Projection and internazionalitation of Fira Mediterrània

The Fira Mediterrània opts for overseas projection and internationalization with the participation of creators of 24 nationalities

– Manresa hosts the Fira from 3rd to 6th November with a programme presenting creators from 121 companies and 263 activities

– The Mediterrània Professional Meeting is created with seminars, meetings, networking, training sessions and a Club for Professionals
– Roger Mas, Las Migas, Cabo San Roque, Quico El Célio, El Noi and El Mut de Ferreries & ‘Botifarra’, Taraf de Haïdouks & Kocani Orkestar, Javier Ruibal, Compagnie Nicole & Martin or D’Irque & Fien are some of the names on the programme

Manresa, 14th September 2011.- A total of 121 companies of 24 different nationalities will participate this year in the 14th Fira Mediterrània of Manresa to be held from 3rd to 6th November. Perejaume, the Catalan painter and artist from Sant Pol de Mar, is the invited artist and creator of the opening performance, Ballar la Veu, set around the figure of Jacint Verdaguer. The visual author has worked together with the Fira on the concept of the significance of image –the thematic core this year– and participates in six of the 263 proposals of the tradition factory. These are the opening performance, the exhibition De les imatges del pes, a theatre performance based on his work Obreda, the audiovisual Canigó en 125 veus in which 125 folk voices read a work by the poet from Folgueroles, the set design of the performance La muntanya al teu voltant by Gelabert&Azzopardi and a seminar on El pes de les Imatges.

Programme lines
In this 14th edition, the programme of the Fira Mediterrània opts for activating heritage extending activities to two emblematic areas of the cultural and historical heritage of Bages: the Venue of Manresa –the setting of the opening performance- and the Monastery of Sant Benet- an area where, under the name of Sant Benet Experience, two M3 showings have been programmed. A performance created from the liturgical drama Les Tres Maries, by the Albergueria Company.

One of the wishes of the artistic direction of the Fira is to also explore new sounds of cobla groups. This wish has been granted by three innovative proposals: La Principal de Júpiter, a virtual cobla group in which music is mixed with multimedia elements, actors, jazz combo and narrations, La Cobla Catalana dels Sons Essencials with a proposal that merges classic cobla with more ethnic sound elements of traditional music, and the collaboration of the singer from Solsona, Roger Mas with the Cobla Sant Jordi, one of the most well-known and highly-regarded cobla groups.

With the aim of contributing to the consolidation of family concerts and to counteract today’s shortage of them, the Fira also opts for family concerts with proposals such as Cia. Brossa Quartet de Corda & La Botzina and their performance Cordes Grillades, Xerramequ Tiquis Miquis with Les Musiquetes by Eriçó Bru or the multi-instrumentalist Xavi Lloses and his galactic group: l’Escolania de la Quadratura del Cercle which presents Cançonetes per la Bressola.

And the year the Mediterrània is dedicated to image, there had to be various audiovisual proposals on Catalan traditions and identity. Apart from the audiovisual Canigó en 125 veus by Perejaume, the documentary, La sardana, dansa nacional? showing why the sardana is a heritage dance, the photographer from Vilanova i la Geltrú Ramon Saumell screens the film Bestiari popular del món and Compartir Dóna Gustet presents Arròs movie, the first traditional spoken film –live cinema and music-. Producciones Imperdibles from Andalucia, propose a visual and sound tour of cardinal sins with the performance Los 7 Peca2 capitales, which combines theatre, dance and digital art.

The headlines that can be seen at the Teatre Kursaal include the female quartet, Las Migas, who will perform their first concert in Manresa with Alba Carmona as vocalist, the musical group Cabo San Roque and their project, Bestiari, winner of the Innovation Grant in Popular Culture, the Rumanians Taraf de Haïdouks –Men outside the law'- joining forces with another flagship of the Balkan region, the fanfare from Macedonia Kocani Orkestar, Javier Riubal, one of the most interesting artists of Flamenco inspiration from the south of the Peninsula, and Quico El Célio, El Noi i El Mut de Ferreries & ‘Botifarra’ with La Barraca, a musical and experiential journey from the Delta de l’Ebre in Catalonia to the coast of the region of Valencia.

Internationalization
At the same time as the Fira Mediterrània reaffirms its role as a tradition factory, the Manresa venue also opts for overseas projection and internationalization with the participation of creators of 24 nationalities. Under this objective, this year two internationalization programmes have been generated of traditional Catalan artists with 15 performances in Sweden and Italy. These are Jordi Molina and his tenora, the So Nat group, the percussionist Lluís Molas and the multiple wind sonador Enric Montsant.. The Fira is also the only guest from Spain to the main international music market of the world, Womex in Copenhagen, where it will participate in a conference on the economic impact it generates.

For the first time, the Italian region of Puglia, the Aragon Regional Government and the Andalucia Regional Government will be travelling companions of the Fira. Thanks to their contributions, Habibi Amado -nominated for the Max Awards-, the trio Trivium Klezmer , the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, La Rous and Producciones Imperdibles will all perform at Manresa.

All this in an edition in which the marquee of the Casino disappears and programmed music performances move to other areas to leave the Patio of the Casino free, where for the first time, it will be solely dedicated to circus performances with 3 stage areas -2 marquees and one open-air stage-. The Compagnie Nicole&Martin from Switzerland, the Franco-Belgians D’Irque&Fien and the Catalans Los Galindos, Trifaldó and Lapoet.

Mediterrània Professional Meeting
Parallel to the artistic activities, the Fira has also programmed the Mediterrània Professional Meeting -MPM- addressed to professionals and this year specialising in seeking new business models of the sector. Seminars with more than twenty speakers, networking meetings, training sessions and a Professional Association covering 1000 m2 form part of a proposal aimed at generating interchange and professional links between different cultural agents. In the evening, the MPM proposes –El Vermell- Professionals club to end the day in a more relaxed manner. It is true that the Fira Mediterrània attracts 18.25% of international professionals of the fifteen performing arts fairs in Spain.

This figure comes from the financial impact and perception surveys on the Fair which have been carried out by the University of Deusto, and University Foundation of Bages and the Tourism Laboratory of the Barcelona County Council. It should also be underlined that for every euro which public institutions invest in the Fair, 7 euros are generated in contracting business of the arts sector. 1,650 contracts result between artists of the official selection and those from the Association and other business areas. These contracts produce an induced economic impact of 9,926,000 €, of which 37% are between companies and groups of the official selection, and the remaining contracts are the result of the business of the association and other professional interchange areas of the Fair.

These results, within the framework of a complex economic context, show that the Fira Mediterrània is in good health, which in this edition gives priority to saving measures, calculated at 16% to affect basic cultural initiatives and creators to a minimum, and at the same time maintaining the number of programmed activities compared to the previous edition, and which have been redistributed in 18 areas instead of 30 areas last year.

article submitted by:Jordi Bertran, Fira Mediterrània de Manresa (Catalonia / Spain)