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Culture and Historical heritage

Culture takes centre stage in Formentera

PARASCEVEThe Formentera Council office of culture has unveiled its programme of musical and stage productions to be held in the municipal cinema during the first trimester of 2016. As Councillor Susana Labrador, head of the office, explained: «the programme has something for everyone and runs the gamut of styles and forms of artistic expression. Our goal is to put these cultural productions within the reach of Formentera residents, and to put Formentera at centre stage, be it with opera or theatre, children's shows or musicals».

This Saturday, the opera is coming to Formentera

This year, one of the new items on the programme is called Formentera Viu la Òpera. The idea for the project first emerged as one of the many outgrowths of the move to switch to a digital projection system. Viu la Òpera took form as soon as Formentera made the digital leap. «What we wanted was to share a love of this particular art form», Labrador explained, «so we chose a selection of the most representative works in opera and will be projecting them in high definition at the municipal cinema».

At eight p.m. on Saturday 13 February, Aida de Verdi will be leading the charge. Saturday 12 March theatregoers will be treated to Il Barbiere di Siviglia de G. Rossini, a production of the Opéra National de Paris, and on 2 April, Puccini Tosca, a production of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège. Labrador thanked both the Formentera school of music and dance and Josep Tur Ferrer, a grand aficionado, for their support.

Children's shows

Careful not to forget Formentera's younger audiences, organisers have scheduled the space clown duo Pipo y Tiko for 20 February. If one thing is for sure, it's that this fabulous children's production will have audience members singing, dancing and laughing at intergalactic speeds. Adding to the excitement of Balearic Islands Day on Sunday 6 March, Ibiza-based theatre group Clownidoscopio will bring their production Frágil to Formentera audiences. The group describes their most recent family-friendly effort as «a slapstick production with a healthy dose of humour, tenderness and poetry». Then, on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, Es Cirquet de Circ Bové will sail up to Formentera shores, ready to dazzle residents of Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and la Mola with a show awash in magic, juggling and experiments.

Theatre

Theatre-lovers get their turn on Saturday 5 March with Peludos y Pelados by Eivissa theatre group Es Cubells. This entertaining stage production is set in 1970s Eivissa and premised on an encounter between a local family of farmers and their new neighbours: a group of hippies. On 9 April, audiences will have the opportunity to see the only locally-written production of the 2016 programme: Blai Bonet's Parasceve. Produced by T-Shock, a theatre company in Mallorca, Parasceve is the fascinating story of a family therapist in time of war. Later that same month, on Saturday 23 and Tuesday 26, Espai Frumentaria brings us their most recent endeavour. Perdius combines dance and theatre with a meticulous mise-en-scène.

Music

Everyone holding out for music will get their chance to rock on Saturday 27 February with the Mallorca-based singer-songwriter Tomeu Penya and opening act Eivissencs Rels. On 19 March, André Cebrián and Pedro Mateo González will give a flute and guitar recital.

Talent IB circuit and Platea

Councillor Labrador also spoke about a talent circuit in the Balearic Islands that, with the help of the IEB and the Govern Balear's regional ministry of culture, is aimed at promoting local music and stage productions across the region. This year, Formentera has signed on to the host the talent circuit, she said, as part of our goal to bring quality cultural programming to our local audiences. Formentera welcomes Clownidoscopio (Eivissa), Circ Bové (Mallorca), T-Shock (Mallorca) and singer-songwriter Leonmanso as participants in the Talent IB circuit.

«We have also decided to extend our participation in Platea, a programme of the ministry of culture aimed at promoting and enriching joint productions and exchanges between stage groups». Platea reimburses travel costs for those companies that come to Formentera. Last year four stage productions came to the island as part of Platea. According to Labrador, the 2016 Platea programme will be announced early next month.

CARNIVAL CELEBRATIONS POSTPONED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER

carnaval tormentaThe office of local holidays of the Formentera Council has suspended today's Carnival celebrations due to rough weather conditions. «If weather permits, Carnival will be held next Sunday 14 February», declared the CiF's councillor of culture, Susana Labrador, who lamented having to postpone the popular gathering. «We hope everyone will come out next week, despite the extra effort involved», she said, encouraging all who had prepared fancy dress costumes to hold onto them. «We'll try again next Sunday», the councillor promised.

