Issuu on Google+

1 43


42


USE thesis project 2013

FORT RICASOLI 43

RICASOLI CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS


AUD 4025 DESIGN PROJECT WORKSHOP MARIA SAMMUT ELISA-ANNE TONNA SHIRLEY XUEREB JADE ZAMMIT


CONTENTS giving kalkara identity

3

the village concept

7

preserving the military spirit

11

military features existing to be interpreted

13 13 15

feeling of space

17

fort ricasoli for the performing arts

21

use in local context

23

dance, drama + music school

25

theatres

30

masterplan

38

proposed access

41

circulation

43

appendices

44

references

74


2 42


GIVING KALKARA IDENTITY Although home to a number of historic sites, the small marine town of Kalkara stretches along the Grand Harbour as a less dense formation, subdued in context of the dramatic and expressive cities which surround it. Whilst the three cities and Valletta have established an identity of their own and stand as individual masses characterised by their history and urban spaces, Kalkara lacks distinctiveness. This can be further reflected in the lifeless fortress, perched upon a peninsula, isolated, abandoned and unknown by many. The regeneration of Fort Ricasoli aims to target not only the introduction of a new landmark in the Grand Harbour with the fortress as its main medium, but it further attempts at highlighting Kalkara as an iconic location within this framework. 43 3


4 42


5 43


6 42


THE VILLAGE CONCEPT The end of the British rule over the Maltese islands in the early 1960s brought with it an unfortunate dissolution of the value given to municipal buildings, with particular reference to military architecture which fell into disuse shortly after the Second World War. Supported by strong feelings of resentment due to inaccessibility to what belonged to the Maltese, these many historic and monumental structures became abandoned, their importance further diminishing over time. Portrayed as a village, the project is to reflect the compulsion for the revival of a long forgotten community, its spirits buried away amongst the ruins and empty, barren spaces. Monumental in its own entity, and surrounded by memorable vistas of the Grand Harbour and Mediterranean Sea, the site offers much for it to be appreciated by one private body. On the contrary, Fort Ricasoli is to belong once again to the general public, the ultimate embodiment of a community established through the amalgamation of a number of complimenting uses. The regeneration of the fortress and the formation of a society within the walls are to serve as a positive extension to the modest town centre of Kalkara. Whilst the closely located Smart City is to generate an influx of users investing in financial and economic growth through the development of a technology and media centre, the fortress strives to provide the locals, Maltese and tourists with an alternative social experience. As is typical of a village, the site should be open and in use at all times, further promoting continuous activity and centre thriving with visitors. 43 7


8 42


9 43


10 42


PRESERVING THE MILITARY SPIRIT The pitiful state of the fort due to natural erosion and the carelessness throughout the years has brought about the need for the re-interpretation of particular fortification elements. Having outlined the major components forming the fortification most crucial to preserve in memory, the proposal will incorporate a variety of re-interpretations made distinct from the original through the use of materials and textures. Remaining faithful to the form and volume, these are to embody the past but be readable to not cause misinterpretation to the visitor. 43 11


12 42


MILITARY FEATURES EXISTING 43 13


RE-INTERPRETATIONS

42 14


MILITARYTOFEATURES BE RE-INTERPRETED 43 15


16 42


FEELING OF SPACE

43 17


FEELING OF SPACE

42 18


19 43


20 42


FORT RICASOLI FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The redevelopment at Ricasoli Point envisions a centre for the performing arts, a reinterpretation of the cultural reuse assigned for most of the fortresses around the Grand and Marsamxett Harbours. Whilst cultural proposals for projects of the like typically suggest the integration of museums and interactive and educational facilities, the regenerative project at Fort Ricasoli is to develop a centre for the performing arts. Composed of educational, residential and recreational facilities, the complex is to cultivate a community reminiscent of when the fortress was home to the many soldiers of war, their wives and children. It was the time when the site was alive, buzzing with the young and old. Whilst possibly distinguishing between the permanent and temporary users, the former being the students and academic staff and the latter, the visitors, an integration between both types is essential, this to be encouraged through the design of spaces with particular reference to outdoor areas. Activity generated within the fortress is to culminate within the theatre, putting the students in the lime light and exposing their talents to the public. Drawing attention to Kalkara most especially but also the Grand Harbour on a larger scale, it is to become the core of the complex, aiming to exist as much as a landmark as a magnet attracting the masses. Whilst standing as a positive monument contributing to the small town of Kalkara a much needed identity, the theatre will in itself form part of a greater whole as a new celebration of the dramatic context in which it is located. 43 21


