11 Mar Intimate Żfin: Music meets dance at Palazzo Parisio
ŻfinMalta’s newest initiative Intimate Żfin is where music meets dance in Malta’s most elegant and historically resonant spaces.
It is also an opportunity to see the company’s extraordinary dancers up close in a series of choreographic miniatures created by ŻfinMalta’s Artistic Director Paolo Mangiola. For this inaugural event the National Dance Company has teamed up with Malta’s celebrated singer and musician Alexandra Alden and her band from Rotterdam and Malta, in a collaboration with Palazzo Parisio.
We spoke to Paolo Mangiola and Alexandra Alden…
Since joining the company in its third season Paolo Mangiola has embedded a spirit of collaboration engaging choreographers, set and costume designers, composers, and visual artists, from Malta and internationally, and partnering with other organisations in theatre, opera, music, and the visual arts. Mangiola’s vision is to foster a culture supporting contemporary dance in Malta through relevant and intelligent dance works which inspire and move audiences; works which are multidisciplinary, challenging, and unique.
How did you arrive at this collaboration with Alexandra Alden and ŻfinMalta?
“My idea to invite Alexandra Alden to collaborate with ŻfinMalta, bringing her beautiful music and lyrics to the world of contemporary dance, is to open up our work to diverse audiences in an unexpected setting.”
Intimate Żfin unfolds through what Mangiola describes as ‘a series of dance sketches, creating a dialogue between the choreography, music, and lavish surrounds of the Palazzo Parisio ballroom.
What does this collaboration mean for you?
[Alden] ‘Working with Malta’s national dance company in such a collaborative way is truly a privilege and one of the most exciting projects I have had the pleasure to work on to date. It is an opportunity to merge two different artistic disciplines in a meaningful way and to communicate something heartfelt and unique to our audiences. ŻfinMalta is renowned for innovative and boundary-challenging projects, so I’m curious to see how our perspectives will overlap and diverge.
What can the audience expect from this performance?
Alden says her band is focusing on the themes of belonging, home and the ‘butterfly’ effect. In this case, the ‘butterfly’ takes shape in the form of a ladybird she once found, which brought colour to a dull and empty space. ‘It’s about how one small action can lead to a bigger outcome and how when you feel like you don’t belong in any one place, you have the freedom to belong everywhere or anywhere you wish. Each performance my band and I give is different, much like in a contemporary dance performance, as we have the freedom to move and react on each other’s feelings in the moment.’
It is an opportunity to merge two different artistic disciplines in a meaningful way and to communicate something heartfelt and unique to our audiences.
‘It’s a symbiotic connection that I hope to bring across in our performance of songs from the new album ‘Leads to Love’ which was released just last autumn. The band is made up of both Maltese and Dutch members, whom I’ve come to know over the years and have collaborated closely on this album.’
Intimate Zfin artists
Choreography: Paolo Mangiola in collaboration with the dancers
Music: Alexandra Alden – vocals and acoustic guitar; Daniel Van Der Duim – keyboards, backing vocals and samples; Jurriaan De Kok – acoustic and electric bass; Luke Briffa – Drums; Jimmy Bartolo – electric guitar and effects
Light design: Moritz Zavan Stoeckle
Costumes: Julia Boikova
Intimate Zfin is presented in collaboration with Palazzo Parisio.