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New takes on old faves — Formentera spectators of all ages gear up for weekend of theatre

Foto un tramvia anomenat desig 2The Formentera Council's Office of Culture reports that this weekend the local cinema (Sala de Cultura) will host two performances of stage productions. Tomorrow, Saturday March 4, El Somni Produccions brings its “Un tramvia anomenat desig,” a recasting of “A Streetcar named Desire”. Admission for the 55-minute show, which gets going at 9.00pm, is five euros for adults and three euros for anyone under 25.

Clinging to the past and her own bourgeois pride, Blanche Dubois pays a visit to her sister Stella, a vivacious woman who, together with her rather gruff husband, Stanley Kowalski, stands firmly in the present. Tennessee Williams' production is chock full of neurotic, fierce and tormented characters, who, every one of them, hold out hope they will catch that last train, the one known as Desire. Sergi Baos adapts and directs this acclaimed Williams piece.

Baos claims his overriding inspiration in choosing the play was its treatment of “that fragile balance we all occupy. Any old occurrence, however small, can set off the bomb within—unleash the violence that's inside all of us. Lorca, Büchner, Koltès, Mouawad and Cela understood it as well. They're all aboard this 'streetcar' too. Any human story is a story of violence”.

Theatre for kids
Sunday March 5, the little ones can look forward to Musics Viatgers' production of “Els Músics de Bremen” (“Town Musicians of Bremen” as it is called in English). The free show, which starts at 6.00pm in the cinema, is based on the traditional Brothers Grimm tale of the friendship and resolve of four abandoned animals: a mule, dog, cat and rooster. When their future as home-body pets suddenly becomes uncertain, the four decide to start an orchestra and chase stardom in Bremen.

The original score from musicians/puppet-masters Brönnhilde Ekermans Visagie and Francesc Bonnín Socías is based on popular Balearic melodies. Buoyed by refreshingly quaint techniques of shadow play, Músics Viatgers take us to a world where bright lights and wild imagination are set against meticulously crafted aesthetic and music.

Balearic holiday boasts entertainment for young and old

Colles de ball dia de les illesEarlier today the Formentera Council's Offices of Culture and Holidays unveiled their programme for Balearic residents' annual celebration of the region, Dia de les Illes Balears. Department head Susana Labrador said the holiday (alternately referred to as “la Diada”) would happen Tuesday March 1, with the administration hosting its official observance at 1.00pm in Sant Francesc's main square, plaça de la Constitució. Onlookers will be treated to performances by traditional dance troupes Es Xacoters and Es Pastorells and a selection of favourites from local cuisine will be served by the Es Forn gastronomic association.

The starting shot of the third Cursa de la Dona walk/run will be fired earlier that same day — at 11.00am for runners and an hour later for walkers. Participants will set off on a 5 or 10k circuit which starts from and loops back to plaça de la Constitució. Money raised through collections of the €10 registration fee will be channeled to the AECC, Spain's anti-cancer association. Participants will also be given a T-shirt at signup. From 2.00pm there will be a community paella, €10 for adults and €5 for kids.

Storytelling
Diada-related events will begin popping up as early as tomorrow. From 6.00pm on Thursday February 23, the Marià Villangómez library in Sant Francesc will host an evening of storytelling called “El gegant d'Es Vedrà”. The following Thursday will see another storytelling session, this time on Equality, in the Sant Ferran library at 5.00pm.

Simultaneous concerts across the Balearics
On Saturday February 25, Marcel Cranc and Quin Delibat! will head up performances at Centre Antoni Tur Gabrielet. The show starts at 9.00pm and snacks will be offered between concerts. Each of the four islands will host a visiting Balearic act in a bid to promote musical and cultural exchange among the islands.

Basketball tournament
The fifth Balearic Islands' basketball tournament, sponsored by Trasmapi, will take place between Tuesday February 28 and March 1. Teams from all across the region will take part in the event, which will also serve as a backdrop for a training course for aspiring coaches.

Theatre
The weekend of March 4 and 5 is one of theatre for all ages. Saturday March 4 at 9.00pm, Somnis Produccions will perform “Un tramvia anomenat desig” (“A Streetcar named Desire” in English) to the crowd at the local cinema. Admission to the 60-minute show is five euros or three euros for spectators under 25. “Els Músics de Bremen” (“Town Musicians of Bremen”), by the Musics Viatgers theatre company, is scheduled for 6.00pm in the cinema. Fifty-five minutes in length, that performance is free and recommend for children three and up.

This Sunday, Formentera celebrates Carnaval 2017

Foto carnaval 2016 premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council's Office of Culture and Local Holidays unveiled details of Carnaval 2017 festivities, which are scheduled to take place Sunday February 26 in Sant Francesc. Participants are called upon to gather in the Sa Senieta car park at 11.00am to sign up for the day's contest. Setting off at 12 noon, the procession will wind down main streets of Sant Francesc, helped along by the music of Voice & Senses.

