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Lighting their fires

Spurred by the limitations caused by the pandemic, 70 students from 20 dance schools have taken a physical leap of faith to present the dance video The Elements

The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has no doubt caused immense limitations to the performing arts, to put it mildly, but it has also been the source for opportunity and for creativity. The Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF)’s dance video The Elements is one such example.

“We wished to support a representation of the numerous dancestudents across Malta and Gozo that continued to persevere through these difficult times because of their love for this art,” comments Francesca Tranter who is on the programming team of MIAF.

The Elements, which will be streamed online on July 12, features 70 students from 20 different local dance schools. Each school contributed a short routine filmed professionally in four different locations and edited to create one seamless choreography. As the title suggests, the concept for this video presents the four elements: water, earth, fire and air. The progress from one group to the next is achieved through transition sequences as the elements are transferred across the scenes.

The locations play an important role in the theme; their choice is the result of intensive location scouting conducted by Tranter and Festival artistc director Ruben Zahra. He explains further: “After discussing several options we landed on the idea of using the salt pans at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq for the ‘water’ scenes, the valley Wied Qirda for ‘earth’, the cave Għar San Brincat for ‘fire’ and Ħal Far Cliffs for ‘air’.

The video is a significant achievement not just because it is a manifestation of artists’ resilience in these difficult times, nor also because it is a representation of a mark of excellence, but because, it is creating a legacy. In Zahra’s words: “I believe it will continue to be an annual outreach, to explore and developinterdisciplinarity through the performing arts”.

To learn more about TheElements and to find out how you can watch it online, click here.


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