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The street and the participation of the general public: key factors in the 25th Fira Mediterrània

The official artistic programme consists of 70 offerings, and promotes marriages between contemporary creators and popular culture, with young people presenting their first efforts. It reflects on the way in which tradition penetrates creation and cultural programming.
2022/07/12 13:05:00 GMT+2

The official artistic programme consists of 70 offerings, and promotes marriages between contemporary creators and popular culture, with young people presenting their first efforts. It reflects on the way in which tradition penetrates creation and cultural programming.

The entire official programme is composed of eight routes, taking in the 25 years of Fira, Manresa 2022, the Popular Songbook and the Plan to Promote Traditional Dance.

The new ÀreaPRO for the ‘El Casino’ Cultural Centre is enhanced; among its activities will be the start of a dialogue between Íngrid Guardiola and Raül Refree, and it will also retrieve an international feeling, through a meeting with the members of the European Folk Network.

After the two festivals that were affected by COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions, the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa is preparing to open for the 25th time: from 6th to 9th October it will erupt into the streets, inviting the participation of the general public. The Fira will open areas for singing and dancing to encourage spontaneous, participative festive activities. The street and the involvement of the community are two essential components of popular culture, and will be the main features of this celebration of the 25 years of Fira.

This is a year in which the artistic programme will include other celebrations: the 500th anniversary of the sojourn of San Ignacio de Loyola in the capital of El Bages (Manresa 2022) and the centenary of the Popular Songbook. The programme will also reap the first benefits of the Plan to Promote Traditional Dance, which was implemented last year by the Direcció General de Cultura Popular i Associacionisme Cultural de la Generalitat de Catalunya and the Fira.

The street and the involvement of the community

The street will have the leading rôle in the opening show and in the sonic commemoration of the 25 years of Fira, clearly anxious to retrieve the public space after two years of pandemic. And for the second year, the Fira has promoted the Obrador d’arrel (Roots Workshop), and both the inaugural show and the sonic commemoration planned for the end of this year’s event are included in this programme of accompaniment of artists who explore new paths, beginning with roots and popular culture.

For the inauguration, the Fira has chosen to return to the street with a large-scale show which combines circus, music and popular culture, and connects with Manresa 2022. This is El Pou de la gallina, by the Voël Dance Company, which reviews the Manresan legend through the contemporary language of the circus together with the colla castellera (human tower) Tirallongues de Manresa.

The sonic commemoration of the 25 years, Narro, will highlight the distinguishing feature of the Fira Mediterrània, the dialogue between tradition and contemporaneity in the context of the city of Manresa. This sonorous exploration, with three bands, during the four days of the Fira, will be led by Pau Benítez, a flabiol player who draws on tradition, and by Joan Cot, a composer who works with electronics. The resulting recordings will be the gift of the 25th Fira Mediterrània, will be shared with the whole world, and will mark the closure of a very special event.

The 25th Fira Mediterrània will also create community participation areas, such as the new PlaÇa de la Fira and the Taverna Cervesa Guineu, which will be intended for dancing and singing. It is hoped that these areas will be replicated in other municipalities. In the same spirit, there will be pairings and dialogues between contemporary creators and popular culture associations. These proposals intend to encourage new ways of regarding popular culture, and to spread these discussions with the associations throughout the territory, beyond the mere organisation of shows.

70 artistic offerings in the official programme

In the 25th Fira Mediterrània there will be 70 offerings in the official programme, 50 of which (71%) will be premières.

The artistic director, Jordi Fosas, continuing along the lines of his original artistic project, again centres his contribution on three major axes: insights (of contemporary artists who include, within their proposals, insights into cultural roots), young people (emerging artists for whom roots are their raw material) and the present (reflecting on tradition today and the way in which it penetrates and impregnates artistic creation and cultural programming). All of this, without forgetting the Fira’s work on all aspects of cultural roots (starting from the cultural heritage, including the associative work which connects this with society, and ending with the professional sector).

