L'Illa a Escena, an initiative touting local theatre acts, is back

cartell illa a escenaThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture presents L'Illa a Escena 2018, a lineup of performing arts and music acts ready to take the island by storm in the first half of the year. Roughly translated as “The Island on Stage”, L'Illa a Escena's offering of all-audiences shows aims to promote and foment culture on the island.

The island's cinema, the Sala de Cultura, will be the stage for a diverse smattering of artistic forms and styles stretching from theatre and dance to circus and entertainment for children.

First up, set to take place this Saturday, January 27, is the second Cantada Pagesa, brought to Formentera audiences by the traditional music wing of the island's Escola de Música i Dansa. More than a dozen singers, some new at the game and others seasoned veterans, will take the stage to interpret traditional Formentera songs of the glosat and redoblat forms.

The free concert begins Saturday at 8.30pm in the Sala de Cultura.

Next month, on the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics-backed TalentIB circuit, Formentera will host “Abans que arribi l'alemany”, the first place winner of the region's second tournament of Catalan play-writing. Told from the perspective of a person recently diagnosed with Alzheimers, this adult show speaks to facing reality and adversities head on and an individual's right to arbiter decisions in his or her own life. How would you react? Could you handle it? How would you live with it afterwards?

Brought to the stage by the Produccions de Ferro theatre troupe, “Abans que arribi l'alemany” can be seen for two nights, Thursday the 8th and Friday the 9th, at la Mola's Casa del Poble. Admission is pay what you wish.

Opera fans will have something to talk about this February with “La Novena de Bethoven” (Beethoven's Ninth). Directed by Zubin Mehta and recorded at the Milan Cathedral, this extraordinary musical event took place on June 3, 2017 to mark the site's 650th anniversary.

The Sala de Cultura's screening of the show is set for Saturday, February 10 at 8.00pm. Admission is eight euros.

Also in February and still on the TalentIB circuit it's the perennial children's favourite, “Les Aventures de Gepetto i Pinotxo”. The company behind the show, La Fornal d'Espectacles, boasts 25 plus years of experience in culture and the performing arts. Carlo Collodi's 1881 classic unfolds in a tiny Italian village, where two old friends meet and decide to construct a puppet. Their creation, Pinotxo, will be the son Gepetto has always wanted. But, a born troublemaker, the little wooden boy will be anything but what his father had in mind. Assorted adventures ensue.

Tickets for the production, which hits Formentera's Sala de Cultura at 6.00pm on Saturday, February 17, are three euros.

At the end of the month, islanders can enjoy a recital of piano and Spanish music entitled “Evocación”. Performers at this world-class pairing of music and dance (composers include Albéniz, Falla and Granados) will dust off a style of concert rarely used today. “Evocación” is a performance by pianist, composer and Formentera chorus director Jose Jaime Hidalgo de la Torre and dancer and choreographer Nieves Portas. Both seasoned, world-class artists currently teach at Formentera's Escola de Música i Dansa.

The recital is scheduled for 8.30pm on Saturday, February 24 at the Sala de Cultura. Admission to the event is three euros.

The month starts out with a screening of “Moisés a Egipte”. This opera, which is based on the Israelites' exodus from Egypt under the guidance of Moses, has a romantic twist: the tenor voice, Amenofis, who is the son of the Pharaoh, plots to prevent the object of his affection, Israelite (and soprano) Anaïs, from departing.

The recording will be shown in the Sala de Cultura on Saturday, March 3 at 8.00pm. Admission is eight euros.

A week later, on March 10, it's “Els Mijorals de Don Mariano”, Eivissa troupe Es Molí's show for the whole family. Centred on the figure of Mariano Llobet, this traditionalist comedy recreates life in the Eivissa countryside for a family of mijorals in post-war 1950s.

Free to attend, this production will be at the Sala de Cultura on Saturday at 8.30pm.

Also in March, the island's theatre-going public will be treated to actress/creator Vicka Duran's “Domenica”. The tale of Lourdes, apart from a love story, is also one in which the emotional landscape is wrought by hope, frustration and pain. At the crux of the conflict is the difference between love in the physical and spiritual sense, as encapsulated by two words for love: estimar and voler. In Romance languages the two verbs represent a peculiar pair that, though expressing discrete concepts, are curiously often used synonymously.

For three euros, islanders can see “Domenica” at the Sala de Cultura on Saturday, March 17 at 8.30pm.

This April, a duo of works about poet/artist Blai Bonet come to Formentera at the hands of Tshock Cultura Emocional. "Oficis al carrer" is a stage production and "El teatre de Blai Bonet" is a documentary focussing on Bonet's status as a playwright.

Oficis al carrer” dates back to 1985, when it a student of the Escola Bisbe Verger in Santanyí wrote it as a year-end project. Today, 33 years later, the production has reunited the original cast, who will once again pay tribute to the town of Santanyí's unique trades of bygone times: the desaig, the tailor, the embroiderer, the escorxaribella, the knife sharpener, the rag-and-bone man.

Admission to the all-audiences show, which hits the Sala de Cultura on Saturday, April 14 at 8.30pm, is free.

For Formentera's younger crowds, Menorcan theatre group S'Espai de Circ presents "El Viatge d'en Filo Cordafil". In this fusion of circus, theatre and dance, Tall and his mates invite audiences along for a funny and fantastic journey during which all manner of objects morph into incredible characters. A surprising tale, full of fun, emotion and values, with a painstakingly well-groomed mise en scène that will lead us deep into a world rich in imagination.

When the show hits the island's Sala de Cultura on Sunday, April 15 at 5.30pm, tickets will be three euros.

Support for culture
L'Illa a Escena is made possible by TalentIB, a programme of the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics to support the performing arts.