September 21, 2013

Barcelona ~ La Mercé 2010

After the fun of watching the gegants parade down La Rambla earlier in the day (see link below), I ran some errands then later that evening went to meet friends at Parque de la Ciudadela to enjoy some of the other spectacles of La Mercé.

I left my studio in the Raval, crossed La Rambla into the Barri Gòtic, then through it to Carrer Laietania on the other side. When I got there, I was astounded to see it completely void of traffic!

(click on any image for slideshow)
photo by Styrous®

Normally the street is jammed with traffic, no matter what time of the day it is. I had to stop in the middle of the street and take a photo of it. I found out the next day that it was for the Correfoc, performances of many different fire exhibitions as well as fire works (ummm . . . kinda like Burning Man). I'll catch it next time.

There were many events happening all over the city that day:

The major spots were: Placa de Sant Jaume, Avinguda de la Catedral, Placa de Catalunya, Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella. But there were things happening ALL over the city. I managed the first (Sant Jaume) and the last (Parc) but that was really jamming it!

Google Maps

At the entrance to Parque de la Ciudadela, there was a fantastic light installation. It was a painting on the sidewalk lit with a lighting effect similar to black-light but different. Kids were dancing and jumping around on the painting and the effect was terrific!

photo by Styrous®

I walked into the Parque and was instantly transfixed. It was so incredibly beautiful it left me breathless. The romantic and theatrical lighting was goosed up a thousand times by the lush, full moon.

photo by Styrous®

light sculptures
 photo by Styrous®

light sculptures
photo by Styrous®

There were performance of all kinds happening all over the city, music, art performances, theatrical, and the list could go on and on, there were hundreds to fulfill any taste.

I was going to one of these performances, an aerial ballet by the Voalá Project from Argentina. a troop of dancers. The installation consisted of a huge and beautiful structure with an enormous armature that suspended the dancers high above the crowd where they did their performance.

 photo by Styrous®

 photo by Styrous®

The spinning of the dancers created beautiful and fascinating patterns that never repeated. It was spectacular!

photo by Styrous®

 I got some great shots
 photo by Styrous®

Although, the video shots I took (below) are way too short, it gives kind of an impressionist-like moving representation of what the performance looked like.

video of aerial dancers
video by Styrous®

There were several structures created for the event that were quite entrancing; the light was pretty dim and the shot below is the best one I got.

photo by Styrous®

Then there was the laser-light show!


After the laser show, I walked back to El Barri Gòtic. When I got to Carrer Laietania I found it was back to its normal self with tons of traffic but I did notice the shadow cast by a statue in a plaza on a building. It was pretty dramatic and totally cool.

photo by Styrous®

I walked through El Barri Gòtic until I got to Plaça Sant Jaume, the main plaza of Barcelona where all the government buildings are. I had seen a projection installation there the night before on the facade of l`Ajuntament de Barcelona. But I had been in a bad position and the angle was crappy so I hadn't gotten great shots (those shots below). This time I wanted to video it.

 l`Ajuntament de Barcelona building as it normally looks
photographer unknown

shots of the projection from the night before

I had never seen anything like this and was totally blown away. Since then I've seen others but, like many other things in life, your first time is always the one you remember. I got my video shot of the projection from a better angle (link below).

After the projection I wandered over to Plaça Real. (I lived there for almost a month a few years back and fell in love with it (what stories I have of that experience!). I discovered they had set up a huge stage in one end of the plaça and there were music performances there.

 rock concert in Plaça Real
photo by Styrous®

At the end of the day I realized that  La Merce was a wonderfully extravagant celebration of fire, joy, light and life!

What a fantastic way to end this fantastic day!

Viewfinder La Merce links:

Main link to La Mercé articles:
Barcelona ~ La Mercé 2010 articles    

Individual links:

Voalá Project, Argentina

Styrous® ~ September 20, 2013

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