Nuova Figura

Dance for Gozo

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

Nuova Figura has been specially commissioned and funded by the Ministry for Gozo.