With two weeks to go to Alegria Academia de Baile Flamenco’s ‘Amor,’ we catch up with producer and director INGRID SCIBERRAS to talk flamenco and the importance of supporting cancer research.
Research and the Arts can sometimes feel like they inhabit two completely separate worlds but they both have very similar aims: the pursuit of a better world. The Arts do so through the creation of beauty and initiating discourse; research does it by discovering new knowledge.
Ingrid Sciberras, the director and producer of Alegria Academia de Baile Flamenco’s upcoming production ‘Amor,’ knows that; and the academy has, in fact, decided to donate part of the proceeds from ticket sales to RIDT to help further cancer research as they rehash one of Malta’s best-known and -loved legends.
“The idea came to me after the Academy was given the opportunity to perform alongside Maltese folk singers and musicians at the annual Ghanafest in 2015,” Ingrid, a teacher of Alianza Flamenca, who studied in Seville, Spain says, “The inspiration, therefore, was to fuse Maltese culture with flamenco…
“Then, while speaking to my choreographer and dance colleague, Estelle Bonello Sant, we brainstormed for a Maltese legend which could be turned into a dance production – and the iconic story of L-Gharusa tal-Mosta (The Mosta Bride) was a clear option.”
The legend, which is set in the 1520s, tells the story of a bride from Mosta, who was abducted, along with her fellow villagers, by pirates. The story is believed to be based in fact but, over the years, it has been adorned with various new and exciting elements.
“Communicating through dance can be tricky, however” Ingrid explains, “and there were various things that we had to keep in mind to ensure that the story was told in an appropriate manner while not compromising on the dance element of the production. That’s why we approached Charlotte Stafrace, a renowned theatre personality, who became as intrigued as we were by the idea, to help us turn the story into different scenes to make our dance communication with the audience easier.”
The production, which will take place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November at the Salesian Theatre in Sliema, and again on Saturday 10 December at the Don Bosco Oratory Theatre in Rabat, Gozo, will have numerous Maltese elements amalgamated with the Spanish style of dancing, too.
These will include traditional children’s games, Maltese folk music, and ghannej Joe Grech, among others. Musician Renzo Spiteri, meanwhile, will be enchanting the audience with the hang and the tarbuka; and some costumes were given a traditional Maltese folk make-over.
Moreover, before every performance, there will also be an exhibition and sale of paintings by Alan Pace, tastings of Tio Pepe (typical sherry from Jerez de La Frontera) provided by Demajo Group, and a health drink by Go & Fun – making ‘Amor’ more than just a night out at the theatre.
But, we wondered: Why did Ingrid decide to donate part of the proceeds towards RIDT?
“This decision came about two years ago, with my production of ‘Aire Flamenco,’” she explains. “We hear so many stories of friends and family members who are affected by cancer and, sometimes, we feel we want to help but have no idea how… By donating towards research we are paving a future for our children in which they might benefit from some breakthrough.
“I, therefore, decided that all my school shows would contribute towards this worthy cause. And, even though the final sum donated from my shows may not be large, I know that I am helping not only by donating money but also by raising awareness among all those who are involved in my dance productions.”
‘Amor’ is now just two weeks away… And tickets can be purchased by e-mail from email@example.com or by calling 9949 5187.