22 42


USE IN A LOCAL CONTEXT Although relatively small in size, the Maltese population is investing in substantial resources into the growth and development of a unique culture. And whilst the islands have deep rooted traditions and the potential for identity, there is much more to be developed tbefore they can compete with international standards. Recent introductions of course studies for the performing arts at the University of Malta have given local students an opportunity for tertiary education. Whilst private schools throughout Malta offer diploma certificates, the university provides a bachelor’s degree in dance, music or theatre studies or a double major in music or drama, a masters in dance, education in music, theatre studies and performative creativity, and a doctorate in music and theatre studies. The current situation however does not only limit professional advancement, but it also hinders job opportunities. 43 23


1194

STUDENTS ATTENDING SCHOOL OF MUSIC (only state)

453

30

STUDENTS ATTENDING DRAMA CENTRE (only state)

4305

40

20

10

STUDENTS ATTENDING 41 DANCE SCHOOLS (private and state)

0

Music

Drama

Dance

NUMBER OF STUDENTS STUDYING AT BACHELORS, MASTERS & DOCTORATE LEVEL 42 *information obtained from recent NSO statistics for Theatre-Goers in 2009 24


DANCE, DRAMA & MUSIC SCHOOLS*

43 25


26 42


Which is what students here, I mean here they have to do the same thing. It’s a bigger step because here you have to leave, you, if you want to do it full time training in you know dance, in anything, in the arts, I feel in here, you’ve got to, you’ve got to go abroad. Which is quite sad because there’s a worth of talent here and I really don’t see why you should have to go abroad? Justin Roy Barker YADA & College of Dance

43 27


Doesn’t it seem to be sensible, to start developing some academies where you can have that kind of quality of work here on the island, there are lots of people that would really want to do that. Professor Joanne Butterworth, Head of Department, Dance Studies

42 28


If you just think of maltese students and teachers here, they’re capable of doing more. You could get students that can’ t afford the London fees and come here instead. It’s where the money is going to come for such a project. The maltese put themselves down big time. Alan Montanaro & MADC Helen O’ Grady Schools

43 29


THEATRES* DANCE MALTESE COMEDY OTHER COMEDY DRAMA OPERA/MUSICAL CONCERT OTHER

PRODUCTIONS BY CATEGORY

71

AUDITORIUMS IN MALTA & GOZO

AUDIENCE OF

345,479 554 PEOPLE

60

50

PRODCUTIONS IN 2009

40

TYPE OF PEOPLE

30

OTHER

PRICE ACCESSIBILITY 20

COMFORTABLE 10

PROXIMITY TO USER 0 0-300

300-600

600+

900+

CAPACITY OF THEATRES

TYPE OF PLAY

42 *information obtained from recent NSO statistics for Theatre-Goers in 2009 30

REASON FOR CHOOSING A PARTICULAR THEATRE


DON’T KNOW

NO DIFFERENCE

LOCAL

FOREIGN

43 31


600

manoel theatre

the Manoel is too small for dance. Manoel can’t have pyrotechnics alan montanaro madc

accessibility is a problem, there is never enough parking in the area. Not enough back stage or wing spaces alan montanaro madc

42 3 2 2


THEATRES

m space everything is too functional ... there

is no inspiration, too clinical ... no soul jean-marc cafa schoolofperformingarts

wrong logistics: the studios are too small and oddly shaped. The acoustics aren’t good either causing echoing. The dressing rooms catering the black box are too small and not very flexible jean-marc cafa schoolofperformingarts

43 3 3


152

mitp

This theatre is now university owned, making the usage of such a space less available wesley ellul

james Booking is quite hard as it is almost always fully booked cavalier st

jean-marc cafa schoolofperformingarts

When three sides are used, you would reduce a forth of the seating is lost, making it unfeasible wesley ellul

