Żfin Days

A Celebration of Dance

ŻfinMalta’s 2020/21 season programme opens the new year with a double bill introducing two very distinctive choreographers – Maltese born Jacob Piccinino and Núria Guiu, from Spain. This unique evening of dance, titled ŻfinDays, shines a spotlight on ŻfinMalta’s versatility and raw talent. Now in its second year, and created under the artistic direction of Paolo Mangiola, ŻfinDays is one of the company’s annual, signature programmes, aimed at fostering creative relationships within the region, and giving audiences an opportunity to see the company’s repertoire expand.

KALYPSO
SUPERLIKES

ŻfinDays engages ground-breaking choreographers, inviting them to create or re-stage a work with ŻfinMalta’s company dancers. This season presents two works that are stark in contrast, one drawing on mythology and ancient forms of theatre and costume making, and the other firmly rooted in the present and our coexistence with digital technologies.

In Jacob Piccinino’s Kalypso, the protagonist seeks refuge after being exiled by her own people. Lost at the sea, the waves bring her adrift to an uncharted peninsula inhabited by mythical dwellers. Her presence becomes a colonising force on the islet and its inhabitants. She promises fertility in return for their servitude and devotion. Tampering with the harmony of this clan, Kalypso triggers a string of accidents that imperil the fate of this land. Ultimately, Kalypso is a performance about human shame and how its associated guilt drives people to act out in unimaginable ways. It is also about compassion (or the lack thereof) between men and women, and the power struggles that can lead to brutal tension within societies.

Piccinino has collaborated with French costume designer and mask maker Lucien Cassou, whose background includes studies in Sacred Theatre in Asia, with a particular focus on ‘Kathakali’, an ancient form of theatre. The original score is a collaboration between Piccinino and Alex Vella Gregory, with sound design by Kristopher Chahda.

For Superlikes, Barcelona-based artist Núria Guiu has created an adaptation of her solo work Likes, exclusively for the ŻfinMalta company dancers. Upgraded to Superlikes, this work similarly bases itself on the analysis of two popular YouTube phenomena – cover-dance tutorials, and videos on the different techniques of yoga which have spread through social networks in recent years. Guiu approaches her audience from a socio-anthropological perspective and reflects on the social value of a ‘like’ in our digital culture and society. The work takes a fresh look at the presence of the body in the digital age, through choreography.

Nuria Guiu’s education in contemporary dance and anthropology and human evolution coalesce in her choreographic work. As a dancer Núria has worked with some of Europe’s most progressive companies including Cullberg Ballet, Gisele Vienne, Carte Blanche Dance Company, and Batsheva Dance Company.

When asked how 2020 defined, or re-defined, her observation of the body in this digital age and subsequently shaped the choreography of Superlikes, Guiu says, “As we have all experienced during this period of COVID, the presence of the body from the other side of the screen takes another dimension. The communication and the symbolisms that we use through the internet in order to express ourselves (such as ‘likes’) have taken on different values. With my work I don’t pretend to create a hierarchy between the digital and the live and physical experience, on the contrary, I try to play, have fun and reflect on the fluidity between the two mediums; from our physical and live experience to the virtual one and vice versa. I am excited to be working on Superlikes, hoping for a face-to-face creation process, while also aware that this period is teaching us to adapt, change and most importantly to be more creative than ever in order to keep going and to reflect through body, dance and choreography, on the things that affect us.”

KALYPSO

Choreography: Jacob Piccinino
Original score: Alex Vella Gregory
Sound design: Kristopher Chahda
Light design: Moritz Zavan Stoeckle

Costumes & mask maker: Lucien Cassou

Duration: 30 minutes

Supported by the Embassy of France in Malta.

SUPERLIKES

Choreography: Núria Guiu

Set design: Tom Van Malderen

Music: Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld

Light design: Moritz Zavan Stoeckle

Costumes: Holly Knowles

Duration: 40 minutes

Supported by the Embassy of Spain in Malta.

Dates & time: 12/13 February 2021, 20:00 / 14 February 2021, 14:00 & 20:00

Venue: Valletta Campus Theatre

Bookings: kultura.mt

Total duration: 70 mins with interval

Age: 5+

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