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Peek Into The Past With This Distinguished Maltese Arts Festival

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Drama, dance and music join in this virtual festival where art meets architecture. Celebrating Maltese culture and heritage, Dante Aligheri’s 700th birthday, and Michelangelo Merisi’s 400th birthday, this festival beautifully unites these disciplines in an innovative way. 

The festival itself runs from the 8th to the 12th November, with events being peppered throughout the days. Michelle Castelletti, the festival’s artistic director, says that her inspiration for this festival is ‘to use the past as a mirror for the future’. 

Created with the theme of Sacred and Profane, six online shows formulate this festival. 

Oskur – 8th November at 8.30pm

Created by Gabi Sultana, Koen Tryssesoone, and Mark Dingli, this event marries the classical with the technological. Oskur is video art that is generated through piano improvisation. The pianist, through their instrument, has control over the electronics and visuals which bring this piece to life. Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro is the springboard for this piece, where the interplay between light and dark is explored. Maltese heritage is interwoven within the piece via the use of sonic impulse responses and imprints of local spaces. 

The Kiss – 9th November at 8.30pm

Amalgamating camera and dance, The Kiss is an exploration of Canto V of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Love is personified through the retelling of Francesca and Paolo’s tragic love story, which reaches its climax with their kiss. This iconic kiss has inspired various works of art, including this dance piece. Moveo Dance Company, via Diane Portelli’s choreography, explore the journey that Paolo and Francesca take before their love swells to a climax, navigating sacred love and adulterous moments throughout their journey. 

Portal Shades – 9th November at 9pm 

Doors have long been believed to harness the power to transport us to another world. This concept is explored through dance, photography, and literature in Portal Shades. Dante’s Divine Comedy also acts as a springboard for this piece, but the concept has been tweaked to explore the journey through hell via four sections. Each choreographed section explores a unique portal through the movement and composition created. The human’s search for justice, power, temperance and peace is neverending with the search being represented through the performer’s journey via this piece. 

Nel Mezzo del Camin – 10th November at 8.30pm

Music, drama and dance are married together in this fusion of Maltese and Italian cultures. Three of the most impactful scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy are brought to life via the arts. The space this piece is performed in lends itself beautifully to the context of it. Set at the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat, the performers navigate through baroque corridors and air-raid shelters whilst exploring the themes of love, integrity, and knowledge. 

Of Hell and Exile – 11th November at 8.30pm

Get lost in Dante’s Divine Comedy via this fully immersive project.  A multimedia dialogue is opened up as the performers explore the Divine Comedy through Anna Akhmatova’s lens. Akhmatova was one of the few artists to remain in Russia under Stalin’s regime. This fact inspired John Tavener to compose The Akhmatova Songs. Six songs of this set have been chosen to navigate various pieces of text within both Dante and Akhmatova’s works. Monochrome line-art depicting the Soviet State and Gustav Dore’s Divine Comedy illustrations will help develop this piece, together with articles created by Luke Azzopardi. 

Inferno – 12th November at 8.30pm 

NoGravity is pushing boundaries with the visual feast they have created. Comprising of a cast of six dancers, Inferno allows the audience to explore Dante’s work via a gravity-defying performance. Emiliano Pellisari creates this piece of work with the idea that art arouses wonder. Whilst exploring the intellectual aspect, Pellisari also gives the same importance to the themes. The aim is to create a kaleidoscope that unites both the visuals created and the emotions which arise out of the piece. 

Various artists invite you to explore the different viewpoints from which the past can be perceived. All events take place online and are free to the general public. Tune in to your preferred event via The Three Palaces Facebook page or the Festivals Malta Youtube channel

Tag someone who loves the arts! 

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Greta's a creative person who loves to lend a hand to anyone in need. She's also quite quick when it comes to writing ... and talking. You can see what shenanigans she gets up to on her personal instagram @littlegretz or shoot her an email at [email protected]!
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Festivals Malta is a government agency responsible for 8 festivals and 5 national holidays. The purpose of this agency is to preserve the tradition, to encourage and foster a creative environment, as well as to stimulate cultural awareness in people.
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