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Classes back in session at music and dance school

Foto actuacio de dansaFormentera's school of music and dance began the 2017-2018 academic year last week with roughly 320 students. Courses at the centre, overseen by a 13-person staff of ten music and three dance instructors, take place at both the basic, or “elementary,” and non-standardised professional level.

The school offers a certificate programme at the elementary level in transverse flute, guitar, piano, clarinet and trumpet. Other courses of study do not lead to certification (called no reglats) and include introduction to music for five- to seven-year-olds and traditional music workshops, while professional training is also available for students as they move beyond the basic level. Similar non-certificate classes are offered for students learning band instruments like piccolo, saxophone, French horn and tuba.

Novice dancers aged three to seven can hone their skills with introductory classes. The Escola de Dansa, or "School of Dance," also offers certificate-track learning (elementary dance, devised for children eight and up considering professional careers in dance). They also offer non-certificate classes in modern dance, flamenco and, a first this year, classical dance.

Culture and education secretary Susana Labrador called it “a way for Formentera residents of all ages to discover music and dance, whether pro or just for fun”.

Choir and musical band
The Escola accommodates two particularly large  groups that are open to the public. The longest running to date is the island's polyphonic choir, which comprises some sixty people. This free activity, while designed for people with an interest in music, does not require previous study. The choir meets 90 minutes once weekly.

The sixty-person Formentera band, now in its second year, is composed mostly of wind-instrument players. Weekly classes include one hour of group lessons in the chosen instrument, an hour of music theory if no previous study has been done, and 90 minutes of band practice.

Santa Cecilia
On November 22, the music and dance school celebrates Saint Cecilia in the Sant Francesc church. Attendees will get a look at the instruments that can be studied at the school, as well as performances from the polyphonic choir, the music band and students of dance.


Next week, seventh round of Joan Marí Cardona local research seminars

Jornades estudis locals joanmaricardona 2017The Formentera Council's heritage office wishes to announce that next week, October 2-6, the island will welcome back the Joan Marí Cardona research seminars for their seventh year. The day-long conferences, or jornades, will run from 8.00pm in the Office of Culture and Heritage's conference room.

“Since 2011, the Jornades d'Estudis Locals have been a way for the Council to promote research related to Formentera's cultural heritage,” explained patrimony secretary Susana Labrador. “This year's mission is the same”.

The following speakers were chosen for this year's programme:

Marina Mayans Marí, chemist, for research on ethnobotany on Formentera.
Benjamí Costa Ribas, head archaeologist at the Museu d'Arqueologia d'Eivissa i Formentera, for his expertise on Formentera's undersea archaeological patrimony in the museum's collection.
Maria José Escandell Torres and Ricard Marlasca Martín, archaeologists, for their work on the Byzantine necropolis dig site at carrer del Metge Vicent Riera in Sant Francesc Xavier.
Francesc Xavier Torres Peters, Eivissa cathedral canon and liturgy and patrimony delegate diocese, for his insight on Formentera-related documentary sources in Eivissa's historical Pabordia archives.
Antoni Marimon Riutort, professor of contemporary history in the Historical Sciences and Theory of the Arts Department at the UIB, for his historical research on Balearic emigration to Latin America.

In this way, the conference program is configured as follows:

Monday 2 Introduction to the ethnobotany of Formentera
Marina Mayans Marí

Tuesday 3 The Formentera heritage preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Eivissa and Formentera Benjamí Costa Ribas 

Wednesday 4 A new Byzantine necropolis on Formentera: burials at sa Tanca Vella                                  Maria José Escandell Torres and Ricard Marlasca Martín

Thursday 5 Documentary testimonies of Formentera in the historical archive of the Eivissa Pabordia
Francesc Xavier Torres Peters

Friday 6 Balearic emigration to Latin America. The case of Formentera
Antoni Marimon Riutort

As in the last year, the Formentera Teaching Centre has included the series of conferences within the educational offer for teaching staff, so that the Ministry of Education of the Government of the Balearic Islands will recognise the credits Those interested in attending the sessions.

Continuing education course on using lime in historical restorations

Foto ca na francisca castellona 027The Formentera Council's local heritage office has partnered with the Museo de la Cal, or “Lime Museum,” of Morón de la Frontera, Sevilla, and the island's small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF), to schedule a training course October 16-19 on lime and how to use it to restore historical structures.

The CiF's heritage secretary called it “hands-on learning with a bit of theory thrown in the mix” on the uses and application of lime (calç in Catalan) in historical restorations. The classes are intended especially for professionals with jobs in construction, architecture and restoration.

Instructor Luís Prieto is a craftsman employed by the Museo's training programme. Participants in Prieto's course get 16 hours of instruction afternoons from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. Registration is free and can be done through the PIMEF or the CiF culture and local heritage offices.

“Incorrect production and application of lime mortar is one of the leading problems affecting Formentera's heritage sites. The cultural heritage branch of the Council has pressed for training programmes for field professionals because, ultimately, they are the ones enlisted in efforts to restore structures of noted historical importance,” explained the secretary.

Training residents to use traditional architectural techniques and material is discussed in Formentera's 2017-2019 directive on cultural heritage. It has been in effect since its adoption by the Council in plenary.

