Company Open Classes

ZfinMalta Open Company Classes
Dates: 1 week for every month of the season


Cost: €9 per session / €27.50 week ticket


Time: 10:00–11.15


Venue: ŻfinMalta Studios


Led by: Guest artists including ŻfinMalta’s Artistic Director, Paolo Mangiola, and Rehearsal Director, Anna Nowak

ŻfinMalta opens its company classes to local and international professional dance artists. This is a unique opportunity to join the ŻfinMalta dancers during their morning practice, which is always varied and led by a mixture of international and local guest teachers. Classes are also open to students who are following vocational and professional training in dance. The minimum age to participate is 18 years.

ŻfinMalta’s Artistic Director, Paolo Mangiola, will be teaching Ballet for our company open classes this week.

Paolo Mangiola is a choreographer, dance educator and performer working within ballet and contemporary dance practices. Operating in the interstices between codified dance and ordinary movement, Paolo is interested in exploring this relationship in the context of our interconnected society, drawing inspiration from various artistic sources, the web, and emerging movements.

from 16th – 20th May 2022

10:00 – 11:15

Ballet with Paolo Mangiola

ZfinMalta - Paolo Mangiola
photo credit: Matteo Carratoni

As a performer Paolo has collaborated with, and danced for, artists and choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Deborah Hay, Martin Creed, and Mauro Bigonzetti. Paolo has created works for the Royal Ballet, Tanztheater Nürnberg, Aterballetto, Szczecin Opera Ballet and Balletto di Roma. He attained a Masters in Choreography at The Place, London, and designed the programme for the Contemporary Dance Department, Scuola del Balletto di Roma. Paolo was appointed resident choreographer at Balletto di Roma in 2015, where he remained for three seasons. Since 2017 he has been Artistic Director of ŻfinMalta, Malta’s national dance company.

An award-winning choreographer, Riccardo Buscarini is an artist focused on constantly changing his creative approach to choreography and exploring its possible interactions with other art forms.



Riccardo trained at Accademia Domenichino da Piacenza/IT and London Contemporary Dance School where he graduated in 2009. Highlights of his career so far include winning The Place Prize 2013 with the piece Athletes, the participation in the international research projects danceWEB (Impulstanz, Vienna), Creatives in Residence at The Hospital Club (London), ArtsCross London 2013 (UK, Taiwan and China), Performing Gender (Italy, Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands), MAM-Maroc Artist Meeting in Marrakech. 

from 5th April – 9th April 2022

10:00 – 11:15

Contemporary with Riccardo Buscarini

Riccardo Buscarini for ŻfinMalta professional open class

His work in the visual arts field include collaborations with Summerhall (Edinburgh), London Festival of Architecture (2016 and 2019), and with London gallery Nahmad Projects during the exhibition i’m NOT tino sehgal curated by Francesco Bonami and miart – fiera di arte moderna e contemporanea di Milano 2017. Silk, his Golden Mask 2018 double-nominated creation on Chelyabinsk Contemporary Dance Theater (Russia) has been restaged at ZfinMalta, the National Dance Company of Malta in autumn 2019. In 2020 is one of the choreographers of EDGE (The Place, London). Riccardo has approached opera direction working on traditional and new compositions. He has assisted Giuseppina Campolonghi, Italo Nunziata and Leonardo Lidi at Teatro Municipale (Piacenza), Teatro Pavarotti (Modena) and Teatro Valli (Reggio Emilia), Italy.

“Come dance to the electro-pop: for a very energising wake up. Driven by a passion for sculpture and architecture, and starting from the assumption that our movement can carve the space and leave a trace behind, Riccardo leads a very high-paced, dynamic and spacious improvisation class that aims to unlock the body and stretch its movement potential into a million different directions. The focus of Riccardo’s work is on movement projection. Throughout the class, dancers are invited to look for the limits of their kinesphere and challenge their own habits in order to approach movement with a tridimensional perspective and to embrace the surrounding space fully.”


Riccardo Buscarini, Guest Teacher, ŻfinMalta Company Open Classes

Florinda is a dance artist from and based in Malta. She was a member of  ŻfinMalta National Dance Company, from 2014 to 2018. From 2018, she has been initiating, leading, and supporting performing arts projects in Malta and internationally, with a keen interest in notions of home and belonging, and the spaces in which they are created, felt, lived, and performed. Her first solo creation was a short film, ‘Solastagia‘, which explores grief caused by environmental change. She is currently following the Master Performing Public Space program at Fontys University (NL). Her current artistic research investigates non-anthropocentric ways of being-with Maltese landscapes through feminist new materialist principles. 


from 28th Feb – 4th March 2022

10:00 – 11:15

Contemporary with Florinda Camilleri

ŻfinMalta's Company Open Classes Week 4 led by Florinda Camilleri
Still from Solastalgia (2021), by Florinda in collaboration with Francesca Mercieca and Niels Plotard

“As the dancers return to intensive daily practice after a short break, this week’s classes will be built through and around the notion of a “fresh start”. 

