Dances for Gozo

Dance for Gozo

Dances for Gozo

The season kicks off in Gozo with an evening of dance featuring two works – the re-staging of Jacob Piccinino’s Kalypso, and Nuova Figura, by Artistic Director Paolo Mangiola, both with strong artistic links to the island’s cultural heritage and mythology.


Kalypso seeks refuge after being exiled by her own people. Lost at sea, the waves bring her adrift to an uncharted peninsula inhabited by mythical dwellers. Her presence becomes a colonizing force on the islet and its inhabitants. She promises fertility in return for their servitude and devotion. Tampering with the harmony of this clan, Kalypso triggers a string of accidents that imperil the fate of this land.


Created by Maltese choreographer Jacob Piccinino, for ŻfinMalta, Kalypso is a performance about human shame and how its associated guilt drives people to act out in unimaginable ways. It is also about compassion (or the lack thereof) between men and women, and the power struggles that can lead to brutal tension within societies.

Choreography: Jacob Piccinino
Original score: Alex Vella Gregory
Sound design: Kristopher Chahda
Light Desgin: Mortiz Zavan Stoeckle
Costumes & mask maker: Julien Cassou
Costumes: Jeandor Farrugia

Nuova Figura

Nuova Figura charts the choreographic journey of Mangiola and the dancers, exploring the human gaze and images we create of our world. The work takes as its starting point the world map of the cosmos drawn in 1603 by Gozitan cartographer, astronomer, and astrologer, Antonino Saliba. In this extraordinary document Saliba combined ancient pagan and medieval Christian cosmology with Renaissance beliefs and experiences. He imagined a world that appears at once orderly and chaotic, spiritual and temporal, familiar and fantastic; filled with decorative hemispheres, rings of fire, demons, salamanders, and people digging into the earth.


Nuova Figura transposes these images into a contemporary context. A multi-layered canon of words and movement emerges, mapping our present-day image of the world. The demons of our time unfold in the densely atmospheric space – the over-forming of our nature, the consequences of the pandemic and the effects of war – as circular, explorative movements simultaneously reveal our capacity to move forward with hope and a desire for something better to come. A work inspired by Antonio Saliba’s celestial map of the universe, held in the collection of Heritage Malta.

Choreography: Paolo Mangiola, in collaboration with the company dancers
Set design: Jacob Saliba
Dramaturg: Thomas Schaupp
Original score: INSYK Collective
Light design: Moritz Zavan Stoeckle
Costumes: Jeandor Farrugia

This dynamic double-bill has been specially commissioned and funded by the Ministry for Gozo.

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