Formentera, more theatre and more dance

L'Illa a Escena, the Formentera Council culture department's autumn music and performing arts programme, is back. There is something for everybody on the cultural catalogue scheduled to hit the Formentera cinema, plus, artists from across the creative spectrum, peddling theatrics, dance and children's shows.

As September comes to a close, the acclaimed theatre group es Cubells will be teeing up their latest work, Operació Peix Frit, for island audiences. It is a comedy about some crafty government employees who hatch a scheme to dupe country folk who have won first prize in a Christmas lottery.

The show is on Saturday 30 September at 9.00pm in the cinema.

The month of October is youngsters' chance to see Akari, a contemporary dance show from celebrated troupe Date Danza. Light holds the starring role in this production, and two dancers show how adults are reflected in newborn babies as they grow.

The show starts Sunday 1 October at 6.00pm in the cinema.

Another October feature is Periferia Teatro's kids' puppet show, Vola Ploma. In this show about freedom and respect for our true nature as human beings, the lead gets the chance to realise her dream. The audience, for its part, gets to join her in flight.

The show opens Saturday 28 October at 5.30pm in the cinema. Akari and Vola Ploma are part of the Spanish cultural ministry's programme Platea to promote partnerships between professional dance, theatre and circus groups, enrich the performing arts and act as a source of culture.

Hilos comes to town in November. Crowned with the 2011 National Award for Children's Performing Arts and five-time winner of the European Children's Performing Arts Fair, Rosa Díaz weaves a tale of love between a mother and her newborn, of the passage of time and of the ties that bind us to life. Hilos is part of the Ministry of Culture's Platea programme.

Hilos is scheduled to open Saturday 11 November at 9.00pm in the cinema.

This year, Formentera celebrates International Children's Day with a show for the whole family that is loaded with physical theatre, puppets and music. Codi Postal 00 traces the letters and parcels whose humdrum qualities metamorphose into something tender-hearted. It is part of Sa Xerxa and Platea's programme of family-friendly productions, now in its eleventh year.

Codi Postal 00 is presented by Engruna Teatre and opens Saturday 25 November at 6.00pm in the cinema.

Produccions de Ferro's Peccatum is part of TalentIB, an initiative of Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics. With Toni Gomila taking on joint duties as writer and actor, the show settles into la Mola's Casa del Poble on 10 December.

The show is a pastiche of our most popular folk tales, culled and served up with ribald aplomb by Mossèn Alcover. Gomila and Catalina Florit employ some of popular culture's most common orally-transmissible vices, sins, vulgarities and smut in interpreting the piece.

This adults-only show begins its two-day run at la Mola's Casa del Poble on Thursday 30 November at 8.30pm.

For younger crowds, Produccions de Ferro also presents Viatge a la font de xocolata. This show, whose title signifies “Journey to the chocolate fountain,” combines acting, puppets, masks and other visual devices to tell a universal tale of affirming, optimistic and constructive learning that is also packed with emotion.

The show comes to the cinema on 28 December at 5.30pm.

Promoting culture
L'Illa a Escena gets support from Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' TalentIB and Platea, a Ministry of Culture programme to foment culture.

Researchers' study of language trends among youth wins Formentera Council's 2016 grant

foto consell premsaAccording to an announcement from the Formentera Council's heritage office, a project titled “Formentera's changing Catalan: a look at language as spoken by young people,” headed up by Dr Francesc Josep Torres Tamarit, Maria del Mar Joan i Marí and Dr Rob Jelier, has been awarded the Formentera Council's research grant for 2016.

Of fifteen applications received, thirteen met the requirements for entry. The projects were then reviewed by a committee based on scientific interest, coherence, methodology and the researchers' professional credentials. As heritage secretary Susana Labrador reported, “One project remained at the end of our review: Aproximació al català de Formentera”.

Roughly translated as “A study of locally-spoken Catalan,” the project will explore intergenerational variations in language. Labrador says the study's practitioners have set their sights on another milestone too: a web-based collection of their related data, accessible to anyone. In addition to responses taken from language questionnaires (including information about verbal morphology and Catalan's so-called “weak pronouns”), the data would also encompass childhood anecdotes recounted by respondents. Councillor Labrador described the study's potential audience as diverse, enfolding “the general public, linguists, dialect specialists, professors and even social sciences researchers”.

One of the study's pillars, a reflection on the sort of Catalan taught in Formentera schools, will include a proposal emphasising spoken Catalan in the instructional approach to weak pronouns. Researchers will study the need to teach the grammar of a language as it is actually used by its speakers. Traditionally, the brand of Catalan spoken on Formentera differs from the mainstream written form, and, the researchers say, the local blend of the language is currently undergoing a metamorphosis.

More grant money
Labrador reported on the 9 September launch of a new call for applications, the conditions of which were recently published on the Official Bulletin of the Balearic Islands (BOIB for its initials in Catalan). The Formentera Council's 2017 grant will provide €6,000 to whichever individual or group study holds up to competitive review.

As in the previous two years, applicants' areas of specialisation can include the arts, humanities and social sciences. Researchers will have twenty business days to present applications.

Projects must have a title, description, theoretical plan, research methodology, objectives, detailed plan for work and cost estimates.

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Ràdio Illa

Teatre de les Illes Balears

Música de les Illes Balears

Xarxa de Biblioteques

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics

Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera