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Tradition, culture and gastronomy on menu in Sant Francesc

foto festes sant francesc 2018 1The Formentera Council's culture department presents the activities programme to mark the patron saint festivities of Sant Francesc on Monday December 3.

The day gets going at 10.00am in jardí de ses Eres with Es Forn gastronomy group serving up an octopus dish called frita de polp and priced to move fast.

As per tradition, after food there will be a noontime mass to honour the town's patron saint, and revellers will set off on a procession at 1.00pm. Tracing a route around the church, the procession will ultimately arrive back at the square in time for traditional dance and orelletes, a local snack.

Then, at 2.00pm in the festival tent beside sa Senieta, Es Forn will host lunch—arròs de matances.

Back at jardí de ses Eres, Associació Reis Mags will stage a 5.00pm playtime session for children. Things will quiet down until 8.00pm, at which point the association will invite islanders out for a barbecue, or torrada, complete with music from Veronica San Juan. Just around the corner at the same time, the Sala d'Exposicions will host the vernissage of a group Christmas art exhibit.

The day's action will come to an end at 10.30pm with an acoustic concert at the Christmas market.

The latest edition of the John Tunks Memorial Mini Marathon will start in plaça de la Constitució at 10.00am on Thursday December 6.

Formentera newest member of Barnasants cultural initiative

foto barnasants 2The culture department of the Formentera Council has clinched a partnership agreement with the República de Cultura association covering a two-pronged effort—hosting “cultural project” Barnasants here on the island and booking Formentera artists at the 2019 Barnasants in Barcelona.

Formentera, the first in the archipelago to partner with the Barnasants initiative, hopes to cultivate a network of independent artisans of culture in the Catalan-speaking territories to put cultural and language-related initiatives within the reach of islanders, specifically young people and artists.

It seeks moreover to amplify representations of the cultural and ecological realities on the island and raise their profile in other areas of the country where Catalan is spoken.

Culture secretary Susana Labrador praised the framework of the deal, predicting it would “give Formentera residents the opportunity to enjoy two festival acts here locally, and, in turn, be a chance to catapult homespun musical culture to Barcelona stages”.

Barnasants

Projecte Cultural Barnasants began 24 years ago in Barcelona as a sounding board for independent musicians in the winter.

Today it is, for considerable swaths of Catalan-speaking territories, the leading festival of independent songwriting and has grown to become the top cultural initiative of its kind in Europe. With more than 100 performances scheduled every year, Barnasants serves as a vehicle for both established musical powerhouses and emerging talent.

Important deals have filled in to promote partnerships and exchanges with festivals and cultural initiatives in Italy, Occitània, Latin America and the Basque Country. Among other distinctions, Barnasants has been at the receiving end of the Catalonia Generalitat's National Culture Award and Barcelona's Medal of Honour (both in 2012).

What's truly special, according to festival director Pere Camps, “is Barnasants' awareness that culture is a crucial part of social change and progress”. “That's why when it comes to independent music on the margins of what's fashionable, marketable or industry-friendly”, Camps says, “we're in it for keeps”.

This winter and in spring 2019—in February and April—two Barnasants concerts will take place on Formentera. Local singer-songwriter Maria José Cardona will be tasked with representing the island in the Barcelona edition.

Kids' “Safari” enlists animals of savanna to explore bullying

foto-la baldufa safari1The Formentera Council's office of culture announces a 6.00pm performance of Safari, a children's puppet show, this Saturday November 24 in the cinema (Sala de Cultura, €3). Running the show is La Baldufa, a heralded set on the Catalan circuit whose act has been seen in nearly every country in Europe.

Story
Fans will recognise Safari's two leads, Pinyot and Carabassot, from Embolic a la Granja. The pair recount the backstory of their current ordeal in the savanna, where they were brought in search of their missing friend, Lion. When the investigation starts, it's none other than Giraffe, Monkey, Elephant and Crocodile who rise to the task. Their adventure will land them face to face with a weary and reflective Lion, seemingly deprived of his roar. Their minds made up to crack the case and lend Lion a hand, the intrepid detectives of La Baldufa resolve to get to the bottom of Lion's woes.