Pi des Català tower closed January and February

torre des pi des catala interiorThe Pi des Català tower (la torre des Pi des Català) will be closed this month and next to allow holiday time-off for staff. From March the site will be reopened to the public every Saturday morning from ten a.m. to one midday, as was the case in October and December. According to the CiF councillor of patrimony, Susana Labrador, «after seeing the public’s response last summer» – when the tower was open Thursday afternoons from five to seven – «the decision was made to extend public visiting hours into winter, with a slight change». Looking ahead, Councillor Labrador says after the break the intention is «to reopen the tower so more people can continue discovering this important local heritage site».

First tower with access to inside chambers

After a recent remodel, Pi des Català became the first tower on Formentera to allow public visits of its inner chambers. It is classified as a monument on Formentera’s list of cultural heritage sites. Constructed between 1762 and 1763, it is one of four defence towers on the island. Until 1867 the buildings were used both for defence and – more often – as watchtowers.

Carnival 2016 crowds promised an eyeful

RP Carnaval 2016Earlier today the Formentera Council department of culture and local holidays unveiled the activities programme for the 2016 Carnival celebrations. Slated to take place Sunday 7 February, this year's procession is unique because it will wind through Sant Francesc, though, as department head Susana Labrador points out: «The goal is for the Carnival festivities to rotate across the different towns on a yearly basis».

Everyone participating in the fancy dress competition is asked to gather at 11 a.m. at the Sa Senieta parking lot, where signups will take place. At 12 noon parade walkers will set out on their circuit helped along by the tunes of local band ALLSEX. Processionists will head down avinguda del Pla del Rei, then, turning right, continue along carrer d'Eivissa until reaching plaça de la Constitució. They will then travel down carrer Jaume I, hang left onto carrer Marc Ferrer and finally turn left again onto carrer Santa Maria. The parade will then finish in plaça de la Constitució.

Anyone in fancy dress can take part in the running for best costume, and different cash prizes are available. Councillor Labrador heralded a new addition to this year's contest: a family costume category aimed at encouraging Formentera families to come out in style together.

Prizes:
Adult individual
First prize €200
Second prize €150
Kids individual
First prize €100
Second prize €60
Couples
First €300
Second €200
Families
First prize €300
Second prize €200
Small groups [three to ten people]
First prize €400
Second prize €250
Comparsa [more than ten people]
First prize €500
Second prize €350
Floats [with vehicle]
First prize €950
Second prize €650

Once the Carnival processionists have finished the march loop, emceeing duties will be handed over to DJ Pharma, who is sure to get young and old dancing in record time - «this day is all about the fancy dress participants», summed up the cultural department's staff specialist Verònica Arenas.

The lunch bell rings will ring at 2 p.m. and this year's post-parade feast will be handled by the Sant Francesc school's parent-teacher association (APIME), which has promised a free lunch to everyone who comes dressed up. In the words of Councillor Labrador: «Carnival is always such an exciting event. What we really want is to see a big resident turnout at the festivities».

More activities

With the Carnival holiday come a host of other activities. Thursday 4 February a children's costume workshop will be held in the Villangomez library. The local youth centre – el Casal de Joves – has organised a series of activities for young people of the island: on Thursday and Friday afternoon, two mask-making workshops. Also that Friday, at 10 a.m., children of the Verge Miraculosa school will lead their own Carnival celebration in the Sant Francesc town square.

Taking the music of Formentera to Barcelona audiences

Nits-de-Formentera Elena-Marco foto actuació Sala Cultura Formentera copiaNext Friday, 29 January, the Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius in Barcelona will host Nits de Formentera, a show which brings together the best that the Formentera music has to offer. Susana Labrador, the CiF's councillor of culture, read through a list of performers that included local musicians Aires Formenterencs, Imaràntia, Caramelles de Formentera and Xumeu Joan. Labrador underscored the significance of the opportunity «for our artists to take their art to a major hub in the world of Catalan music».

The concert is included in the programming for the 29th Tradicionàrius folk festival as well as Caps de Setmana de les Illes, a weekend event dedicated to the Balearic Islands. Caps de Setmana will also feature Sant Antoni bonfires in the Gràcia neighbourhood, a sampling of Majorcan products and a demonstration of 'ball de bot' dancing. All the events are organised by the Institut Estudis Baleàrics and the Govern Balear's regional ministry of culture. The Formentera Council has also contributed by covering travel expenses for the musicians.

Over the course of the three-month festival some fifty events and concerts are set to take place, with more than sixty groups and artists taking part. Nits de Formentera was previously given 18 December at the Sant Francesc cinema and in November at the Mar i Terra theatre of Mallorca.

Tickets can be reserved at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 932184485.

10 p.m. - concert and 'ball de bot' dance
Door: 10 € / Pre-sale tickets: 8 €

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