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Moving music

An experiment to connect live music performance with dance has grown into a regular feature of the Malta International Arts Festival


Francesca Tranter - Photo by Emma Tranter

There is a particular spark that arises when dance and live music come together. Indeed, connecting the live performance of contemporary and 20th century music with dance is the aim behind the Music and Dance (M.A.D.) project.


The project, which saw its first edition in 2019, has now grown into a regular feature of the Malta International Arts Festival. It features an intensive dance residency project with experienced choreographers, and dancers who are selected following a public call. Interestingly, and contrary to many such residencies, the objective is not to form professional dancers, but rather to encourage “the invention and reinvention of various modes of choreographic work boosting the research of expressing artistic intention,” explains MIAF programming team member Francesca Tranter.



Gaby Davies

This year’s choreographers Pamela Kerr and Gaby Davies are two contrasting Maltese artists both in styles and in their choreographic approaches. Everyday life plays a very big influence on Kerr’s choreographies, “people [she meets], emotions, things that we take for granted,” all inspire her. For Davies, it is the human psyche “and how we all behave so individually and uniquely”.



Pamela Karr


The residency is followed by a public performance with dance and music performed live alongside each other. The music programme presents piano works peformed by young Greek virtuoso Konstantinos Destounis. Davies will create two pieces set to two very interesting compositions: Entrata by Theodore Antoniou and Vingt Regards No. 10by Olivier Messiaen. Kerr will choreograph her piece to Out of Doors by Béla Bartók .


Indeed, it comes as no surprise that the the final culmination through public performance of this intensive residency is the rewarding part for all involved, not just because the performance is shared with the public but because the experience of the residency carries value to the final performance.


And so, in a way, audience members too become part of this unique project. To find out how you can watch the performance, click here.