Culture secretary Susana Labrador flagged the show's underlying theme—bullying—while pointing out “Safari's winning conceit is to use playfulness to get children to think about what behaviour of their own might be hurtful—and at the same time, give them ideas and tools for making peaceful coexistence possible”. Observing Pinyot and Carabassot's tendency to worry, one sees them as prime candidates for comparisons to parents and teachers.   

The company believe in using education and hard work to generate the positive attitudes and action that are crucial to shared spaces becoming sites of copasetic shared living. La Baldufa's twenty years in show business have been characterised by eminent artistic mettle and ideological convictions like solidarity, tolerance and respect.

Safari is part of the Ministry of Culture's Platea programme as well as the Formentera Council-supported theatre series "L'Illa a Escena".

Collective Signatures returns to Formentera

foto collective signatures 3The culture, education and patrimony department of the Formentera Council is lending its support the forthcoming second edition of Collective Signatures, a cultural initiative partnered with Venice International Performance Art Week, Studio Contemporaneo, ED 520 École Doctorale des Humanités (a division of the University of Strasbourg) and Formentera Film.

At the core of the Collective Signatures programme are gatherings organisers call "itinerant residencies", though they could just as easily be described as artists' retreats. The latest will take place on the island from November 12 to 22. In addition to fostering reflection and thoughtful critique around the cultural questions of our day by encouraging participants to write and create, organisers put special focus on the value of creative and experimental writing—whether performed individually or as part of group.

During the retreat, participants learn by doing as they complete a series of artistic challenges and hands-on exercises which incorporate a range of corporal, gestural, sensorial, verbal and intellectual elements. Just what inspires this edition's particular slant? Formentera itself and the island's surrounding natural beauty. Organisers hope experiences at the retreat will push artists to reflect, write, act, produce texts and explore new writing strategies tuned to the sights and shapes so unique to the island.

Sharing work with the community

Apart from the retreat, Collective Signatures will also stage two productions at the cinema (Sala de Cultura)—islanders' chance to sneak a peek at the project.

At 7.00pm on Saturday November 17, Marcel·lí Antúnez will present Systematurgy. Accions, Dispositius i Dibuixos. In what Antúnez describes as a "mechatronic conference", the artist traces his career from its start in the nineties to today. Next up audiences will see Signum, a short film shot on Formentera by VestAndPage that received the support of Francesca Carol Rolla and La Pocha Nostra.

For the retreat's final act, scheduled for Thursday November 22 at 8.00pm, participants will take the stage for a series of individual and group performances and assorted readings based on activities led by VestAndPage, Antúnez and Rolla. At once creative and collaborative, the closing performance will spotlight original work conceived and produced during Collective Signatures.

CROTCH, an experiment in erasing gender

foto crotch 1This Saturday, November 10, as part of a week-long activities programme to mark International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation, the Majorcan performing-arts company Baal will be on the island to present CROTCH, a dance-heavy performance which explores gender identity, to local audiences.

The production's driving impulse is to forefront disobedient, dissident bodies and thoughts, to pave the way for sexual acceptance, to posit the unraveling of gender as a solution to gender inequality, and not only that, but to offer, too, the idea that all of us can be women, men and everything on the continuum between the two.

CROTCH offers a fresh and unusual look at dance, breaking with conventions to articulate a language of its own and find ways for new conversations, not only with audiences but with technology as well.

Islanders can catch the show, which is featured on the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' TalentIB circuit, at the cinema (Sala de Cultura) this Saturday at 8.30pm. It is recommended for viewers aged 18 and over.

In anticipation of the show on Saturday, students at the island's school of dance are invited along with performing-arts professionals to participate in a special master class this Friday.

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Música de les Illes Balears

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