Recently, two ballets inspired by the Isil falles festivity have been released. On one hand, the ballet “The Night of Saint John” was presented in Madrid, by the co-production of the Juan March Foundation and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. On the other hand, under the Dansàneu, Festival of Pyrenees Cultures, the ballet “The Fires of St John” has been presented.
From June, 23rd to June, 28th the Theatre Cámara from Madrid, welcomed the performance of “La nit de San Juan” or “The Night of Saint John” (Soirées de Barcelone). According to the Gran Teatre del Liceu, co-producer along with the Foundation Juan March, it is the second creation for ballet by Robert Gerhard. Written between 1936 and 1939, it was a new commission from the Basil Colonel for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo that was never released for the dissolution of the company. Léonide Massine desired a Catalan “ballet” based on the Catalan dances and popular festivals, and therefore moved to Berga, to be able to witness the festivities of the San Juan revetlla; however, the argument is based on the Isil falles. The result was a ballet that was initially called “The Fires of St. John”, with a screenplay by Ventura Gassol, but which was named “Soirées de Barcelone” in order to make the origin of the piece more identifiable.
See here the hand program made to present the ballet “The Night of Saint John” at the Teatro de Cámara in Madrid. In addition, The Gran Teatre del Liceu will bring to Barcelona the ballet “The Night of Saint John” from 8 to 10 October 2021; you can find more information here.
Aside from the above-mentioned production, on 22 June, the act of presentation of the first volume of the Dansàneu Publicas collection, dedicated to the ballet “The Fires of St. John”, was performed, thanks to the impetus of the organizer entities of the Dansàneu: Library of Catalonia and the Cultural Council of the Valls d’Àneu. It was held in the Levant Hall of the Library of Catalonia in Barcelona, with the assistance of Ferran Rella, president of the Cultural Council of the Valls d’Àneu, and Eugenia Serra, director of the Library of Catalonia.
During the act, Jan Grau, folklorist and Fallaire, Oriol Pérez Treviño, musicologist and Martí Ferrer, co-founder of Ficta Edicions, were involved. Subsequently, the pianist Miquel Villalba and the company Ballet Contemporani of Catalonia advanced a fragment of this unpublished ballet that will be seen in the framework of the Dansàneu. Similarly, the director of the Dansàneu, Rut Martínez, gave a brief presentation of the programming aimed at celebrating the 30th edition and the award, just a few weeks ago, of the National Prize for Culture 2021.
The Dansanian Festival will have a wide-ranging programme of artistic and cultural activities. In particular, the patrimonial recovery of the unpublished ballet by the composer Robert Gerhard “The Fires of St. John”, was achieved thanks to Ficta Editions and the pianist Miquel Villalba for the Gerhard Year. The ballet, inspired by the festival of Isil (Alt .neu) is developed with Miquel Font in the artistic direction and choreography of the project.