The Fira Mediterrània closes its 23rd edition with an emphasis on safe and essential live culture
The Fira has addressed the challenges posed by COVID-19 with an exceptional edition combining online and in-person events, assuming an extended 6-day format.
It offered a high-quality schedule, using our “roots” and popular and traditional culture as a creative motor
The Fira has accompanied seven artistic residencies and twelve co-productions, making it easier for these companies to put the finishing touches to their artistic projects
Manresa has become an artistic marketplace for yet another year, bringing together 1,195 professionals from 670 different entities with the artists and companies who feature on this year’s schedule.
Audiovisual material has been created for the professional activities and the 23 artistic proposals, which will remain available for the next few months.
Manresa, 18 October 2020 Today marks the end of the 23rd edition of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, the second under the artistic direction of Jordi Fosas. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Fira has managed to offer a high-quality schedule comprising 46 different performances, each using our “roots” and popular and traditional culture as a creative motor.
Since the 23rd edition was announced in July, the Fira has prided itself on its flexibility, adapting to the unpredictability of the constantly-changing health crisis. Finally, the 23rd edition of the event was held from 13 to 18 October with all safety measures in place, complying with the latest restrictions imposed by the Catalan regional government last Wednesday.
Over the course of four days, a total of 54 companies performed 56 different events. Of these companies, 41 were from Catalonia, 10 were from elsewhere in Spain and 3 were from other countries. The schedule comprised 31 premieres: 22 full premieres, 3 pieces performed for the first time in Catalonia, 2 performed for the first time in the rest of Spain and 4 which are currently in the creation process.
This year, the Fira has provided a platform for 670 entities and 1,195 accredited professionals, representing a slight increase on last year. 943 of these professionals were Catalan, 151 were from elsewhere in Spain and 101 were from abroad. With such impressive figures, the Fira would like to thank the sector’s response and reaction to this year’s call, which took place under such difficult circumstances.
The Fira follows through on this year’s artistic project
The Fira’s team has followed through on the artistic project conceived for its 23rd edition, staying true to its commitment to, and responsibility for, the artistic sector, and adapting to the constantly changing public health situation. Furthermore, co-productions with entities and institutions, proposals from emerging young talents, modern-day contemplations of our “roots” and territory and the subject of sustainable development have featured heavily on our stages, exactly as originally planned.
Both spectators and professionals have had the opportunity to experience the work produced by the Fira Mediterrània in its 360-degree workshop, joining forces, connecting and weaving complicities with the various sectors that co-exist in Manresa. This year, the Fira has accompanied twelve original productions, co-productions and collaborations, helping the respective companies to put the finishing touches to their artistic projects in creative residencies.
Unfortunately, popular culture—one of the main protagonists of the Fira Mediterrània’s artistic proposal each year—didn’t have a presence in the streets of Manresa during this edition. This morning, however, it played a prominent role in the Catalonia Regional Government’s Department of Culture’s presentation of its “Roots” Dance Promotion Plan.
The success of the Virtual Marketplace maintains the Fira’s market essence
Activities addressed exclusively for professional audiences were held between Tuesday 13 and Saturday 17 October in the form of professional conferences, “speed dating” meetings, project presentations, conversations with artists and artistic project schedules, conceived to be a space of reflection and, particularly, an opportunity for professionals to establish connections. A large proportion of the activities and professional contacts took place in a practical and efficient manner in the renewed Virtual Marketplace, which has been updated, adapted and packed with new features conceived especially for this year’s event. This platform was made available to accredited professionals for the duration of this year’s Fira. This new format enabled professionals to establish and maintain contact, albeit virtually, with the companies, while ensuring the market essence of the Fira Mediterrània for yet another edition. This new platform was rated highly by the Fira’s team and the accredited professionals. It was so successful, in fact, that some contracts were finalised during the meetings.
Professional activity was also enjoyed off-screen, with live schedules of theatrical and musical projects representing the first face-to-face meetings for many professionals from the sector.
Streaming and audiovisual material: facilitating tools for accredited professionals
To compensate for the reduced capacity and to facilitate the viewing of artistic proposals—particularly for accredited professionals who weren’t able to attend the event in person—the Fira streamed 23 shows and concerts via “The Fira Live” in its Virtual Marketplace this year, in collaboration with the local television network and the Institut Ramon Llull. These included the inaugural show ZA! & La TransMegaCobla; Nocturns i diamants by Coloma Bertran; Vega by Paula Grande and Anna Ferrer; Paradís by Joana Gomila; Gaudeamus Omnes by Alexandrae; El ball i el plany by Joan Garriga i el Mariatxi galàctic; Folkestral by Quartet Brossa and Talismán by Marco Mezquida, amongst others.
The Fira also produced original audiovisual material to improve the market experience for accredited professionals and to help bridge the gaps imposed upon us during the COVID-19 pandemic. One such example is the Contemplations of our “roots”: online conversation capsules. These were brief conversations between artists and journalists conceived to present these creations to accredited professionals, representing an opportunity for them to discover the various proposals away from the stages. Another example is the live stream of the Brots Transhumants project, in which dancer Magí Serra and musician Arnau Obiols, accompanied by audiovisual creator Pere Camps, joined forces to carry out a six-day transhumance. At 9 PM tonight, a film documenting this experience will be shown to mark the end of this year’s edition.
The positive impact of this year’s Fira Mediterrània will still be felt over the coming months through its new Virtual Marketplace, allowing accredited professionals to check the platform’s content for a limited period of time.
Modified timetable and three cancelled shows
The Fira needed to react quickly to the new measures introduced by the Catalan regional government last Wednesday. It was forced to modify the show times for seven artistic proposals, owing to the need for events to finish by 11 PM. The Fira managed to hold all of these performances, except for two shows scheduled for the Pagans Dance Company.
On the other hand, the Fira had to suspend some shows of scheduled artists. Simon Mayer’s SunBengSitting was suspended due to recent international mobility restrictions imposed by the government of Austria, where the company is based, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; Explica Dansa’s Tra tra tra. Tradició, Conferència ballada via streaming could not be held because one of the company’s members was required to self-isolate; and Marina Satti & Fonès’ Yalla could not be performed owing to a strike in a Greek airport.
Indicators from the 23rd Fira Mediterrània
Total number of professionals (producers, press and artists): 1,195
Rest of Spain: 151
Companies and performances
Total number of companies: 54
Companies from Catalonia: 41
Companies from the rest of Spain: 10
Performance venues: 13
Artistic performances: 56
Paid performances: 47
Free performances: 9
- Full premieres: 22
- Premiere in Catalonia: 3
- Premiere in Spain: 2
- Projects in the creation process: 4
The 24th edition of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa is due to take place between 14 and 17 October 2021.