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Dance Festival Malta Day 2B

Dance Festival Malta Day 2B

Dance Festival Malta 2023

Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria)


FR/ACT/US is a visual dance performance inspired by the nature of the fractals - a fragmented geometric form composed of fragments similar to the whole. In the performance, the internal connection between the fragments-bodies immerses the viewer in the particular beauty of chaos. The concept of the performance provides an opportunity to observe from different perspectives, allowing the viewer to construct their own three-dimensional space and discover their relationship with chaos.

Concept & Choreography: Jivko Jeliazkov

Visual Environment: Vladislav Iliev

Performance: Ivona Mashova, Simona Todorova, Vyara Bolgradova, Philip Milanov

Visual Identity: Nikolay Karasabev

Producer: Atanas Maev

Music: Ivan Shopov

In collaboration with Derida Dance Centre & Derida Stage - Bulgaria


Derida Company is a permanent resident of Derida stage. The company is founded by Jivko Jeliazkov and Atanas Maev. Between 2004-2008 Derida company was based in Cadiz, Spain and from 2008 to today is based in Sofia. The dance company is project-based and does not have long-term contracted dancers.

Jivko Jeliazkov

Jivko was awarded IKAR 2017 for a contemporary dance performance for S INNER and is one of the TOP 20 choreographers of Europe in the frame of "Aerowaves - dance across Europe" with F63.9 performance. His performances have been performed in Vancouver, Tel Aviv (Suzanne Dellal Center), Jerusalem (Machol Shalem Dance House), Beijing, and others.

Sarah Vella & Co

Iż-Żifna tal-Poeta

Iz-Żifna tal-Poeti (A Poet’s Dance)

U int, qatt doqt is-skiet? Qatt żfintu? - Nadia Mifsud

This dance piece is inspired by an archived work, Iż-Żifna tal-Poeta, created in 2013 around poems by Ruar Briffa & performed for Notte Bianca (2013), 100Grad Berlin Dance Festival (2014) & NahDran, Berlin (2014). The work proposed for this festival will be a progression & complete transformation of the original work. This time, the poems used will be by modern Maltese female poet, Nadia Mifsud - a powerhouse poet making waves in Malta. Her book of poems Varjazzjonijiet tas-skiet is the driving force of this project which inspires three dancers & a musician/sound artist to explore how these writings could be expressed & translated through sound (original sound score performed live), visual art & dance, creating an immersive, multidisciplinary performance by an artistically strong female collective. We explore, embody, contextualise, breakdown, co-create, personalise variations of silence in all its forms, from a maltese female perspective and context. This project is a celebration of both the powerful spaces created when women hold space for one another in contemporary Maltese society, and the intrinsic value of the courageous conversations held within them. This project is supported by ŻfinMalta AiR2023 programme.

Choreography: Sarah Vella

Dancers: Sarah Vella, Zoe Camilleri and Florinda Camilleri

Music: Tina Camilleri


Sarah Vella

Concept, Choreography and Dance

Sarah Vella is a speech and language pathologist (Bsc. Hons), dance/ movement therapist (BTD), Heilpraktikerin für Psychotherapie (HeilPrG), and dance artist/choreographer from Malta.

Sarah leads various dance therapy groups and one-to-one sessions in clinics, practices, and special schools, with children and adults on the spectrum and other special needs. She also specialises in working with individuals suffering from mental health issues (depression, anxiety, addiction) and she collaborates on community projects with various entities and organisations. Sarah’s artistic practice spans from creating her work and performing for others to collaborative creations. To date, she’s been involved in several projects for stage, film, opera, fashion, and site-specific works as a dancer/choreographer. She has also developed multidisciplinary works in collaboration with dancers, visual artists, and musicians. She has produced works that toured Malta, England, Italy, Norway, and Germany.

Tina Camilleri

Artistic collaborator (sound composition/live performance and visual art)

Martina Camilleri (Tina) (b.1996) is not tied to a particular field. Her academic journey, having received a B.A. Honors in Fine Art and currently reading for an M.A. in Social Practice Art and Critical Education lie in parallel with active involvement in various organisations - cultural, philanthropic, and environmental. Her values anchored in social justice, dynamic communities, and environmental prosperity are manifested in visual art, sound, performance, and writing - a reflection of her being. Through her role as Community Engagement Officer with the Gabriel Caruana Foundation, she strives to bring together social action and the arts through a variety of interdisciplinary initiatives. Musically, a passion for electronic and gravitation to world sounds is expressed with undertones of hypnotic rhythms and basslines, primitive beats, and diversely ambient performances. These influences have been manifested in performative, literary, club-oriented, and audio-visual collaborations, continually informing her ongoing practice.

Zoe Camilleri

Dancer & Collaborator

Maltese- based freelance artist and dancer, Zoe Camilleri, started dancing at the age of 3 with the College of Dance. At the age of 18, she went into full-time training at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. After graduating she returned to her home island to join the first ensemble of dancers of ŻfinMalta, first as an apprentice and for the next three years as a full-time dancer. Throughout her career she has performed extensively both locally and internationally, working with choreographers such as Iván Pérez, Athanasia Kanellopoulou, Jose Agudo, Mavin Khoo, Francesca Abela Tranter, Lucia Piquero, Paolo Mangiola amongst others. Her roles further include that of teacher, movement director, choreographer, and rehearsal director. Zoe is also a sewist, owning a sustainable fashion brand called Zowij.Makes, where she handmakes custom-made clothing out of vintage and pre-loved fabrics.

