Selection of children's theatre aims to make holidays merry for kids too

volen volen2This Christmas season the Office of Culture of the Formentera Council is overseeing coordination of the island's tenth annual selection of children's theatre. With performances scheduled December 18 and 28 and January 5, 7 and 8, the programme aims to give Formentera's young ones a diverse range of options for celebrating this year's winter holidays.

'Volen Volen'
One for the youngsters, the Mariantònia Oliver company's Volen Volen will kick off the 2017 programme Sunday December 18 at 5.30pm in the Sala de Cultura (Cinema). The actors use dance and circus to create a non-verbal language that hinges on movement and the manipulation of objects. Volen Volen is a choreography-based game that is both fun and familiar to children, fading afterwards like a nursery rhyme, an eruption of poetic images aimed at one thing: providing young children with a jolt of emotion.

Volen Volen... isn't a window for observing. It's a window through which kids are invited to jump, come inside, participate. With more than 20 years interpreting dance, Mariantònia Oliver is both Cia Mariantònia Oliver's director and choreographer and teacher at the superior conservatory of the Balearic Islands for music.

'Quina Pescada'
The programme continues with Quina Pescada!, a clown show for the young and old from Menorca's DOSNOUDOSMIL company. It is a family-friendly production in which careful attention to detail is infused into the set design and lighting. The show's craft-theatre feel is palpable and Quina Pescada! is both fun and participation-based. Two fun-loving clowns invite the whole family —ages 4 to 99— on a journey across the seas. The show takes place Wednesday December 28 at 5.30pm in Sala de Cultura (Cinema).

Percussion show
The afternoon of January 5, the eve of Three Kings Day, Formentera will welcome the Royal Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men of the East. As in years past, the Kings will be joined by their royal committee and decorated floats stocked with gifts for the children of the island. Taxeks Celrà will also be in tow, taking their percussion show to every town on the cavalcade's route.

In their more than six years of experience, Taxeks Celrà have honed the afro-latin influenced rhythms, songs, choreography, and performance style that have earned them numerous awards and accolades.

January 7 the Marià Villangómez library will host Tots iguals però diferents, a fabulous storytelling session brought to Formentera's youngsters by David and Monma.

Finishing out the theatrical selection, Sunday January 8 at 12 noon in Sala de Cultura (Cinema), is Teatre Mòbil's Cösmix. A pair of travellers, extravagant and indefatigable, take the stage with one goal: to leave audiences in stitches. Like two one-man-bands, they employ a vast array of techniques: improbable music, “recyclassic” theatrics, animal imitations and even a bit of time travel, live and in-person!

Teatre Mòbil has an experience that spans more than 30 years. Since the group's début, when their focus centred on family-friendly comedic productions, they learned to adapt their own particular parlance to the theatre. The result is a combination of humour and argumentative discourse which strives to never lose its connection with their audience.

Performance series
Formentera's selection of children's theatre is organised jointly by Sa Xerxa, a youth theatre group based in the Balearics, and the Formentera Council, with additional support from Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics. In its ten years of history, the series has also received indispensable support from Trasmapi and Fundació Baleària.

Sa Xerxa
Culture as a fundamental human right is a concept that has accompanied Sa Xerxa through their more than fifteen years of existence. It is also the main driver behind every one of the activities they promote. It all started with FIET, a festival of children's theatre in the Balearics. This year, FIET, in Vilafranca, was attended by nearly eighteen thousand. It has become one of the preeminent gatherings of its kind in Spain, for industry experts and families alike.

Thanks to help from sponsors, public institutions and the group's own members, FIET has taken part in joint efforts with Barruguet festival in Santa Eulària des Riu and Festival per a Piets i Fietes de Maó, in addition to Formentera's winter series. New events are also anticipated for Sa Xerxa's 2017 calendar, all in order to bring quality children's and youth theatre to audiences everywhere. That is the crux of the idea behind TAP (Teatre als Pobles, or “theatre in small towns”), a longstanding initiative to bring theatre to children and teenagers in the Balearics by decentralising the performance arts to benefit local cultural institutions.