Insights into cultural roots and marriages

The image of the 25th Fira Mediterrània is one which proposes a marriage between popular culture and contemporaneity. This relationship is visible in the central figure, a Manresan tadpole dressed in modern clothes, and with the body of Xavier Gumà, who is one of the young people helping to implement the promotional plan, and who is also one of the artists in the Obrador d’arrel. Created by the design studio Kocori, it connects with the concept of insights into roots, popular culture and the intangible heritage which constitutes the Fira’s programme and distinguishes it from other cultural festivals.

In this same vein, the 25th Fira proposes various dialogues and pairings between contemporary creators and popular culture associations: the Voël Company with the Colla Castellers els Tirallongues; the Coro Joven Amigos de la Unión (Friends of the Union Youth Choir) with Marcel Bagés and David Soler; Israel Galván with l’Escolania de Montserrat (Choir of Montserrat); Els Escarlata and Joana Gomila and Laia Vallès with the Esbart Manresà; Roberto Olivan and Arnau Obiols with the Esbart Ciutat Comtal, and Pep Gimeno “Botifarra” with the Unió Musical de Bages, among others.

The prominence of young people

Young artists for whom cultural roots are a creative force continue to be one of the main features of the programme. Commitment to emerging talent is evidenced by the presence, in the cast for the 25th Fira, of many artists who will be presenting their first or second offerings. They include Júlia Colom, Mar Grimalt, Marala, Adrián Vega, Pere Seda, Claudia Serrahima and Àfrica Llorens, among others.

Here and now: the tradition with which we are imbued

The Fira Mediterrània focuses on creative roots which are no strangers to the reality which surrounds us, and which, through popular and traditional culture, speak to us here and now and question us today. This 2022, for the 25th Fira, the intention is to analyse the way in which, today, tradition penetrates and impregnates (or can impregnate) artistic creation and cultural programming.

The programme for the 2022 Fira Mediterrània is composed of eight routes:

Music:

  1. We are going to discover the innovations on the Catalan ‘roots’ stage (including the presentation of the OMAC Juvenil and the new works of Ros, Quico el Cèlio, el Noi I el Mut de Ferreries or Fenya Rai!).
  2. The Mediterranean stage for world music, with Antonio Castrignanò, Marala, Júlia Colom or Mélodie Gimard presenting new recordings.
  3. For the first time, the Festival has prepared a route based on offerings which draw on tradition and which involve experimentation and electronics, with Tarta Relena and Los Sara Fontán with Cocanha, and Ikram Boulum, Cernadas and Jonás de Múrias, among others.

Music and stage arts:

  1. A look beyond the Mediterranean. Fira Mediterrània is going to offer a look beyond its usual sphere, the Mediterranean, so that audiences can discover artists such as the Taiwanese Lin I-Chin, the Québécois Les Archipels and the Portuguese Omiri, among others, who propose interesting views of cultural roots.

Stage arts:

  1. A journey through dance with Israel Galván, Adrián Vega and Magí Serra, among others, and with the first fruits of the Plan to promote traditional dance.
  2. A new journey through theatre and circus, centred on memory, heritage and oral narration, during which we shall be able to see Àfrica Llorens, Cia. Voël, Mos Maiorum and Zum-Zum Teatre, among others.

Proposals for families:

  1. A journey with proposals for families and pupils of the Fira. This year the journey will begin to be restructured, and as well as including proposals which will take the children to theatres, for projects of the Samfaina de Colors and of De Paper, it will include projects which take them into the street (for example, for Memòria sota l’aigua by Alícia Buil), and some others which will bring the artists into the classrooms – an example will be the workshop of the Cor Jove Amics de la Unió which is linked with the Popular Songbook.

Popular culture and the city:

  1. This 2022 there will be a new journey linking popular culture with the city. Starting from Manresan organisations we shall discover examples of popular culture from all over the country, such as the Diada Castellera, with the Tirallongues de Manresa, the Minyons de Terrassa and the Castellers de Lleida, as well as the Trobada de Bestiari de foc.

The Popular Songbook in the Workshop, the rhizome of this 2022

A rhizome is an underground shoot which grows parallel to the surface of the soil and maintains the ability to produce new shoots and roots from its nodes. Thus, starting from a node – an artistic offering from Fira’s programme – the audience can discover people or aspects of popular culture through shoots and roots in the form of parallel activities such as exhibitions, lectures and/or symposia.

