Catalan Days are Coming!

Monday night I went to Mercat for the press conference announcing the upcoming CATALAN DAYS Festival. (English site for institut ramon lull here.)

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The festival will be from 15 April – 20 May and will feature arts, food, literature and more from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. Not only that but a lot of it is FREE or very inexpensive. So you can sample the delicious food and passionate culture of this region without breaking the bank!! Good times.

There’s way too much to put here so I’ll just give you a quick rundown of a few picks (totally biased, of course):

From April 27-May 3 Catalan authors will be featured as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. April 29th will be a reading at Cooper Union on the theme Evolution/Revolution featuring such talent as Edwidge Danticat and Salman Rushdie.  April 30 (6PM-7:30PM0 is a panel at Instituto Cervantes (FREE!) on “Quiet Revolutions in Storytelling” featuring Philip Gourevitch and others. Also April 30, also free, at the Graduate Center at CUNY (8PM-9:30PM) is A Celebration of the life and work of Reinaldo Arenas and Blai Bonet: Island Dialogues: Poets from Cuba and the Balearic Islands. Check websites for more info.

From May 2-12 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center there’s a ton of great stuff, all of it free. On  may 2 you can see Jessica Lange perform an adaptation of acclaimed Catalan novel The Time of the Doves, May 4 an evening of Catalan Food and Drama – watch Kate Valk and others perform readings of three plays in translation. Food from Mercat Restaurant will be served between readings. May 5 -8 are a series of dance pieces that each look fascinating. And May 12 is going to be INSANE as Barcelona’s annual Sonar festival takes over the entire BAC for a multimedia electronic music fest and installation party environment festacular. Yowza!!!

 Then from May 13-17 at the Jazz Standard is Catalan Days Barcelona Nights – a really dynamic line-up of top-notch jazz, also paired with great chefs from Catalonia cooking up regional specialities. Check websites for more info. I don’t know about all the musicians but I ran into an old friend of mine at the press party who is a jazz writer and he says this is going to be the good stuff.

So put on your party hat and your dancing shoes, get ready for some spicy paella and celebrate Catalan Days!!!

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