How does one take a clas­sic Mal­tese le­gend and de­velop it into a dance show… with a bit of Span­ish in­flu­ence thrown in? speaks to the pro­ducer of a new dance show called ‘Amor’, be­ing or­gan­ised by Ale­gria Ale­gria Academia de Baile Fla­menco.

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

Hav­ing lost her par­ents at a young age, In­grid Sciber­ras has lived her life very in­de­pen­dently and has al­ways learnt how to solve any prob­lem that comes my way. Apart from work­ing in HR at a lead­ing real es­tate com­pany, In­grid also runs the Ale­gria Academia de Baile Fla­menco, which is in the process of or­gan­is­ing a ts fourth dance pro­duc­tion.

“I started fla­menco at the age of 25 with no other back­ground of dance,” ex­plains In­grid, “My at­trac­tion to­wards fla­menco was ac­tu­ally the sing­ing and not the danc­ing ini­tially. I started tak­ing fla­menco dance with Rosana Maya who was my teacher for a long num­ber of years. Since my first class, I have not looked back and fla­menco is now my way of life.”

Apart from ob­tain­ing var­i­ous qual­i­fi­ca­tions in fla­menco, In­grid also stud­ied in Spain and even­tu­ally ob­tained her teacher’s cer­tifi­cate.

“I strongly be­lieve that no teacher should be teach­ing fla­menco un­til they lived for a while in An­dalu­cia be­cause there is such a strong con­nec­tion with all the tra­di­tions. Hold­ing a cer­tifi­cate is not es­sen­tially the most im­por­tant thing to teach fla­menco, the ex­pe­ri­ence and feel of Spain and its fla­men­cos make it the most im­por­tant qual­i­fi­ca­tion,” she says.

Ale­gria was orig­i­nally founded in 1999 by Rosana Maya and Ni­cola Hen­son. In 2009, the school was taken over by In­grid who re­named it Ale­gria Academia de Baile Fla­menco, mak­ing it Malta’s only dance school that spe­cialises in fla­menco.

“The phi­los­o­phy of Ale­gria was and al­ways will be ‘Realizar su Pa­sion’ - re­alise your pas­sion,” In­grid tells me, “My fam­ily and friends all sup­port my pas­sion. I do not get to see them much, but they all un­der­stand and help me out wher­ever they can. My big­gest ap­pre­ci­a­tion goes to my part­ner who I met while teach­ing and per­form­ing for a year in India, and who is very pa­tient es­pe­cially when I am stressed with the pro­duc­tion of a show, giv­ing me ad­vice and guid­ance.”

The idea for Amor came about af­ter dis­cus­sions with her head of chore­og­ra­phy, Estelle Bonello Sant. Even­tu­ally, it was de­cided to go for a Mal­tese le­gend and de­velop it into a dance show. The iconic ‘L-Gharusa tal-Mosta’ was the fi­nal choice of story and with the help of ac­tress Char­lotte Stafrace who turned the story into dance scenes, Amor was born. Ni­cola Hen­son, Sara Bianchi, Ur­sula Far­ru­gia and Ema Marie At­tard are the other chore­og­ra­phers who are work­ing on the show.

Like all Ale­gria’s pre­vi­ous shows, the pro­duc­tion will have have a lo­cal guest who is a mu­si­cian; this year Renzo Spi­teri will be play­ing the Tar­buka and the Hang. Joe Grech will be sing­ing ‘ghana’ dur­ing the show.

“Amor is, of course, a love story,” smiles In­grid, “The mix of mu­sic is both pure fla­menco, some classical Span­ish, with some Mal­tese too and we have taken a lot of time in de­sign­ing the cos­tumes to have both a fla­menco and a Mal­tese touch. A stylised fla­menco sec­tion called Estilizada will also be fea­tured in the show.”

The story starts in a vil­lage square in Malta where two peo­ple fall in love, but the night be­fore their mar­riage the bride gets kid­napped by the Turks who take her away to be mar­ried to their Sul­tan. The scenes change from Malta to Turkey where her loved one trav­els to res­cue her.

The cast of Amor are all the mem­bers of the Academy who have been work­ing very hard through­out the whole sum­mer. In­grid also cred­its the “many other beau­ti­ful peo­ple” – her tal­ented crew who ded­i­cate their time to help out to en­sure the show is a suc­cess.

Amor will be tak­ing place at the Sale­sian The­atre, Sliema on Novem­ber 26th and 27th, and at Don Bosco Or­a­tory The­atre, Ra­bat Gozo on De­cem­ber 10th. Tick­ets may be booked through ale­gria­ or 9949 5187. A per­cent­age of ticket sales will be do­nated to RIDT to go to­wards can­cer re­search. All those ar­riv­ing at the the­atre will also be able to en­joy an art ex­hi­bi­tion/sale of paint­ings by Alan Pace.

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