The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

V18: Let the celebrations begin!

Thursday, 18 January 2018, 19:00 Last update: about 11 months ago

Valletta will be pulling out all the stops during the coming week, as visitors flock to the city for the opening of its year as a European Capital of Culture.

From January 14 to 21, everyone is invited to the magnificent celebrations; the most amazing and exciting festa these islands have ever seen.

Heralding the cultural entertainment and special events taking place throughout the year, the opening week of Valletta 2018 presents music, street artists and performers. There will also be exhibitions, staged in various different venues within the city, and open days where anyone can discover or re-visit some of Valletta's most curious and historical places. And the week will be a chance to learn more about the people of Valletta and their life in this magnetic city, through community storytelling events.

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All four of Valletta's main squares are known to be popular meeting places and spaces on which to enjoy the city's fascinating buildings and atmosphere, both day and night. For this week there will be scenes of music, dance and revelry.

Valletta's four main squares: Castille Square, St John's Square, St George's Square and the newly restored area by the Triton Fountain will see fellow European performers, including La Fura dels Baus, a Catalan theatrical group, who blur the line between audience, and performers ŻfinMalta with contemporary dance performances. The celebrations will also be marked by digital projections and video art. A choral symphony will create a magical atmosphere. And travelling bands and performers will carry the festivities through the streets, so residents and visitors alike can be part of the spectacle.

 

Events at a glance

The events are designed to explore Valletta and all of Malta's vibrancy and heritage, and to introduce the various themes that will be highlighted during the city's year as a European City of Culture comprise six different themes. Prepare to host our European Capital of Culture year, which are: Music and Theatre, Festa, Pop-up/Music, Children and Young People, History and Sport; certainly something for everyone.

On January 20, the date Valletta actually becomes European Capital of Culture for 2018, the Erba' Pjazez will be staged on Triton Square, St John's Square, St George's Square and Castille Square. There will be 20-minute shows taking place on the hour at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and 11pm, ensuring no one will miss a chance to enjoy them all. Here are just a few of the acts and event you can look forward to.

La Fura dels Baus, is a Spanish theatre company that is all about eccentricity, innovation, adaptation, rhythm, evolution and transgression. They constantly redefine space and change the public's role from passive to active. On this occasion they will be performing a spectacular, choreographed aerobatic show, featuring a human net above the newly restored Triton Fountain. They will be joined by a pool of local talent, including about 60 people.

ŻfinMalta will be performing a modern dance, choreographed by Paolo Mangiola, to original music composed by Cyprian Cassar. The show will feature dancers interacting with projected visuals by Blaze Animation and lighting effects by Mad About Video. Site - St George's Square

Elfejn u Tmintax is a brand new choral symphony which will be premiered on the steps of St John's Cathedral. The music is composed by Elton Zarb and the lyrics by Joe Julian Farrugia. The choir will be directed by Pamela Bezzina. The performance includes innovative lighting effects illuminating the centuries old façades of St John's Square. Site - St John's Square

Minn Qiegħ l-Imgħoddi għall-Quċċata tal-Ġejjieni comprises 3D mapping projections on the Auberge de Castille which combine CGI components, music and visual special effects. This 20-minute extravaganza celebrates the past and prepares for an imagined future. Site - Castille Square

Apart from these spectacles, other performances will reach spectators in the surrounding areas: A guard of honour, celebrating the Maltese people, with bands playing on either side of a large street; Moveo Dance Company creating beautiful, evocative movements on specially designed swings and within the crowd; Rota, a huge wheel welcoming the crowd to the city of Valletta; Big Dancers - giant marionettes in synchronised choreography and light effects; Nibnu Malta, a gaggle of clowns interacting with the crowd in a comedy creation of Malta's national symbol, plus three marching bands accompanying the crowds from venue to venue.

And, on the way to the rest of the night's programme, the delicious, traditional warm chocolate drink, Imbuljuta, will be handed round to the crowd.


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