42 34


650

city theatre

830 no rake seating and the stage is too small for dance performances jean-marc cafa school of performing arts

catholic Being church owned, might hinder institute the freedom of the expression of a number of themes resulting in having the theatre limited to certain productions only wesley ellul

43 35


10000

mfcc

It’s not really equipped for dance as in it’s because it’s not a proper theatre…not just dance justin roy barker YADA

There are no places to go to after the event at MFCC alan montanaro madc

Even like any form of theatrical production you can’t fly things in or anything like that justin roy barker YADA

42 36


1400

mcc republic hall

Not good acoustically and too expensive to be used for smaller production companies jean-marc cafa school of performing arts

43 37


HIGH END RESTAURANT

CLUB THEATRE ENTRANCE WINE BAR AND FAMILY RESTAURANT TAILORING THEATRE MANAGEMENT MUSIC CANTEEN

MUSIC STUDIOS

TOURISTIC ATTRACTIONS SCHOOL RESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION SCHOOL FACILITIES

ENTERTAINMENT AREAS

42 38

DANCE AND DRAMA STUDIOS


MUSEUM

MASTERPLAN

GYM CAFE DORMITORIES EXHIBITION CENTRE

LIBRARY

APERITIVO BAR

ADMINISTRATION

REHEARSAL SPACES LIGHT LABS

RESIDENCES

43 39


40 2 42


PROPOSED ACCESS shuttle service car access coach and public transport

CARPARK

43 41


42


CIRCULATION pedestrian

vehicles

43


Interview with Justin Roy Barker, co-founder of the YADA Dance Company 29th November 2012 Facilities in Malta for example like performance spaces let’s say? OK take like theatres for instance. I think it’s a big problem in Malta. We’ve either, we’ve got extremes. We’ve either got places like, I mean OK the MFCC is not a proper theatre you know, you know, it’s like, it’s like a sort of marquis thing. Not exactly a marquis but you know, it’s like not a permanent structure. That. It’s not really equipped for dance as in it’s because it’s not a proper theatre…not just dance. Even like any form of theatrical production you can’t fly things in or anything like that. That’s pretty much the same at the Mediterranean Conference Centre because really it is a conference centre. Plus it seats a lot of, a lot of seats so it’s very expensive to run. You can’t, like let’s say you want to do something that’s a bit, got bit more of a niche maybe like opera or contemporary dance, things that may be more of, I don’t know of a minority of people you know sort of a certain type of person not the masses. Not like something like I don’t know like pop concerts are going to draw thousands of people. When you’re doing something like ballet, or contemporary dance, you don’t get lots of people. So it’s like a niche market. Then we need a small theatre that has small seating capacity. That you have, let’s say the Manoel, but then the theatre itself, as beautiful as it is it’s very small, you know for, for, even for certain…a play. I won’t just talk about dance because I know obviously this you want feedback on all the arts but it’s just small so I think that’s our biggest drawback here we needed in Malta because there is a, I think there are a lot of, there’s a lot of interest in culture and the arts and so surprisingly enough we don’t have the venues to support that which is a great pity and that’s why sort of I, there are a lot of things then that happen, you can maybe do in Summer but then it’s too hot to get the public in, to get bums on seats, to get people to come and watch you. So maybe the theatre is, sort of the theatre schedule I would sort of say is like more, you know, the Winter time up until June, you know, October to June, that time. So that is I see as a big problem, you know. Where would you perform in summer? Mainly like outdoor venues and stuff. I know we’ve, we perform sometimes up at Ta’ Qali but again it’s not a great venue. They always have to like. It’s, it’s, there’s never really been, any sort of pre-thought. They create, maybe they could create a stage that could be like permanently there and obviously be something that could be weather proof that they could then put a dance carpet, but no it’s normally something that has to be set up, it’s normally like scaffolding wood, then they put a bit of dance carpet you know, that’s sort of a bit of lino on it and you, you sort of make do. It’s always sort of like a bit of make do. But really open air is in summer you can…although somewhere like the MCC, Mediterranean Conference Centre is air-conditioned you don’t really get people coming to do that. More our, our, our engagements when we do theatres like the College of Yada is more during the Winter months and Spring and Autumn you know, not Summer. And backstage spaces I think… Again, again it’s not I mean like the, I mean the Mediterranean Conference Centre is really, it’s very small. I mean they have a massive hall which they rent out separately which you can also rent out but again at a charge. But it’s not a dressing room. It’s just like you, you, you have to put a lot of tables and chairs in there. So I would say dressing room facilities are not good at all. I mean the ones there, the dressing rooms they have they’re OK but they’re sort of under, under the stage so quick changes is a bit of a problem and they’re not really very big. And it’s quite hot…like if you do something in the warmer months because it’s under-ground there’s no, under the stage, there’s no air-conditioning at all. So that’s an issue. And do you think like as children do many continue on a professional level or they just stop because maybe their parents make them come as an extra-curricular activity? I think a bit of both. I think sometimes it can be the parents sort of really push them but I think then when 44


