What can architectural thinking offer to performative arts, one of the most endangered artistic sectors by the current health emergency? How can architecture contribute to the development of new spaces, and their impact on communities?
The current COVID-19 pandemic caused performers, event organisers and anyone involved in the performative arts sector to re-think the way they operate. With the research project “Conceptual and spatial investigations on the performance venues of tomorrow”, Arts Council Malta in collaboration with architecture firm AP Valletta explored how this great moment of crisis of the status quo could be turned into an opportunity for positive change.
Performance is a traditionally central element in many artistic practices, from contemporary dance to classic theatre. Modalities of performing have developed over the centuries, in adaptation to ever changing social and political conditions and cultural demands; venues, in parallel, have also developed and adapted in a number of ways. From the iconic ancient Greek amphitheatres, all the way to contemporary, hyper flexible theatres and improvised venues, the architectural framing of a performance has always played a major role in its success - or its failure. With these considerations in mind, it is logical that, in this moment of change, spaces for artistic performances need to be reconsidered.
Konrad Buhagiar is an executive director of AP Valletta. He has been responsible for numerous restoration and rehabilitation works in historic buildings and urban sites. He has lectured at the University of Malta and, among the others, at the Canterbury University College of Creative Arts, U.K., and at the New York University, U.S.A.. He published numerous historical and academic articles. He has been the Chairman of both the Heritage Advisory Committee and the Valletta Rehabilitation Committee. Konrad is also the chief editor behind AP’s ‘A Printed Thing’ and ‘Founding Myths of Architecture’ publications.
Erica Giusta is director of innovation at AP Valletta. Before joining AP as media and communications coordinator, she worked for the Publicis Groupe in Milan. She read for an MA in Architecture at Politecnico di Torino, Italy and a Post-Graduate Master in Marketing & Communications at the Sole24Ore Business School in Milan, Italy. Also, she is a member of Zeroundicipiu (Cultural Association for Contemporary Architecture) and she writes for Il Giornale dell’Architettura and A10.
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. 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.
Photo credit Matteo Carratoni.
Maria Angela Vassallo
Maria Angela who mostly goes by Mang is no stranger to the cultural sector, having spent the past 6 years working at the very heart of it. With her she brings a wealth of experience in the delivery of projects and a fresh energy in the coordination of Teatru Malta's administration, a role which she's been in for the past year. She graduated in Maltese and Communications at the University of Malta, and proceeded to get her Master in Translation. She has always shown great interest towards culture and the arts from an early age.
Sean Buhagiar (1986) is a professional Theatre-Maker, Artistic Director and Creative Producer based in Malta. Sean is the current Artistic Director of the National Theatre Company of Malta, Teatru Malta. The company was established in 2017 and Sean was chosen as the first artistic director following an international call. Buhagiar first read a Bachelor in Communication Studies and Theatre Studies at the University of Malta. He holds a European Masters Degree in Performative Creativity from Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Université Paris-XIII, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland and the University of Malta; where he researched theatre, creativity in performance, creative strategies and arts education.
Join us on Wednesday 26 May at 18:30. Kindly note that due to Covid-19 restrictions this event will be held online*.
Register on https://bit.ly/2RoqbFv.
*Purchased tickets will be refunded in the coming days.