The aim of the Rhizome of the 25th Fira Mediterrània is to make known the Popular Songbook, taking advantage of its centenary. The artistic programme includes two projects of the Obrador d’arrel which base their repertoire on the immense traditional heritage of collection. One of the projects is Les Eines, with the Cor Jove Amics de la Unió de Granollers, which recalls the melodies that could be heard during days of work in the countryside at the beginning of the XXth century, and involves arrangements and live musical accompaniment by David Soler and Marcel Bagés. The other project is Solc, with the Esbart Ciutat Comtal and Arnau Obiols, under the gaze of Roberto Olivan. It is centred on the figures of the missionaries who undertook the research work for the Songbook.

In connection with the centenary, therefore, one can visit the official exhibition devoted to the Songbook. There will be lectures, areas for community singing, and an interactive workshop connected with the project Les Eines, with the Cor Jove de la Unió de Granollers, which will take place in the schools.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

The new ÀreaPRO, in the city centre, is enhanced

Using experience from the previous festival, and following participants’ description of its location as “excellent”, the new ÀreaPRO, created last year, will be enhanced this year by having its epicentre in the ‘El Casino’ Cultural Centre, thus forming a professional axis right in the centre of Manresa.

The professional activity will begin with a dialogue between Íngrid Guardiola and Raül Refree

Ingrid Guardiola, the manager of the Bòlit, Girona’s Contemporary Art Centre, and the musician and producer Raül Refree will begin the professional activity by reflecting on the way in which tradition penetrates artistic creation and cultural programmes. And this year, on the occasion of the 25th Fira, Manresa will also reflect on how, today, tradition penetrates and impregnates (or can impregnate) artistic creation and cultural programmes, and the professional sessions on the first day of professional activity, 6th October, will be devoted to this subject. The sessions, which are intended exclusively for accredited professionals, will be organised with the collaboration of the Subdirecció General de Promoció Cultural i el Servei de Desenvolupament Empresarial of the ICEC (Catalan Institute of Cultural Organisations).

On Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October, professional activity will concentrate on discovering New Artistic Projects, both scenic and musical, some of which will be connected with the processes of creating the Festival’s Obrador d’arrel and with the Plan to Promote Traditional Dance. This activity will combine the production of shows or concerts in ‘showcase’ format with presentations of innovations and works in the process of creation.

On Sunday 9th October there will be the second production of Miralls, the future challenges for popular culture, organised in collaboration with the Direcció General de Cultura Popular i Associacionisme Cultura, and which will reflect this year on young people and popular culture.

Among the other activities at the Fira, there will be the traditional quick meetings (arranged between schedulers and artists).

The professional activity resumes its international pulse at the meeting, in Manresa, of the European Folk Network

Manresa will again enjoy the visit of foreign professionals, and, among other activities, it will host the EFN Conference, which is the annual meeting of the European association that brings together professionals from the ‘roots’ music sector. The meeting will include lectures and debates which will be open to all Fira professionals.

The period for the accreditation of professionals begins today, and continues until the days of the Festival.

 ‘OFF’ PROGRAMMING

The aims of the various ‘OFF’ programmes of the Fira Mediterrània are to support emerging talent as it develops towards professionalism and also to promote artistic creation through associations. The Fira is re-formulating its ‘OFF’ programming of stage arts along these lines, creating a new ‘OFF’ programme of dance which is linked to the Pla d’impuls a la dansa d’arrel (Plan to Promote Traditional Dance), and another, of theatre, which is associated with oral narration.

As for music, the Fira is continuing to promote the Concurs Sons de la Mediterrània (Mediterranean Sounds Competition), organised by the Enderrock Group and the Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius. This is intended for emerging groups and soloists who propose folk music and Mediterranean ‘roots’ music. They include the Humus Mediterrani, organised by D'Arrel and including the emerging proposals that are the closest to the roots, and the Estepa Mediterrània, whose proposal is more ‘underground’, and includes the setting of the Casa de la Música with the groups selected within the Creation Support Programme. The final will be within the framework of the Festival.