APPENDICES people get to a certain age, maybe like when they get to sort of like seventeen, eighteen and they know their own mind then people will either really continue if they love it or they’ll stop. I have heard a lot of ballet schools that are mainly traditionally ballet schools. People always say that when they get through their exams, let’s say you’ve done your like in your ballet, you can do intermediate, advanced 1, advanced 2. When you’ve done I hear a lot of people then stop and I think that’s mainly because they’re not further challenged as in there’s nothing to look forward to or work towards. But as a school, really it’s your job that when your students get to that level you need to sort of then invent stuff that you have to sort of do performances, maybe choreographic competitions, that sort of like what we do within the school. Like we have some students which have done their advanced 2 and we do like a small ballet assessment. We get some local dance teachers in and they just do an assessment class and it’s just something for them to work towards. We do choreographic competitions, we perform regularly, so sort of like we’re always busy. I think that is the, that is the, the secret to trying keep people interested and motivated to be honest. But even than that there is the general pattern. I mean I don’t know why, I don’t know, I don’t know if it comes from the directors. We don’t seem to, we have a lot of seniors in this school. We don’t seem to have that problem. I mean there is a natural progression that sometimes, especially when people get married, they sometimes stop, you know and then they’ll have family and then obviously you know, there’s a new turnover. It’s almost like a waterfall you know, it’s, it’s getting replenished and then you know, it’s like. But within our school we, we, I would say we they keep most of our seniors for a long time, they keep coming. And maybe that’s just because of, I don’t know. The fact is we just keep motivating them. It’s not like. we’re committed least one school show a year. Then YADA, YADA does a production depends how big the production is sometimes we use many dancers from the school. it’s actually two shows that they do. This year our children already did three shows because we did a show based on Carnival and we did it in Gozo in, at Easter time. Again, the, our school show is sort of like compulsory, we ask them all to take part in that but the other shows is like by shows. But most of them want to do it. because to just dance in a studio it’s pointless if you don’t then practice you know, sort of. And rehearsal spaces you use? We use the same studio. Ok, when it is, when we do something like a production it’s much more tiring than a school show. And that’s purely because when it is a school show we rehearse in the class. So what we do is if people let’s say come to jazz twice a week, how, how our system works is, they have two different teachers. We’re about five jazz teachers at the school. so let’s say for instance they might have myself and Felix or myself and Darren. Whatever they have two different teachers. Doesn’t matter what grade they’re at we do that, that’s just sort of so they get different styles of jazz. We find it really works and it gives people sort of you know, enthusiastic and motivated about their dancing. So they do that. One every year, so one class they do a choreography with let’s say teacher A, and teacher B they just do class. So they rehearse within their hours and that comes. Obviously the ballet they come more than, they come once, three times a week so then they’ll just do one or twice a week choreography and class. When we do a YADA production we can’t, we have to rehearse late in the evenings which means we run the school from half three, four o’clock till nine. We have three studios and they, we have classes till nine and then rehearsals start at nine. So we work nine till eleven or even half eleven. So it’s quite late but obviously that is, that’s, I wouldn’t, that’s not, that would mean like, that everybody wouldn’t be usually involved on a Monday to Friday basis but obviously you know, it is, so it’s different. But yes to answer your question we have to 45