The parade route will have participants walking up avinguda Pla del Rei to carrer d'Eivissa and then onto plaça de la Constitució. From there, they'll descend carrer Jaume I, turn first onto carrer Marc Ferrer and then carrer Santa Maria before finally returning to the town square. Anyone in fancy dress can take part in the day's contest and will be eligible for numerous cash prizes.

Prizes:
Adult (individual)
First place €200
Second place €150

Kids (individual)
First place €100
Second place €60

Couples
First place €300
Second place €200

Families
First place €300
Second place €200

Small groups [three to ten people]
First place €400
Second place €250

Large groups [ten plus]
First place €500
Second place €350

Floats [with vehicle]
First place €950
Second place €650

As culture and holidays councillor Susana Labrador pointed out, post-parade tunes will be provided by DJ Pharma, who will do his best to get both young and old dancing. “It's a day when everyone in fancy dress is a star,” said the councillor.

Lunch starts at 2.00pm, with a community meal organised by parents of six year students and the parents' association of Mestre Lluís Andreu. Proceeds will go to fund students' year-end trip. Anyone in fancy dress eats free. In the words of Councillor Labrador, who underscored the excitement and effort involved in making Carnaval a success, “Here's hoping everyone who wants to will have a ball”.

Experts study restoration of can Ramon

foto estudi can ramonAccording to an announcement from the Office of Patrimony of the Formentera Council, this week a restoration team from Universitat Politècnica de València specially trained in historical heritage sites will begin mapping and studying potential obstacles at the can Ramon building site. According to office head Councillor Susana Labrador, the present studies will lay the groundwork for future upgrades of the building.

The team of ten specialists is led by Dr Fernando Vegas, senior lecturer at Universitat Politècnica and member of the drafting committee of Spain's national plan for traditional architecture. The group's work is expected to conclude in four months and cost €21,659.

Historical context of can Ramon
At the same time, archaeologist Glenda Graziani is heading up another historical study on past building efforts at can Ramon, thus complying with Formentera's subsidiary regulations on architecture as established in the local catalogue of cultural heritage sites. Graziani's project carries a cost of €6,625.

Future ethnographic museum
The current work, which began only after building studies and other preparations had been completed, must precede the building's actual restoration. Can Ramon, including the house and historical well found on the property, was acquired by the Formentera Council on the premise that the restored building be used to house “Formentera's store of public and privately-held museographic collections on ethnography”.

Precise chronological records for the house have yet to be defined. More modern estimates put its construction in the mid to late 1800s, though certain features of the property could come from the eighteenth century. Can Ramon is given protection level C on Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites. It is a traditional rural home, albeit with larger than normal dimensions, where farming and livestock operations were very nearly industrial in scale. Today, the catalogue details how can Ramon's operators even made wine on site. Given its traditional architecture, the adjacent well is also included on the catalogue. It possesses protection level A.

Syrian artist to take stage post-paella as part of next Saturday's “Formentera amb Síria”

artista siriaThe Formentera Council's Offices of Cultura and Social Welfare, alongside the NGO Progreso y Desarrollo Humano, have launched Formentera amb Síria (Formentera with Syria). The keynote act, Saturday February 18, gets going at 2.00pm with a fundraiser paella in the festival tent at the car park of Sa Senieta. A recent addition to the day's programme is a concert by Syrian artist Ashti Abdo (Aleppo, 1982), scheduled for 5.30pm.

During the performance, Abdo will show BEJA, his own video reflecting on the war raging through his country. He spent five years writing the piece, and provides his own accompaniment on a typical Syrian saz. He also interprets traditional Kurdish airs, songs that grapple with the lives of Kurdish people, the tales of refugees and, even, love stories.

The Formentera music school's clarinet ensemble performs at 5.00pm, before Nieves Portas leads a show by students of the municipal dance centre. Next up are Lunares, Voice & Senses and La 22, leaving the final spot for the “solidary discomobile”. The party stops at 1.00am.

Visit from Nadia Ghulam
Artist and refugee Nadia Ghulam gives a talk on Wednesday, 7.30pm in Centre Antoni Tur Gabrielet. She will also be at the festival's point of sale, which the centre hosts Monday through Friday next week, 12 noon to 2.00pm and 6.00 to 8.00pm. All proceeds go to benefit Progreso y Desarrollo Humano.

Cinema and theatre for a cause
Recall that next February 17, Friday at 9.00pm, a screening of documentary filmmaker Jordi Évole's Astral will be held in the municipal cinema (Sala de Cultura). On February 19, Sunday at 5.30pm in the same venue, Iguana Produccions present their Hanna dels tres països to audiences six to twelve. The same day at 8.00pm there will be an additional screening of Astral. Tickets for the event cost three euros and benefit the NGO “ProActiva Open Arms”.

Organisation of the events was shared between the Council and Progreso y Desarrollo Humano, a local association founded in 2012 to work on social issues and cooperation in the Global South. All money raised benefits ADSN, a group working with Syrian refugees in Greece. Other sponsors include the Pityusic Islands cooperation fund, Carlin, Baleària, Dignitis, Acción Directa Sierra Norte, Formentera Service and comunica360.

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