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Areas Social action Culture and Historical Heritage Theatre’s in the air as Formentera welcomes back kids’ entertainment fest and L’Illa a Escena

Theatre’s in the air as Formentera welcomes back kids’ entertainment fest and L’Illa a Escena

cartell 2021 mostra infantilThe Formentera Department of Culture has announced details about the fourteenth Festival of Children’s Entertainment (Mostra d’Espectacles Infantils), a programme of family-friendly productions put together by Sa Xerxa Network of Regional Children’s and Youth Theatre and the Consell de Formentera. The four-show festival runs from 13 March to 2 May.

For reasons related to public health, the typically one-weekend programme will be spread out across several weekends in March, April and May, amounting to what local culture chief Susana Labrador called “an eclectic helping of family-friendly culture”. The councillor also pointed up two recent additions to the 2021 L’Illa a Escena programme: one musical and one dance production, both for grown-ups.

It all starts Saturday 13 March with La Lluna d’en Joan. Joan and his fisherman dad live happily on an island until one stormy night, a crashing wave changes everything. La Lluna d’en Joan deals with the emotions of a boy who is called on to save the life of his father.

Carme Solé Vendrell’s children’s literature classic was adapted for the stage in 2007. Whether in its original illustrated form, or in Teatre Nu’s current production, the story continues to capture hearts today.

La Lluna d’en Joan, a puppet show, is recommended for children ages two and up. Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 6.00pm, Saturday 13 March

On Sunday 14 March, the same troupe will present Raspall, a tale that explores the importance of play, imagination and fantasy. Part of Pere Calders’ Cròniques de la veritat oculta, the magical realism-infused tale holds the complicity and truth-telling of children against the cold logic of adults. It was adapted for theatre audiences by Teatre Nu, who opened it in 2012 at Barcelona’s Festival Grec, masterfully distilling Calders’ trademark playfulness on stage.

How did Sala feel when his parents gave his cherished pet dog Turc to the gardener’s daughter? How did he fill the void left by the dog’s absence? We’ll find out when a duo of actors enlist old junk in the attic to take us deep into a world of fantasy that only youngsters will fully understand.

Raspall is for children five and up. Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 6.00pm, Saturday 14 March

The programme continues on Saturday 24 April with a clown and magic show by Clownómadas. Utopía retraces the tale of a globetrotting clown who has spent years seeking magic in all that surrounds him. This eclectic 50-minute production includes live music, magic, juggling, sleight of hand tricks, and show-stopping “smoke charming”.

Utopía is a family-friendly production and is appropriate for all ages. Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 6.00pm, Saturday 24 April

As the programme concludes on Sunday 2 May, Majorcan director Tolo Ferrà’s On és quan ja no hi és? delves into a subject —loss of a loved one— that is notoriously difficult, particularly for young ones. The production was honoured during a recent celebration of family-friendly coproductions, and offers various ideas for discussing the topic with children.

On és quan ja no his és? portrays death from the viewpoint of a child, an adult and an elderly person — perspectives at once distinct and interconnected. The three theatrical languages alternately merge to present audiences with a surprising final result: visual theatre, object theatre and live-action cinema.

On és quan ja no hi és? is a family-friendly production and is recommended for children over 5. Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 6.00pm, Saturday 27 February

Appropriate safety protocol will be in place at all events. Productions may be postponed based on the unfolding epidemiological situation. Admission is free but reservations are required.

Reservations can currently be made for La Lluna d’en Joan and Raspall by emailing reserves@conselldeformentera.cat before 10.00am on Friday 12 March.

Parents are encouraged to bear in mind the intended audience of each function when reserving seats.

Formentera’s fourteenth Festival of Children’s Entertainment is part of the 2021 L’Illa a Escena programme, which includes two additional music and dance productions for grown-ups.

On Saturday 20 March local flamenco fans can catch El Mawi de Cádiz, a project that is innovative yet time-tested, fresh yet familiar, delivering a steady flow of blood straight to the heart. Audiences will marvel at the masterly fusion of musical harmonies by Alejandro Suárez, percussive beats by Cani Huertas and the walloping force of dancing and singing by El Mawi.

Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 8.00pm, Saturday 20 March

Saturday 17 April marks the return of the Barnasants festival of song. More than a decade after Pau Riba shared his “Jo, la donya i el gripau” album with local audiences, the performer returns for a retrospective jaunt through his poetic universe, dusting off old favourites and communing with the natural world in these times of pandemic.

Sala de Cultura-Cinema, 8.00pm, Saturday 17 April

In the first half of 2021 L’Illa a Escena productions are free to attend. Reservations are required and may be made by sending an email to reserves@conselldeformentera.cat.

After the pandemic-imposed pause on programming, Councillor Labrador insisted that islanders could once again scratch their cultural itch. “We’re thrilled because with six shows in two months, there really is something for everyone”, she asserted.

Cultural support
The Festival of Children’s Entertainment benefits from Institute of Balearic Studies initiatives to disseminate performing arts and the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s INAEM programme to support cultural projects.

Teatre Nu
Teatre Nu’s two-decade trajectory in performing arts have brought 19 productions and more than two thousand performances. They believe theatre is “community art” in which the sum of individual talents serves to help each new project grow. Teatre Nu won the Xarxa Alcover prize at Igualada’s Children’s and Youth Theatre Fest in 2018.

Teatre Nu work at La Casa del Teatre Nu, a space where amateurs and professionals can pursue projects from conceptualisation to execution. More than ten shows are currently in production.

Clownómadas began in Brazil in 2015, when the troupe turned a minibus into a “circus-house” and crisscrossed the country sharing their brand of theatre with places where art is typically lacking. They travelled 25,000km in twelve months, making countless surprising stops and meeting marvellous people and artists from every corner of Latin America.

Though Clownómadas are no strangers to circus and music festivals, the gang have mostly grown their project in the streets of Brazil. Now, with this stage behind them, they have returned to Spain and set up shop on Mallorca, where they are currently cultivating their fundamentals in a bid to keep evolving and developing new original projects.

Coma 14 – Tolo Ferrà
For two seasons running, On és quan ja no hi és? has enjoyed status as a “selected family-friendly coproduction”. This season is extra special, because it features theatres and institutions from across the archipelago, including Mallorca’s Teatre Principal, the Teatre Principal Foundation of Maó, Institute of Balearic Studies, Consell d’Eivissa, Consell de Formentera, Ajuntament de Santa Eulària des Riu and Sa Xerxa.

Sa Xerxa
The Festival of Children’s Entertainment is organised by Sa Xerxa and the Consell de Formentera.

The idea that “culture is a fundamental right” has carried Sa Xerxa through two decades of work and is the main driving force behind the activities they organise. It all started at the regional Children’s and Youth Theatre Festival, or FIET. They see the successful hosting of this year’s 19th edition as an act of resistance and cultural advocacy.

The stage professionals and family spectators who have taken to FIET over the years have ultimately made it one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Spain.

Sa Xerxa is a non-profit that uses volunteers to promote cultural dynamism, creating the means for performing arts programming for children and youth, helping children and youth become agents of performing arts-based participation. They cater to all audiences and strive to bring top-notch theatre to every corner of Balearics, at the same time injecting decisive zing into the industry of cultural productions and promoting family-theatre across the archipelago.

4 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Xarxa de Biblioteques

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics

Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera