is at once majestic and minimalist, gradually intensifying into a celebration of femininity, of wine and, ultimately, of liberation. The show is also part of the Roots Workshop artistic support programme.
In the same vein, the first Focus Més enllà de la Mediterrània is also noteworthy. With Galicia and Portugal as guests, it attracted 60 professionals from the area and featured inspiring artistic offerings from the likes of Caldo, Fillas de Cassandra, Caamaño&Ameixeiras, Os do Fondo da Barra and the Fran Sieira dance company, all from Galicia, as well as Ana Lua Caiano, Fado Bicha, Sara Correa, Pongo and Cindazunda from Portugal.
Another key theme this year was artificial intelligence, with the intention of exploring the roots that speak to us of the future. Part of the official artistic programme was devoted to creation based on tradition with artificial intelligence, which included N.i.U, by Núria Andorrà; Berenguera, by Gerard Franch and Maria Jover; and Crui, by the Orquestra de Músiques d’Arrel de Catalunya (OMAC). Artificial intelligence was also the focal point of the professional activities, as evidenced by two standout moments from the conferences: the opening speech delivered by Lluís Nacenta – the local curator of the CCCB’s Artificial Intelligence exhibition – who reflected on artificial intelligence and artistic creation, and the performance by Manresa-born pianist Manel Camp, who duetted with an AI (guided by engineers Josep Maria Comajuncosas and Philippe Salembier).
With regard to professional activity, the new ÀreaPRO model was consolidated around the Casino Cultural Centre, with indoor spaces dedicated to reflection, training and the presentation of projects, and outdoor spaces set amidst the Casino gardens which were dedicated to networking.
Figures for the 26th Fira Mediterrània de Manresa
Total professionals (curators, press and artists): 1,159
- Catalan: 923
- Rest of Spain: 137
- International: 99
Companies and shows (official sections + OFFs)
- Total companies: 104
- Performance spaces: 21
- Artistic shows: 145
- Fee-paying shows: 68
- Free shows: 77
- Sold-out shows: 44
- World premieres: 35
- Catalonia premieres: 17
- Spain premieres: 4
- Projects in the process of creation: 1
- Album presentations: 1