Dorian Mallia: 'Practice makes permanent, not perfect!'

Distinguished dance practitioner and choreographer Dorian Mallia tells all in our Q&A

Photo Craft Mark
Photo Craft Mark

Dorian Mallia, a distinguished dance practitioner, choreographer, and educator, holds a degree in Professional Dance and Performance from the Central School of Ballet, London, and a Master’s in Performing Studies (Dance) from the University of Malta. As the founder and Artistic Director of MOVEO Dance Company, his global contributions to contemporary dance are highlighted by prestigious collaborations and performances at renowned international venues. Mallia’s leadership has earned MOVEO accolades, including the 2018 Premju Ghall-Arti award and the 2020 Best Creative Enterprise Award, solidifying their reputation for innovative and outstanding work. As a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta and MCAST, Mallia passionately shares his expertise, contributing to the growth and development of the dance field.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I leap to the rooftop to catch the sunrise, birdsong serenading me, and breathe in that imaginary pollution free air! Well, not really - I usually scramble to get ready and take my dog to work with me.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Practice makes permanent, not perfect!” Words to live by.

What do you never leave the house without?

Never leave the house without a spare set of clothes. Us dancers sweat a lot.

Pick three words that describe yourself

I am a cocktail of positivity, generosity and pensive contemplation.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement? Creating a thriving private dance company in Malta called Moveo Dance Company.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Indulging in the graceful tumbles of runway mishaps.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Life’s fundamental lesson boils down to a simple yet powerful truth: you’re your own most reliable ally in the grand scheme of things. The journey of life teaches us that, at the end of the day, the decisions we make, the path we choose, and the way we navigate challenges all come back to our own capabilities and choices. It’s a reminder that self-reliance and understanding oneself are key elements in the complex puzzle of life.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Probably a jacket.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Younger-me wish: Realising not all that glitters is gold - a valuable hindsight.

Who’s your inspiration?

Simply put, it is the amazing tapestry of people.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Prioritising myself and mastering the art of letting go.

If you weren’t a dance artist, what would you be doing?      

If dance didn’t claim me, I’d be navigating the world of physiotherapy.

Do you believe in God?

God? Which one on the line-up?

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

No hesitation - Salvador Dali.

What’s your worst habit?

Getting lost in social media maze.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Overflowing with love and dancing like no tomorrow.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Tom Holland, because dancing is a must.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A form of lying.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

The Humming chorus of Madame Butterfly.

What is your most treasured material possession?

A canvas painted with memories.

What is your earliest memory?

Dancing in my parents’ garden.

When did you last cry, and why?

Two summers ago, suffered from a very bad burnout.

Who would you most like to meet?

Crystal Pite, the choreographic genius.

What’s your favourite food?

My mother’s legendary lasagna, always.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Don’t have.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

In the 1920s.

What book are you reading right now?

Klara and the Sun.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Healing touch for all pain.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Bali adventure before the final blow.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

A bit of everything but most likely pop tunes.