SALE OF ADMISSIONS

Tickets for the performances may be purchased through the Fira’s website: www.firamediterrania.cat

FIGURES

70 officially programmed proposals:

-           50 premières 71%

-           38 of music 54%

-           32 of stage arts, popular culture and associative work 46%

o          18 of dance

o          11 of theatre and circus

o          3 of associative work with popular culture connected with the city

Origins:

-           11 foreign 16%

-           17 rest of the State 24%

-           42 Catalonia 60%

THE ARTISTIC PROGRAMME

MUSIC

Innovations in the Catalan ‘roots’ scene

Re-romanç | Hiedra Gaya + Marçal Ramon + Ivó Jordà + Atzur – WORLD PREMIÈRE

Music, poetry and ‘visuals’, based on the work of Pedrell, the precursor of the Cancionero musical español

 

La balada d’en Solé Sugranyes | Jaume Aiats – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A pocket opera of traditional polyphonies, about the final years of the militant anarchist.

 

Transatlàntic | OMAC Juvenil (in the process of creation)

Music, theatre and dance led by Arnau Tordera at the first proposal of this young group.

 

Un delta fràgil | Lia SampaiWORLD PREMIÈRE

The young singer from the Terres de l'Ebre recalls the landscape of her childhood.

 

Susbstrat | Guillem BallazWORLD PREMIÈRE

Comments and popular poetry with the essence of voice and percussion.

 

L'Arbre Humà | Roser Gabriel

Our relationship with Nature in the first work of the accordionist from Ribera de Cardós.

 

La Serra dels Perduts | FetusWORLD PREMIÈRE

The group’s punk-rock and tavern songs get closer to folk music, in the company of Carlos Belda.

 

ROS WORLD PREMIÈRE

Traditional Catalan music and the bagpipe, halfway between tradition and modernity.

 

Ilercavònia | Quico el Cèlio, el Noi i el Mut de FerreriesWORLD PREMIÈRE

A journey to the Tierras del Ebro in the times of the Iberians in this new show by los Quicos.

 

Trobada | FlowkWORLD PREMIÈRE

A trio of traditional music with Mediterranean and Celtic sounds and those of European folk music.

 

22 anys Ballant-la | Bauma – WORLD PREMIÈRE

The history of folk dancing in squares. Music and dance with a contemporary perspective.

 

Plaça Major | Fenya Rai! WORLD PREMIÈRE

The second work of this irreverent group takes us to the Plaza Mayor, a place for meeting and fiestas.

 

A Tamarit! | Julivert WORLD PREMIÈRE

Popular songs and tavern songs, with danceable versions and pieces, with a cheerful and carefree mood.

 

L’altra meitat són veritat | Corrandes són Corrandes WORLD PREMIÈRE

A new work of collaboration between Catalan folk music and territories such as the Basque Country, Occitania and the Maghreb.

 

The Mediterranean stage and world music

Babilonia | Antonio Castrignanò and Taranta SoundsSTATE PREMIÈRE

The latest recording of this virtuoso tambourine player and great innovator of the traditional Italian panorama.

 

Zavrzlama | Divanhana – STATE PREMIÈRE

One of the best proposals of sevdah (traditional Balkan music from Bosnia Herzegovina).

 

Los pasos de Beni Xangó | Martín Meléndez and Ermanno PantaCATALONIA PREMIÈRE

Rich timbres and creative originality inspired by the popular culture of Cuba and Sicily.

 

Jota de morir | Marala – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A dirge like that of godmothers, living room to electronics and playing with organic sounds.

 

A BandaPep Gimeno "Botifarra" amb la Unió Musical del Bages (Pòrtic de la Fira)

A union of two of the most popular kinds of Catalan music: the fable and the musical band.

 

[In]Time | Melodía Gimard – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A dialogue between electronic and traditional music which blurs all the boundaries.

 

Espurnes i Coralls | Mar GrimaltWORLD PREMIÈRE

The young lady from Felanitx presents her first EP, the fruit of her award in the 2021 Concurso Sonidos (Sounds Competition).

 

Aclam | Júlia Colom – WORLD PREMIÈRE

The young lady from Majorca sings with the weight of previous generations, and presents her first work.

