Girls & Boys

ŻfinMalta Repertoire Girls and Boys by Roy Assaf


ŻfinDays is an annual programme of works by choreographers who are currently in the spotlight on the international dance stage. Introduced in 2019 by ŻfinMalta’s Artistic Director Paolo Mangiola, ŻfinDays has become one of the company’s annual signature programmes, exposing ŻfinMalta’s company dancers, and its audiences, to the extraordinary diversity of talent on the European choreographic scene. For the first time, ŻfinDays 2023 will run over two weekends, each weekend featuring the D’Agostin/Mangiola double bill on the first night, and one full length work on the following two nights.

Girls & Boys

Overgeneralization is a human tendency; a tendency which lies at the core of Girls and Boys.


Five girls in black, on a narrow white floor, dancing a dance, exposing themselves to stubborn cliches of femininity, which appear at every turn. Voices go up to please, to protest, to pacify. Gestures are minimal, flirtatious, as if taken from the catalogue of male fantasy. Kisses are thrown into the air, legs are spread, tushes rock from side to side – like men love.


Five boys in black, on a narrow white floor, dancing a dance. Exposing themselves, too. Voices go up to plead, to berate, to pacify. Gestures are temperamental, familiar, as if taken from the cards of human history. Punches are thrown into the air, chests are puffed, legs drilled in a left-right-left march – like men love.


Girls and Boys was not made with the intention of shining a light on the current zeitgeist of gender identity and fluidity. Boys can be boys can be girls can be boys, Girls can be girls can be boys can be girls, can be both can be neither and should be respected, regardless. More than a comment on gender stereotypes, or the current fluidity of gender roles, Girls and Boys targets the ‘brainwashing’ of males and females about how they should think, speak, dress and act.


Five women and five men are gathered here in a complicated dialogue, with the expectations of society sitting invisibly, mightily, inescapably upon their shoulders.

DATES & TIME: 18-19 FEBRUARY 2023, 19:30
Venue: Valletta Campus Theatre
Duration: 55 mins
Age: 5+

World premiere: Staatstheater Tanz Braunschweig, Germany, 2014. The adaptation of Girls & Boys was commissioned by the Batsheva Dance Company in 2018.

ŻfinMalta Premiere: 18/19/20 June 2021, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta

(Supported by The Ballet Shop)

Choreography: Roy Assaf


Assistants to the choreographer: Ariel Freedman, Avshalom Latucha
Cast: 10 dancers
Music editing and arrangement: Reut Yehudai


Music: “Girl from the North Country” by Bob Dylan,
“Trauermarsch” by Uri Caine, “Rama” by Takagi Masakatsu,
“End of the World” by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee,
“Mambo No. 5” by Perez Prado,
“Be My Little Baby” by Jeff Barry,
“Parsifal” by Richard Wagner,
“You Are So Beautiful” by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher,
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Robert Hazard,
“Hangover Boogie” by Meade “lux” Lewis,
Excerpt from “Yoko Ono’s Meltdown” by Reggie Watts,
“Kyllikki” – Three Lyric Pieces for Piano, Op. 41, II. Andantino by Jean Sibelius,
“Du bist die Ruh, song for voice & piano,
D. 776, Op. 59/3″ by Schuber


Light design: Roy Assaf & Moritz Zavan Stoeckle


Costumes & stage: Roy Assaf
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