A fresh start to practice,  

a fresh start to the week, to the day,  

a fresh start to each movement, each moment;  

a fresh start to our bodies,  a fresh start to our space,  

a fresh start to relations,  with-in-between.    

These fresh starts  will be explored with-in the same class framework each day: starting with a guided warm-up, moving on to short exercise sequences, and longer movement phrases which build throughout the week. They will also be facilitated by a specially-curated sound journey.” 


Florinda Camilleri, Guest Teacher, ŻfinMalta Company Open Classes


Nicola Monaco trained in Italy where he attended the professional course of Aterballetto under the direction of Mauro Bigonzetti. In 2003 he worked for the award-winning Dutch dance company Emio Greco/PC, where he stayed until 2008. In 2009, he worked with choreographers such as Akram Khan, Gregory Maquoma, Tom Dale, The Featherstonehaughs and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company. in 2012 he was appointed as rehearsal director for Zfin Malta Dance Ensemble. In 2013, Nicola joined Akram Khan Dance company as dancer and rehearsal director for productions Itmoi, Kaash and Xenos. In 2017, Nicola received the official qualification to teach the Double Skin/Double Mind methodology of ICK/Amsterdam (Emio Greco/PC). 


from 31st Jan – 4th Feb 2022

10:00 – 11:15

Contemporary with Nicola Monaco

Nicola Monaco - ZfinMalta Open Classes

“Through a series of exercises and guided improvisation, the aim of the class is to empty the body from all tensions and invest in discovering the infinite possibilities of articulation of it. A particular attention will be directed to relation between the feet work and the intuitive ability of the body to harmoniously organize itself in the space.”


Nicola Monaco, Guest Teacher, ZfinMalta Company Open Classes


from 15th – 19th November 2021

10:00 – 11:15

Contemporary with Zoe Camilleri

photo credit: Niels Plotard

Maltese- based freelance artist and dancer, Zoe Camilleri will be leading ZfinMalta’s November Company Open Classes:


“The main aim of classes will be to get the dancers’ body and mind ready for the day’s work. The classes are based on release techniques, focusing on the mobility of the joints, with use of space and rhythm. A play between flow and accented movements through both the use of breath and musicality. The phrases will include floorwork and centre practice that are designed to progress in speed and intensity throughout the sessions.”   


Zoe Camilleri, Guest Teacher, ZfinMalta Company Open Classes


from 18th – 22nd October 2021

10:00 – 11:15

Cunningham technique with Paolo Mangiola

ZfinMalta - Paolo Mangiola
photo credit: Matteo Carratoni

ZfinMalta’s Artistic Director, Paolo Mangiola will be leading Open Classes accompanied by a live percussionist, Luke Baldacchino.


“Through the exploration of Cunningham technique and its principles, the dancers will be studying how the body coordinates in space using its levels and various fronts. The class put emphasis on the mobility of the spine and how movement can be generated through challenging coordinations and quick shifts of weight. It is a physical warm up, open only to advances students, semi-professionals and professional dancers.”   


Paolo Mangiola, Artistic Director


Open Class Policy

Here are a few notes to take into consideration in preparation for class etiquette and protocol:


  • Participants must present a valid COVID 19 vaccination certificate on entry.


  • In the interest of safeguarding both your and ZfinMalta’s company dancers’ health, we kindly ask you to wear the face mask throughout the class as well as on entrance and exit of the MCC venue.


  • We would like you to decline from physical contact with ZfinMalta’s company dancers as much as possible.


  • You will be designated an area of the space where you may follow class from


  • Please bring your own water and towel and note that the company cannot currently offer changing rooms and showers.

Latecomers policy:




  • Plan ahead to arrive at the venue at least 10 – 15 mins before class and note that upon entrance you may be asked to fill out a contact form with MCC security and have your temperature taken.


  • We do not encourage latecomers as class is timed to warm up and cool down the body at a suitable pace.


  • If you see that you will arrive to class more than 10 mins late, please refrain from joining class and send an email to: to be compensated with another class free of charge on the next of ZfinMalta’s Open Class of your choice.

Liability clause:



  • Before attending any movement sessions under the umbrella of ZfinMalta’s Education and Participation programme, we require you hand in a signed copy of the below participation form. It can be handed over to the Education Artist in hard copy or sent in soft copy to


For further information on ZfinMalta’s Education and Participation programmes and to discuss the ŻfinMalta’s Artist Development programme, please contact our Education & Outreach Officer, Martina Zammit on