Dance students fuse talents with technology

We speak to Ilaria Zammit and Nicola Tanti, two second year Dance Studies students from the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta, who will be teaming up with the Faculty of Engineering for ‘ION’, a cross-disciplinary performance taking place at the MITP Theatre, Valletta on June 15 and 16.

Over the next weekend, the MITP Theatre in St Christopher Street, Valletta will play host to an interesting collaboration between performance art and science.

Ellipsis, a group composed of students from the University of Malta's School of Performing Arts will be joining forces with the Bio Medical Engineering department situated in the Faculty of Engineering to present ION - an interdisciplinary performance in which dance choreography will incorporate the technology of Engineering.

For the performance, the group have had to collaborate directly with the Engineering Faculty, eventually using pressure mats and thermal cameras to create choreography, sounds and projections that will feature in the final performance.  

Speaking to MaltaToday, second year dance student - and one of the participlants of ION - Nicola Tanti says that the chief aim of the performance, the coordination of which forms an integral part of the University course, is to exploit and demonstrate the full potential of dance in a contemporary context.

"We want to show that dance isn't something you just come to watch passively. The engineering element will help us to show people what actually goes on in our bodies while we move, and dance is a great way of showing that because it puts your body through some very stressful situations!"

Her colleague Ilaria Zammit adds that "what we actually realised through this process is that dance is actually something so unnatural, because we were monitoring our bodies with pressure mats, for example. You can see just how much your muscles contract as you're dancing".

'Lifting the lid' on what goes on in the body certainly runs the risk of making the dancers a lot more self-conscious, but it's also clear that there are educational and artistic benefits to be gleaned from such experimental - and collaborative - approaches.

"This is what we want people to really see," Tanti says. "That dance can actually show you specific things about the body that you've never noticed before."

ION will be performed at MITP Theatre, St Christopher Street, Valletta at 19:30. Seats can be booked by emailing [email protected]


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