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Catalogue of activities heralds arrival of Christmas on Formentera

Redux mercat nadalThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture and Festivities wishes to announce its activities programme for the 2017-2018 Christmas season. The list is studded with kids' activities, family-friendly shows and other programming that, according to department chief Susana Labrador, aims to foster a “special, Christmas atmosphere”.

The fun starts Friday, December 1, as a yearly fixture, the Mercat Nadalenc, or Christmas Market, returns to plaça de la Constitució. Right after vendors hang out their shingles at 5.30pm, the primary school students of la Mola and Sant Francesc's Col·legi Mestre Lluís Andreu will treat Formentera revellers to an evening of carols. As the days go on, the plaza will play host to the musical guests of the season.

The island's youngsters, for their part, are promised winter holidays with plenty of arts and crafts workshops and stage productions. Christmas posters already up around town include the complete schedule. Diverespai is also back in town from December 16 to 20, meaning blow-up castles and countless other activities for children.

Kids activities
Now in its eleventh year, when Formentera's Children's Theatre Festival (Mostra d'Espectacles Infantils) happens on December 28 and, in the new year, January 16 and 18, it promises a diverse blend of Christmas entertainment for the island's youngest. It all starts with Viatge a la Font de la Xocolata, a stage production by Produccions de Ferro that mixes theatre, puppetry, masks and other visual elements to convey a message that is positive, optimistic, constructive and full of feeling. For all audiences.

Tuesday, January 16, the Sant Ferran library will host Canta'm el món, a fantastic storytelling affair presented by Eivissa's own Clownidoscopio.

Clownidoscopio will be back at Biblioteca Marià Villangómez on Thursday, January 18 to round out the festival bill, this time with Yoav&Ahmed, una amistat més enllà dels murs.

Youth centre
This holiday season, plenty of activities await Formentera teen-agers, as well. The Casal de Joves is urging local youth to come help create the drop-in centre's Christmas mural, learn how to make a Spanish holiday favourite, turrón, enjoy a warm cup of cocoa and, on Saturday, December 30, spend an evening with the kids of the Casal at the Christmas market.

Live nativity scene and Father Christmas
At 5.00pm on December 16, the island's cinema will be the site of a live-action nativity scene presented by the Verge Miraculosa school's student body. Then on December 21, Formentera kids are urged to come meet Saint Nick at a 5.30pm party in the Sant Ferran festival tent.

Tradition
As ever, traditional song in the form of caramelles will fill the Sant Ferran church on the afternoon of December 24, the Sant Francesc church the following day, and once again in la Mola's church on the evening of the 26th for a holiday celebration known as mitjana festa.

Group exhibition
From December 18 to January 9, the municipal art gallery welcomes some of Formentera's most standout artists for a group Christmas show. The exhibition will open Monday to Saturday from 11.00am to 2.00pm and 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

Evening of concerts
One of this holiday season's headline events will take place December 16 when Cris Juanico i els Ai, Ai, Ai take over the tent set up on the Sant Ferran square. The show starts at 11.00pm.

Main events
On Saturday, December 23, a local outfit known as the “Three Kings' Association” will take command of the evening's programming in the town's festival tent. There will be entertainment, a barbecue and good tunes. Concerts will get started at 10.30pm with local legends Spioks first and a Valencian band, Nius de nit, afterward. The evening will be closed out by DJ sets.

The last night of the year, breakout cover band Tremendos will help us bid farewell to 2017 and usher in 2018 from our holiday command central in Sant Ferran.

Award for best window display
For the eleventh year running, the Eivissa-Formentera Chamber of Commerce and the Formentera Council have set out to promote a fun and festive Yuletide season by organising a contest of holiday window displays. Winners will be announced Friday, December 1.

Cavalcade of the Kings
The holiday season isn't over until the Three Kings of the East pay their yearly visit. That will happen, in the la Savina port, at 4.30pm on Thursday, January 5. From there the cavalcade begins in earnest, accompanying circus show in tow. At 5.30pm the procession will pull into Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, winding through the streets of Sant Ferran at 6.30pm and heading for the hills (of la Mola) at 7.30pm.

Happy holidays to all!

When Engruna Teatre hits Formentera with 'Codi Postal 00', it's a family affair

Codigo marThe CiF Office of Culture and Festivities welcomes Codi Postal 00, a family stage production here under the banner of the island's eleventh Children's Theatre Festival (Mostra d'Espectacles Infantils). Tailored for kids three and up, the fifty-minute show is part of Illa a Escena (“Island on Stage”) and opens at the cinema at 6.00pm on Saturday, November 25. Tickets (€3) are available at the box office the day of the show.

Codi Postal 00 is also included in PLATEA, an initiative of INAEM (National Institute for the Performing Arts and Music), an offshoot of Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport dedicated to taking premier productions of the Spanish theatre circuit to nationwide audiences.

