Many of us claim to enjoy culture but how many consider whether our cultural needs will be satisfied living on Mallorca?
It doesn’t help that the word ‘culture’ has different interpretations. Recent promotional trails for the British television arts programme “The Culture Show” included a montage of people defining the word – and revealing how subjective it is. Generally, though, culture means art, music, literature, dance, theatre and cinema.
Mallorca is a gem for art enthusiasts, with its numerous galleries and splendid museums, and initiatives such as Nit de l’art. Works of art adorn public spaces in Palma, towns and villages, at the airport and even on our highways.
People seeing the striking metal sculptures of dancers on the Es Cruce roundabout (Ma15 near Manacor) for the first time often drive around several times!
Yes, Dance is popular here. The Moscow Ballet performs in Palma and the Mallorca Ballet Season which occurs annually. Pop music’s Simply Red, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Bonnie Tyler and George Benson have performed in Mallorca – though chances of a Robbie Williams or Madonna concert here are slim without a larger venue.
The Jazz Voyeur Festival and Sa Pobla Jazz Festival are this musical genre’s annual treats, bringing some famous performers – including Diana Krall and Gloria Gaynor – to the island.
Long-established annual events like the Deià International Music Festival, Valldemossa’s Chopin Festival, and Festival de Pollensa have recently been joined by the opera-based MúsicaMallorca, and all feature international musicians.
Theatre is difficult for those without local language skills. But is it reasonable to expect regular professional theatre productions in a non-Spanish language when we live in Spain?
Some movies in English are usually screened at cinemas in Palma, but German film fans don’t fare well. One woman told me that her only complaint about living here was a lack of movies in German at cinemas.
Of course, Mallorca’s native artists, singers, musicians, dancers, poets, writers and actors provide a regular fix of home-grown culture all over the island. Many towns and villages have a theatre, and churches often host secular events. A lot of events are free: turn up, mingle and experience the local culture. Isn’t that one of the joys of living abroad?