 

Rap d’Arrel | Tesa & Jonatan Penalba

The rapper and the Valencian singer join forces to revitalise traditional Valencian music.

 

Yenalaba STATE PREMIÈRE

Lyrics of songs from the Languedoc and many traditional Mediterranean sounds for dancing.

 

Songs of Contemporary Creation from Popular and Mediterranean ‘Roots’ Music

A creative period of residence, organised by the Palma City Council and Cançons de la Mediterrània.

 

Electronics and experimentation

ficus·indica | Rodin Kaufmann + María Hein + Azucena Moya + Loís Pezet

A performance of music and poetry to give new meaning to the idea of the troubadour in modern times.

 

Cernadas | crnds and Fransy González

Traditional Galician music is blended with experimental electronic music and its different timbres.

 

Ikram Bouloum

A dialogue between the most modern forms of electronic music and popular and dance music from the Maghreb.

 

Vocal RootsMaria Coma (in the process of creation)

An interdisciplinary piece combining music, performance, sonic art and movement arts.

 

RE-Adrià Grandia + Carlos Martorell + Anna RomaníWORLD PREMIÈRE

On-stage provocation to reflect on tradition, recodify it and imagine its future.

 

4132314 | Cocanha + Tarta Relena + Los Sara Fontán

A musical proposal about the world of textiles, and which transforms tailoring patterns into musical scores.

 

Narro / Joan Cot and Pau Benítez – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A gift of sound based on the Festival’s conversation between tradition, contemporaneity and Manresa.

 

Les Eines | Cor Jove Amics de la Unió with Marcel Bagés and David Soler

Voices, sounds of tools and electronic music reflect the testimony of the Popular Songbook.

 

#mauriziakezdauinorhil CATALONIA PREMIÈRE

Basque creators unite in a live performance with new formats and digital Basque folklore.

 

Empelt | Electrogralla

Roger Andorrà’s gralla moves towards electronics – colouring traditional melodies.

 

OMIRICATALONIA PREMIÈRE

This is one of the most original current projects to re-invent popular Portuguese music.

 

S E B E | Jonás de Murias

A re-mix of sonic material and lyrics from archives of traditional music and popular songs.

PERFORMING ARTS

Dance

Condens | Magí Serra (in the process of creation)

Starting from Brots transhumants, the dancer and choreographer reflects on the way in which we inhabit spaces.

 

Seises | Israel Galván and l’Escolania de Montserrat

The Sevillian bailaor presents a proposal inspired by the traditional baile de los seises.

 

Los lunares del Puma | Adrián Vega WORLD PREMIÈRE

Stimulation of curiosity – an experience of voyeurism which invites us to enter the rehearsal room.

 

Los lunares: yo y mis proyecciones | Adrián VegaWORLD PREMIÈRE

The proximity of digital means of exploring the format for installing performative audiovisuals.

 

mujereson | Patricia Álvarez & Vigüela TríoWORLD PREMIÈRE

A dialogue between this Castilian group and the ballerina specialising in flamenco, among other forms.

 

Frictions | Les ArchipelsSTATE PREMIÈRE

An itinerant piece of contemporary dance inspired by the traditional jig of Quebec.

 

Accolades & Quiproquos | Les ArchipelsSTATE PREMIÈRE

The Quebecois troupe goes deep into the jig, the traditional dance of Quebec, in ballroom format.

 

An Eternity Before and After | Lin I- Chin_Bare Feet Dance TheatreSTATE PREMIÈRE

The performances of this Taiwanese company relate to traditional culture, rituals and character, and to the climate.

 

Transmissió creuada | Lin I- Chin_Bare Feet Dance Theatre (in the process of creation)

A laboratory with Catalan artists studying how to work with traditional dance in a contemporary manner.

 

Dendu | Harrobi Dantza Bertikala Konpainia and Oreka TX – CATALONIA PREMIÈRE

The vertical dance of the Harrobi troupe seeks a balance by uniting with the sound of the txalaparta of Oreka Tx.

 

Empèlt | Maria Ribera Salvador – WORLD PREMIÈRE

Dance and sonic landscapes to pay tribute to the world of the countryside, in the company of Celeste Alías.