rehearse in this space. In here…? Yeah, yeah, in the studio. Preferably, if a new theatre had to be built, would it be better obviously if they have an extra rehearsal studio at the same time… It would be fantastic. It would be fantastic because, what would be good about something like that is you could, number one, you could warm up before the show, right before the show. We have a problem here in Malta, when you come to do a production, let’s say curtain up is seven thirty, they have to bring the safety curtain down at least six thirty or six o’clock so they have an hour and half so the air-conditioning will work and will cool the room. You know, obviously you know, so it doesn’t escape onto the stage. Which means you can’t do your warm up till two hours before so by the time a production comes on, that’s not really ideal. Yes you’ve worked your body but you’re not really prepared to go on stage sweaty. In fact normally then we have to do a bit of a stretch backstage in the dressing rooms or in the wings a top up. So really it would be fantastic and a lot of theatres abroad have it. Like you’re saying, that’s what they had. They had like a sort of like an adjacent dance studio with mirrors where you can be cut off from the. You know you can literally do your warm up, you do your make up, full make up, like your hair done and everything, you do a class, you do a warm up and then you go on stage. Cause really you should go on stage sweaty. You should go on stage ready warmed up and prepared. And that would be the same size as the stage or…? I mean it doesn’t necessarily have to. I mean, I guess, the same, I mean, I’m not really so much in. honestly let’s say the drama side. I can speak for sort of the dance side of things. Let’s say for instance we come to do a show obviously, we rehearse all the choreographies here within our school. We can’t go into the theatre till the last minute cause otherwise you have to pay for it so you go in like four days maybe, four five days before. Then you have to, then you have to just do a spacing rehearsal because then obviously you’ve got a different space or a bigger space it depends. Like the, the, for instance when we did our show, Michael Jackson, and we did it at the MFCC, the stage was massive. It was fantastic. It was beautiful but it was like triple the size of the studio. So then you have to do a spacing rehearsal. But that’s part of a dancer’s job you know. They just have to get used to different spacing. I mean if you were a touring company, you would have to, let’s say maybe one week you’re in a stage, I don’t know, thirty-foot square and then maybe next time you go into a really quaint theatre that’s like I don’t know, twenty foot square and you know what I mean, you have to, you have to then adapt. So, that’s it. But ideally yes, I mean a good, we really need good theatre facilities. Good dressing rooms, you know, with proper mirrors, showers, you know I mean. Basic stuff really. Even the theatres themselves they need, we, you, we need to have, they need to have, like here, when you go like into the wings, you know like the side wings of a theatre, there’s very little space. Really they should be, the space should almost be either side should be half of the, the, width of the stage. So let’s say you want to bring on scenery, or not, or I mean not maybe scenery you want to fly down you want to wheel something in, you should be able to do that. And then even height, normally it’s like, you know at least one time again, so that you can take something up. So no, that is a problem but that is because really proper theatre, theatre, there’s really just like the Manoel Theatre really because the Mediterranean Conference Centre it is used as a theatre but it was built as a conference centre. How many senior students do you have here? Senior, all in all we’re four hundred and fifty about. I would say you could probably sort of cut it down the middle. About that, about juniors and seniors. That’s all I’m saying, but also I think why another part of our strength and obviously in a small island like Malta, like anything, like, like restaurants and business46


