Voyager – Bodies in Space
Written by Ylenia Callus and edited by James Byrne
The dancers, with their elegant and swan-like poise, let their feet glide and linger through the air as they’re propelled up high; only to fall later, supported in numbers and never alone.
Like rocks floating in space they turn and disperse in a choreographed chaos that leaves behind two bodies still in space.
With this description of a particularly beautiful scene from ŻfinMalta’s breath-taking show ‘Voyager’ I hope to express to readers how truly exciting and well-choreographed it is.
The performance is inspired by the images and sounds that were imprinted onto a gold-plated disc and blasted into space in 1977 along with the Voyager 1 and 2 interstellar spacecraft
NASA placed the ambitious message, containing many sounds and images from earth, into the craft in order to communicate the story of our world to any extra-terrestrials who discovered it
ŻfinMalta, the national dance company of Malta, first launched the show last November and is now going on a national tour in theatres across the island.
On Friday, 29thMarch, they opened the doors for a sneak preview before the tour started.
The performance is described in the programme as such:
‘Voyager propels its audience into a place of exploration of what it means to be human, reflecting on who we are as actors on a small stage in this fragile pale blue dot’
Voyager proves to be more than just images and sounds spacecraft space but a journey between people. Paolo Mangiola, the artistic director and choreographer of Voyager, stated in the rehearsal that the piece was not about representation, but about evoking ideas and principles in space and time.
Three snippets of the production were shown, out of sequence and in a sort of rough cut. I was tremendously impressed as, despite having an unclear and out of line narrative – the play still held such presence and gravitas.
In one scene I experienced an interaction between bodies in space that seemed like magnets in play, repeatedly being attracted and also repelled by each other.
The bodies of the dancers are refined, playful, light and full of purpose. As in these moments of lifting bodies and dominant games you yourself feel intrigued as your eyes voyage across the dance studio to keep track of the dancers and not miss a single step.
The dominant game of layers was further supported by composer Veronique Vella, costume designer Luke Azzopardi and Visual Artist Austin Camilleri.
The music was layered with “mystical” synthesizer sounds and string melodies to create a fitting and atmospheric backdrop.
This, mixed with Azzopardi’s simple but hand stitched beaded fabric and Camilleri’s intriguing golden design, helped make Voyager an adventure for all that encounter it.
Voyager will be performing in these areas and dates:
13th APRIL – ST AGATHA, RABAT, 20:00
27th APRIL – TEATRU AURORA, GOZO, 20:00
3rd MAY – PJAZZA TEATRU RJAL, VALLETTA, 21:00
For further information on Voyager please visit: http://zfinmalta.org/landing/voyager
Ylenia Callus is a University student reading for her final year in Theatre Studies (Hons) and Communication Studies. Her style varies from theatre to creative writing and filmmaking
Photographer credit: Matteo Carratoni
© 2019 YLENIA CALLUS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.