 

Credo | Nueva Galega de DanzaCATALONIA PREMIÈRE

A reflection on the crossroads in the contemporary Galician landscape, caught between tradition and modernity.

 

Saumell - Ventura. Viatge d'anada i tornada | Factoria Mascaró + Marcel Casellas Trio + Garazi GoñiWORLD PREMIÈRE

This performance of dance and music combines the parallel sonic worlds of these two forms.

 

Flor de maig | Xavier Gumà and Verònica Hernández WORLD PREMIÈRE

Traditional dance in dialogue with urban and contemporary dance, and based on a popular legend.

 

L’Hereu Riera | L’esbord – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A solo performance involving a dialogue between traditional dance and techniques of contemporary dancing.

 

Si em vagués | LA COMPANYIA MINIMíssimA with Lali Mateu and Roger CusidóWORLD PREMIÈRE

Movement and words become the main elements in the performances of this traditional music group.

 

Solc | Esbart Ciutat Comtal and Arnau Obiols – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A dialogue between dance and the music of the Popular Songbook, based on the missionaries’ journey.

 

Ræpte | Esbart ManresàWORLD PREMIÈRE

A look at the life of San Ignacio, leading to a reflection on the transformation of traditional dance.

 

Heritage, memory and oral narration

El Pou de la Gallina - Projecte Reditus | Cia. Voël with the Colla Castellera (human tower) Tirallongues de Manresa (OPENING SHOW) – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A contemporary look at Manresan legend from the circus, with human-tower participation.

 

Foradada | Moll de l'Os (Àfrica Llorens) (in the process of creation)

Questioning gender through movement, taking inspiration from a legend of Montserrat.

 

Solar | Mos Maiorum AVANT-PREMIÈRE

A cathartic ritual, with real testimonies, to address the problem of energy transition.

 

El Testament / Zum-Zum Teatre WORLD PREMIÈRE

A journey back to the roots, memories, stories, people, objects and dreams of a whole life.

 

(La)Montserrat | Assumpta Mercader and A Piacere grup vocal

The legends of Montserrat helping to describe the fine line between reality and fiction.

 

No sabem res del campo | Claudia Serrahima

A proposal of ‘small-objects’ theatre resulting from an investigation of the rural world.

 

Me & Magdalena | Magda Puig Torres

Contemporary paper theatre reflecting on memory, recall and fiction.

 

ELLS I JO o aquella sensació que els arbres et miren | Companyia Jordi Font

An adventure based on childhood memories peopled by fantastic beasts from Catalan folklore.

 

POI | Cía. D’es Tro

A contemporary show which combines circus arts with the popular game of la peonza (the spinning top).

 

NIMBES | Fil d'arena

Women aged 4 to 70 take to the stage to speak about the invisible legacy we pass on to each other.

 

Schoolchildren and their families

Sense lluna | Samfaina de ColorsWORLD PREMIÈRE

Music and scenic resources to describe, allegorically, the phases of the moon.

 

Miranius | De paper

A show about the consequences of human activities for the animal world.

 

Alicia Buil | Memòria sota l’aigua

A poetic tribute to the residents of villages that are submerged in water due to the proliferation of dams.

 

Taller Les Eines | Cor Jove Amics de la Unió

A workshop to study the Popular Songbook and the rural work of missionaries.

 

Conferència La balada d’en Solé Sugranyes | Jaume Aiats

A lecture, for centres of education, about the transition and recent historical memory.

 

POPULAR CULTURE AND THE CITY

Diada Castellera | Colla Castellera Tirallongues de Manresa, Castellers de Lleida and Minyons de Terrassa

 

Trobada de Bestiari | Xàldiga Taller de Festes

Cercavila (parade) and enceses de lluïment of the six participating colles.

 

Les músiques del correfoc | Orquestres Juvenil i Simfònica and Banda Simfònica del Conservatori Municipal de Música de Manresa (Youth and Symphony Orchestras and Symphonic Band of the Municipal Conservatory of Music of Manresa) with Xàldiga Taller de Festes

A fusion of orchestra, traditional music band and popular culture with the sounds of the correfoc (fire-run) of Manresa.