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Controversy Erupts Over Choice Of Foreign Dancers For Malta’s Eurovision Performance 

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The announcement last week that Malta’s performance at the Eurovision will not include any Maltese dancers has proved to be a controversial one, with many in the industry questioning how it was possible that no local dancer was deemed good enough for the performance.

Last week it was announced that dancers Jennifer Pacaanas, Kim Pastor, Milena Jacuniak, and Pauline Ed, had been selected to perform alongside Destiny at this year’s Eurovision finals, which will be held between 18th May and 22nd May in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Destiny’s performance will be choreographed by Sacha Jean-Baptiste.

As has happened in the past, Malta’s choice of dancers has courted controversy over the fact that no Maltese dancers were chosen. A number of Maltese dancers have taken to social media to voice their disappointment at the selection.

“We were good enough to create the music video, choreograph and perform in it, but sad to say that foreign dancers were selected to represent Malta,” wrote Daphne Gatt, a choreographer and artistic director at Kinetic Dance Academy.

Elena Bickle, a dancer at Moveo Dance company voiced similar frustrations, adding that it didn’t make sense for this sort of opportunity to be handed to foreign dancers without so much as a call for applications locally.

“I just don’t get it. Had there been an audition and they couldn’t find four dancers locally who are capable of doing whatever it is they will be doing on stage, then I would understand. But this, this I don’t understand.”

While the controversy originally centred around Malta’s choice of foreign dancers, it appears to have now morphed into a feud about what it means to be a professional dancer between locally and foreign-trained dancers.

Isaiah Paul Daniel Muscat, a well-known dancer who took part in the first edition of Malta’s Got Talent said in a Facebook post of his own that he had been contacted about the performance but rejected the offer since he said it wasn’t a paid job. “We know how Malta is and we know that artists in Malta don’t get shown the respect they truly deserve. Calling yourself professional but not getting paid for the work you’re doing is a whole other thing.”

Do you think there should have been an open call for Maltese dancers?

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