The unusual post office known as Codi Postal 00 traffics in letters and care packages. Is there anything that frightens you? Perhaps something that's stolen your heart? If there's anything at all you'd like to get off your chest, write it in a letter, and the postmen and women of Codi Postal 00 will see that it gets where it needs to go! The office is filled with an endless array of stories: of love, travels, secrets... A magical, one of a kind experience in the world of communication.

The troupe
Ruth Garcia and Mireia Fernández, the two actresses of Engruna Teatre, wanted to create their own language for the stage, and saw a family-friendly theatre company as the way to do it. They set out to woo and dazzle young and old, and create a world that was at once personal and visual, traditional and innovative. Using theatrics, puppetry, objects, Chinese shadows, video and music, they concoct a magical universe that stimulates the imagination of everyone in the crowd.

Next Monday: Koinonía, a look at the feminine world

rsz cavidadThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture wishes to announce the arrival, Monday, November 20, of a new show at the municipal exhibition space: Koinonía. The display of photography by Valladolid native (and Eivissa transplant) Isa Sanz is just one part of the activities programme marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Sanz will be on hand for the show's 8.00pm unveiling, its first iteration on the island.

The 17-portrait series of women in nature finds Sanz using photography as her expressive vehicle of choice, taking paths previously uncharted as she conveys the emotion and depth of the feminine world. Sanz brings to her craft the conceptualisation and magic necessary to make art.

As art historian Elvira Rilova quips, “Isa Sanz's Koinonía reflects a close kinship between artistic creation and underlying philosophical intuition about reality. The photo series explores feminine strength, calm, our place in nature, colour, blood, water and magic...each one critical to the construction of the feminine”.

The series was shot on Eivissa in June 2010, when, shortly after Sanz's arrival on the island, an Es Vedrà sunset stole her heart. On Eivissa, a place Sanz feels she is nourished, where everything is within her grasp, and communion is possible. “Koinonía”.

Though armed from the start with a fairly clear vision for the series, several of the portraits are the product of total improvisation. Sanz set out, with little more than her camera and a few odd objects in tow, looking for something to interact with. When she found it, she surrendered herself to the moment. The results were real, a true happening.

Koinonía is backed by ILLENC (Institut de la Llengua i la Cultura de les Illes Balears) and will be on view November 20 to December 2 in the Council's sala d'Exposicions in Sant Francesc. The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday, mornings from 11.00am to 2.00pm and evenings from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

Conversations: Arms, struggle and resistence on Formentera (16th to 20th century)

Xerrada santi colomar mailThis Thursday, November 9 at 8.00pm, historian Santi Colomar will be at Marià Villangómez library to offer a talk titled “Arms, struggle and resistence on Formentera (16th to 20th century)”. The evening will include meditations on the island's function as an observation point and battleground between Ibizans and North African corsairs when stripped of regular inhabitants. On the growth of a local population from the 18th century, and the subsequent formation of militias to confront external dangers. On the 19th century, when disappearing outside perils left the commonplace presence of arms intact. On one exceedingly rare case of bloodshed, a duel at can Damià des Trull in 1919. On the Spanish Civil War and episodes of struggle and resistence on Formentera, namely the strike, organised by the CNT, of workers of the island's salterns during the Second Republic (1936-1939) and popular protests to defend natural spaces like sa Pedrera, or stop outsize projects like es Ca Marí campsite.

'Hilos,' winner of national youth performing arts distinction, comes to cinema

Fotocon-bobinas-2The Formentera Council Office of Culture and Festivities presents Hilos, a stage production for audiences seven and up. The show, which hits Formentera's cinema, la Sala de Cultura, this Saturday, November 11, at 9.00pm, runs sixty minutes. Admission is five euros for adults and three euros for youth under 25. Tickets will be available at the cinema box office the day of the event.

Included in the programme of the Formentera Council-backed Illa a Escena, the production is also part of PLATEA, an effort to spotlight first-class national acts set in motion by INAEM (the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport's institute of performing arts and music).

Hilos explores motherly love by riffing on the love between a mother and her newborn. We enter the world bound by an umbilical cord which, though cut at the moment of birth, remains a live wire, tethering the two parts much like an invisible string. The sublime acting of Rosa Díaz is charged with feeling and earned her the FETEN's best female actor prize in 2016.

The troupe
La Rous theatre group was founded in 2008 by Rosa Díaz, actress, director and dramaturge since 1984. Artistic residences abroad exposed her to diverse fields of study and new modes of working, and she gave courses in directing, acting and voice.

World-class prizes like the 2009 FETEN youth theatre festival's award for best production; the 2011 national children and youth theatre award for artistic quality, coherence and originality; awards for best female acting, best stage design, best original score at FETEN 2014 speak to her talent. Now, before Formentera audiences, she presents Hilos, winner of prizes in dramaturgy and acting by a female.

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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