Florinda Camilleri

Dancer & Collaborator

Florinda is a dance artist from and based in Malta. She initiates, leads, and supports performing arts projects in Malta and internationally, taking on various roles as a contemporary dance and screen dance performer, maker, collaborator, researcher, educator, and producer. Her work collaboratively investigates the sites of encounter between human and more-than-human bodies within public spaces, bringing forth questions of agency, responsibility, and care. Florinda addresses these sites of encounter as nodes of creative potential from which movement, matter, and knowledge emerge, across and between disciplines. Her most recent research project, Affect Aliens, dances with digital media, analog photography, clay sculpture, and stress data from biometric sensors, in and around The Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre in Birkirkara, Malta.

Spellbound Contemporary Ballet (Italy)


It is a circular action, free from established patterns, which finds the only possible solution in a divergent thought to avoid that the end of a relationship should automatically be the beginning of another one.

Choreography: Mauro Astolfi

Performers: Giuliana Mele,  Mario Laterza

Lighting design: Marco Policastro Spellbound Contemporary Ballet

Artistic Director: Mauro Astolfi- General Manager Valentina Marini

Music: Various Artists

A Spellbound production with the contribution of the Ministry of Culture.

Supported by Italian Embassy - Italian Cultural Institute (Valletta) (Istituto Italiano di Cultura La Valletta)


Spellbound Contemporary Ballet

Spellbound Contemporary Ballet was founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Mauro Astolfi and later joined by Valentina Marini. Together with Astolfi’s unique artistic language and Marini’s expert drive of internationalisation, the company is thriving as a maverick cornerstone of the global art community. With an unmistakable style, Spellbound is defined by a distinctly original language underpinned by an ensemble of technically and artistically excellent dancers. Spellbound Contemporary Ballet is the leading pillar of Italian Contemporary dance and has quickly become an international force touring intensively in Europe, Asia, and America. Spellbound Contemporary Ballet forges the truss between audience, pre-professional, and artist with a spine of 25 years of seminars, workshops, and a creative legacy that has united thousands of dancers and spectators.  Its multigenerational presence has grown a harmonious team of professionals capable of hosting large-scale productions and project management with a strong vocation for internationalisation. 

Mauro Astolfi

Mauro Astolfi is without a doubt one of the most important contemporary choreographers on the European scene. Working as a choreographer and teacher, he has created an original and constantly evolving style and symbolic language from his elaboration of various forms of expressive contemporary movement. After a long stay in America, he established the Spellbound Contemporary Ballet in 1994, a company that he runs together with Valentina Marini. Astolfi is also working intensively as a freelancer creating pieces for companies like Balletto di Roma, Thetreschool Amsterdam, Szegedi Kortárs Bartlett, Leipzig Ballet, Gärtnerplatztheater, Vancouver Arts Umbrella DanceCompany,  ProarteDanza, Compania Colombiana de Ballet, Theater Magdeburg, Ballet Trier, Ballet Augsburg, Giessen Stadttheater, Konzert und Theater St.Gallen, Bern Ballett.

As well as being a choreographer, Mauro Astolfi frequently appears as a guest teacher at major dance centres. Since October 2009, he has also been the Artistic Director of the D.A.F  centre (Dance and Arts Faculty) in Rome.

Giuliana Mele and Mario Laterza are both long-term Spellbound team members. Mele entered the company in 2009 and Laterza in 2012 and both were involved in all the creations produced by Spellbound in all the seasons from their debut touring intensively in three continents. Both unique interpreters of Astolfi’s choreographic vocabulary they also embodied during their career in Spellbound, important artistic creations by guests artists like the performance installation La Mode directed by Tomoko Mukajiama and choreographed by Dunja Jocic under the set signed by Tojo Ito, Pa|Ethos by Tibetan choreographer Sang Jijia, Marte by Marcos Morau, We, us and other games recently created by Dunja Jocic for Spellbound.

Mario Laterza was also the dancer chosen to restage the worldwide known piece “Äffi” by Marco Goecke, addressed to the talented Spellbound dancer during the 25th-anniversary production of the company.

Both Giuliana Mele and Mario Laterza are constantly involved in repertoire workshops to promote the knowledge and practice of Astolfi’s vocabulary in many schools and theatres while on tour.PERFORMANCE BLURB: Ascent is the symbol of a concept of creative destruction, a process of continuous mutation that is incessantly revolutionising the structure of a relationship, ceaselessly destroying the old one and always creating a new way of seeing the other.

Supported by the Italian Embassy - Italian Cultural Institute (Valletta) (Istituto Italiano di Cultura La Valletta)

28 July 2023
Valletta Campus Theatre, Valletta
€12 - €15
Audience Level
Suitable for All
Other Dates
Terms & Conditions

Dance Festival Malta 2023

Dance Festival Malta Day 2B

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