es and whatever you, you, it’s word of mouth and it’s reputation, and people know that here we’re, our classes are very accessible to, I mean we, for instance we have beginners classes so let’s say someone they might come to me and tell me, “listen I’m twenty-eight. I’ve never danced before in my life. Can I dance?” I tell them, “Yes of course you can. You can try out or beginners jazz class.” Obviously they’re not going to become some ballerina, you, they’re not going to do, come and do classical exams. They can’t aim for that kind of level. But they can come and you know still realise cause dance can be fun and I believe it should be accessible for everybody, you know. But I think that’s sort of like, one of our, so sort of people realise that about our school that you know, that dance is accessible for everyone. It’s trying to find the bridge or gap between making it fun and making it accessible to everyone but also trying to keep standards and technique and everything. It’s you know. We have people coming who really want to maybe make a carrier out of it and they take it seriously and they come here every single day. We have dancers who come here every day. And then we have dancers who come here, let’s say the adult beginners once a week, on a Tuesday for instance. So they just do one hour a week on a Tuesday. So it just depends at how seriously you want to take it. We have people who come who do three subjects. They may do classical ballet, jazz and hip hop. Or they might do flamenco Spanish and ballet. Just two subjects. It’s varied, you know. And when you started dancing did you study abroad or here? I started abroad cause, I’ve been, how long have I been? I’ve been in, I came to Malta in 1989. Ok, I came to Malta in 89 and so I did it in England before that. I was born in England and I studied in London. I went to London Studio Centre. I studied there for three years and I got my diploma there. That’s when I started, that’s when I started what we call vocational, you know, like full time training, nine till five. Before that I started dancing when I was about twelve and I sort of, it was like free-style dancing, sort of what you would now say hip-hop. But then in those times it wasn’t called hip-hop. I’m showing my age now. Well that it was sort of a bit more free-style. I used to do competitions and stuff. And then I started getting into ballet and jazz and all that. Then I wanted to take it seriously and I had to move to London. Which is what students here, I mean here they have to do the same thing. It’s a bigger step because here you have to leave, you, if you want to do it full time training in you know dance, in anything, in the arts, I feel in here, you’ve got to, you’ve got to go abroad. Which is quite sad because there’s a worth of talent here and I really don’t see why you should have to go abroad. Cause that’s what we’re trying to provide. Exactly. There’s, there’s no reason why we should have to go. There’s a worth of talent here and there’s, there are good teachers. In, in Malta, like in UK, like in France, like in Italy, like everywhere, you have good teachers and bad teachers, you know. But there’s a worth of good teachers here, there’s a worth of knowledge and talent. What we need is we’re you know, we need outside influence you know like we need I’m talking for dance now. We need more dancers. International dancers and choreographers to come here and give us workshops and companies for us to go and see. Again if these companies had a theatre, cheaper theatre in which to perform, ticket prices would be cheaper and then I think you get more people going to see them. So sort of culturally you know, you’d be able to sort of access more society for that, for the arts, but definitely I don’t see why there can’t be a sort of, a national arts centre here in Malta you know where you could do full time training. In all the arts really singing, you know, acting, dance, drama, dance, you know. So that would be absolutely great. Music, learning instruments why not? We, we could do it. I mean, I don’t think just being a small island is, it would be a disadvantage. Not at all. It would need to be marketed well and just like you have these English language schools which are thriving. People come from Columbia, and they come from South America and they come all to little Malta to learn English, why wouldn’t they come to learn the, to learn the arts. And then your also local people benefit. They wouldn’t have to go abroad, you know. And you have the EU now which is sort of being, within the EU, we’re entitled to funding and stuff but still it’s competition is very high for, for local people to get it, to get funding. 47


