International dance and music added to this year’s Arts Festival

BalletBoyz, RNCM Big Band and a concert of classical guitar and bandoneon continue to build this year’s Malta International Arts Festival calendar – with the annual celebration of arts and culture taking place across various venues between July 8 and 18


A performance by BalletBoyz is the highlight of this week’s events announced by Arts Council Malta as part of the Malta International Arts Festival (MIAF). This, together with another two events launched this week – a performance of The Rite of Spring by the RNCM Big Band directed by Mike Hall, and a concert of classical guitar and bandoneon by Simon Schembri and Gilberto Pereyra – adds to the variety of this year’s programme.

BalletBoyz is the brainchild of Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt who founded the company in 2001. They danced all over the world for ten years and won numerous awards and accolades working with leading dancers, choreographers and designers. In 2010, they retired from the stage and launched the first edition of the groundbreaking project the TALENT.  

Michael and Billy selected eight young male dancers from a variety of backgrounds and worked with them closely, mentoring and coaching them to create a company of first-class performers. The company has now expanded to 10 dancers and regularly tours the UK and internationally. In 2013, BalletBoyz won the National Dance Award for Best Independent Company. BalletBoyz will be performing at Pjazza Teatru Rjal on July 15 and 16 at 21:00.

On July 9 at 21:00, the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)’s Big Band directed by Mike Hall, will be entertaining audiences at Fort St Elmo. They will be playing Darryl Brenzel’s arrangement of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, bringing out the freedom, the crude rhythmic, irregular pulse, the primeval nature of this great rite to the fore. 

The concert will also include other Big Band numbers, such as Heated Think Tank by Colin Towns, Goodwin’s Hunting Wabbits, a bit of samba with a Claudio Roditi long-time favourite The Monster and the Flower, an experimental ‘Country Roads’ by Maria Schneider called The Pretty Road and Bob Mintzer’s Elvin’s Mambo.

The third event launched this week will take place at Fort St Elmo on July 11 at 21:00, when Simon Schembri and Gilberto Pereyra will perform works for classical guitar and bandoneon.  

Simon Schembri completed his studies with Alexandre Lagoya in Paris where he won first prize unanimously at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique of Paris. Acclaimed solo virtuoso, he is invited to major international festivals performing alongside renowned musicians. Schembri will be playing works from the Spanish Suite by Isaac Albeniz. For the second part of the concert, Schembri will be joined by Gilberto Pereyra, who will be playing the bandoneon – the historical instrument of Argentian tango. 

Pereyra has performed in the greatest tango halls in Buenos Aires together with the most prestigious Argentinian musicians. He has collaborated with soloists from the Royal Opera House and participates in numerous festivals alongside other well-known artists.

More events for the MIAF, held between July 8 and 18 in various locations, will be announced next week. For more information, log on to: Early bird tickets will be available from May 4 up to June 7, and regular tickets will be available thereafter