ŻfinMalta National Dance Company Announces New Artistic Director

‎ŻfinMalta National Dance Company announces New Artistic Director blog

ŻfinMalta National Dance Company Announces New Artistic Director

ŻfinMalta National Dance Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew William Robinson as its next Artistic Director. Current Artistic Director Paolo Mangiola leaves the role in July 2024, following a term of seven years. 

Mangiola joined a young ŻfinMalta at the end of its third season and has since led Malta’s national dance company through a period of extraordinary growth, bringing recognition at a local and international level. As a result, contemporary dance now has a place at the forefront of Malta’s performing arts scene, with an ever-expanding and dedicated local audience, and Malta has a national dance company with a strong international presence.

My heartfelt thanks goes to all of the choreographers, artists, and variety of experts who have contributed immensely to the growth of the company, making ŻfinMalta a hub where we cherish, protect and push our art form.
ZfinMalta - Paolo Mangiola

Mangiola reflects, “After seven fulfilling years, I have made the decision to step down from my role as Artistic Director at ŻfinMalta. Leadership is also the ability to understand when a cycle is ending and allowing the institution you served to keep developing through new voices and expertise. It has been an incredible journey, and I am immensely proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved together. My heartfelt thanks goes to all of the choreographers, artists, and variety of experts who have contributed immensely to the growth of the company, making ŻfinMalta a hub where we cherish, protect and push our art form. I’m forever grateful to all the dancers who have worked with me, sharing their knowledge, and contributing to the development of our company. Ultimately, a massive thank you goes to ŻfinMalta’s loyal audiences, who embarked on this journey with us from day one and continue taking risks with us, moving with us, and being moved. I am confident in the talented team we’ve built, in everyone working behind the scenes, with their tireless commitment, and I look forward to seeing the company continue to thrive under the new leadership. My best wishes go to Matthew as he embarks on this exciting chapter.”

During his tenure, Mangiola has attracted some of the most important established and pioneering choreographers working on the international stage, including Tânia Carvalho, Emanuel Gat, Roy Assaf, Rosemary Lee, Sergiu Matis, Riccardo Buscarini, Francesca Pennini, Marco D’Agostin, Mauro Bigonzetti, Ambra Senatore, and Lesley Telford. Mangiola has also assembled a cast of dancers of the highest calibre and leaves a company of ten full time dancers and two apprentices.  

Alongside ŻfinMalta’s extensive repertoire, Mangiola has overseen an inclusive and participatory education and outreach programme for people from all backgrounds, with any relationship to movement. His pedagogical background has held his focus on the establishment of an open and expansive dance ecology with opportunities for aspiring, emerging and established dance artists to realise their potential and connect with ŻfinMalta audiences and communities.

Matthew William Robinson leaves his post as Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales to join ŻfinMalta for its 10th season

Robinson brings to the role a wealth of experience following a distinguished career as dancer, choreographer, facilitator, rehearsal director and artistic director. His choreographic work has moved extensively across the United Kingdom and internationally to venues and festivals in Europe and beyond. Built from the body, the work seeks to translate contradictions and complex emotions, through highly physical choreographic construction. Collaborating across forms, Robinson is engaged in ongoing and emerging collaborative partnerships in the fields of sound, fashion, theatre, and technology. With a passion for the potential of dance to enable us to see ourselves, each other, and our world differently, he is an advocate for movement as a fundamental part of everyone’s lives.

Żfinmalta National Dance Company New Artistic Director Matthew Robinson

Robinson has previously held roles as dancer and rehearsal director for Scottish Dance Theatre, performing work by international choreographers including Sharon Eyal, Damien Jalet, Hofesh Shechter, and Victor Quijada, and he was Artistic Director of VERVE from 2016-2021. Collaborating with world renowned and fresh choreographic voices, the company created distinct, engaging programmes of dance work for international touring programmes, developing a reputation for bold commissioning and offering quality of artistic training to emerging dance artists. In 2021 Robinson was appointed Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales where he has been developing the interweaving possibilities of the company’s artistic and engagement programmes and interrogating the role of repertory companies now, through works for theatre, public space, festivals, and immersive contexts. He is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School.

Robinson says, “I am thrilled to begin this new chapter with ŻfinMalta, building on the exceptional work of Paolo Mangiola and the team. I am inspired by the ambition of the company, and excited to step into what is next together. I am committed to ŻfinMalta as a home for groundbreaking artistic collaborations that centre movement as a transformative force in our world. We will collaborate with a breadth of artistic voices from near and far to create visually striking, physically distinctive dance work, that captivates the imagination of audiences nationally and internationally. I look forward to collaborating with the artistic ecology of the nation over the coming years, working together to highlight Malta as a vibrant cultural centre within the European landscape of artistic practice.

ŻfinMalta National Dance Company approaches this milestone 10-year anniversary in a period of great strength and growth, with an increasing international profile and an extensive touring schedule. The company is excited to welcome Matthew William Robinson as its new Artistic Director, in full confidence that he brings the requisite knowledge, networks, passion and vision to continue leading the company on its current trajectory.

For further information contact:

Suzanna Nikolic, Marketing Executive

ŻfinMalta National Dance Company is part of the National Agency for the Performing Arts (NAPA), a public agency providing a joint legal, administrative, and organisational framework for KorMalta, Teatru Malta and ŻfinMalta.