And even then it’s not full funding. I think it’s part, it’s sort of like a small burst to me, like you get a small amount of money. So something like an arts centre, yeah definitely. I also feel though we needed if we had a national dance company. I’m sorry I’m always, I’m taking the perspective. I know you’re interested in all the arts. But from a dance perspective if we had a national dance company even more that would be you know, it would be, it would be, it would make sense. Because then you could dancers go to train you know in a full time training. I mean I myself, would love, I mean, I have my own school here along with Felix but I would love to teach in full time vocational school where I could teach with my knowledge and expertise and experience during the day. I feel I could still do that. I have like my teachers, that used to teach me when I was in London they had their own evening schools. So that I could, so I know it would be possible to do it, to be able to give my time you know and so this is what I’m saying. We’ve got, I mean, our head of ballet trained Nina Winter she’s English as well. She trained and then you got local Maltese who have also trained abroad and also trained in Malta to high standards. That they would all be qualified to do this. And I’m sure the same is the same in the drama and regards music and voice, coaching classes. So it would be really good. So this is something you’re planning on, you would like to… As in, we’re the architecture stream so it’s all imaginary. We were given a site and we have to choose the use. And you know, when we were discussing different uses we’re like you know, there’s, ok there’s university but there isn’t something similar for the arts at a professional level so why shouldn’t we offer let’s say a space that would have a school at a more professional level, so. And then maybe also offer evening classes let’s say to keep the money coming and have a theatre space and it would be a whole centre for that and you know, get people from abroad. I mean obviously. So you have a site and it’s sort of like, your assignment to sort of change its use, almost? Exactly and design the spaces. Is this site real? Yes. It’s Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara. I don’t know if you’ve been. I’d be interested to see. Yeah if you could let me see it. And even the spaces they’re so interesting like, some of them are vaulted spaces, and I don’t know. I mean we’re not really in the arts. That sounds really nice like vaulted ceilings and stuff because there are like I mean, I know there’s like a school in New York and that, I think, that it’s sort of like, what you call it? Like a loft. You know what I mean? That kind of raw brick and like that even I know, where is it? Yes, one of my teachers in London has her own school. Bodywork, you can google it. Bodywork arts company or something like that. I don’t think and there’s the school or Cambridge performing arts I think is the school, and they work from an old not an office block, warehouse. And there’s like beams and stuff, very much like you’re saying. So, yeah, I think something like that, that has a bit of history, I think that’s actually really inspiring. That’s an inspiring environment to be in. And it’s really quiet and cut off like. It’s like a village. Imagine something like you want to have people learning the drums or doing flamenco. I’m thinking of all things that are noisy. Flamenco, stamping, castanets, voice.

48


Even a performance. Opera. Any performance yeah. Nice big spaces. It would be a fantastic something like and, exactly what would and obviously I’m sure you’ve thought about because you just mentioned finances. You obviously need to get money back. So that would be through performances, through classes, through running an actual arts centre. We’re also thinking of providing let’s say student accommodation on site, entertaining spaces like, places where they can hold gigs, cafés, restaurants, to attract as many people as possible to keep it like alive. A village really, not just a school that closes. Ok. Almost like an arts village. Very interesting. How would you feel if you had people walking by your school let’s say and like visitors? Like let’s say we… Watching classes. Not inside, maybe just through glass windows. Glass windows. I think it can, I think it works accept for when you have with children. I know this from a fact. Cause let’s say in London, that’s how all the studios were. There used to be, there used to be the corridor and there used to be glass windows. Obviously they didn’t open you know, sort of like, they’re like internal windows and used to look in so you could observe classes as you, as you, you know, wandered by. But we used to have, we had changed it downstairs a bit the layout. When, when, before we changed it we used to have like in the doorway this glass thing because obviously train in London we used to have a window. All the children just used to keep looking at the parents, getting distracted, it was a nightmare. In the end we had to put like a blind so you could pull it up and down but obviously if, if your main idea, I mean I guess, like your vision is, this is like an arts centre right? You thinking more vocational as in like full-time? Yes, yes. Yes so obviously this is for, this is for adults so yes. No, definitely you need that because that’s inspiring for when you are training. Let’s say if you’re more of I don’t know, a ballet dancer and then you let’s say for instance you’re watching a contemporary dance you learn by what you see. So yeah it’s good. No I think that wouldn’t bother me at all people watching. I think even like Pineapple in London, I think they got a couple of their studios there’s a big window that actually gives on to the street where members of the public are walking up the street. You’re actually looking to the class you know. It wouldn’t distract the class like? No. Forsi, maybe even the type of glass. We could make it in a way that people from outside can see. Yes. I mean there are different ways of doing it. I think the thing, I think is when it’s sort of vocational you’ve got people who are very focused and they know they want to be there and obviously when it’s full time training, obviously fees are not like a school where you just come for two lessons a week or something like that. Obviously you’re talking substantial fees. So you’re focused cause you know you’re paying this money. You’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to take everything you can grab and you’ve got to you know just, you have to take it seriously. You’re not going to be like messing about looking outside and stuff like this. You’re focused. I mean so, I think, it, it can be good. As in sometimes it can be quite inspiring if you feel like you’ve got access to the outside. I mean we used to rent a space you know where Zara is now in Sliema. Years ago, that, where the men’s 49


department is, ok? So you know the window overlooks the sea? That used to be one of the studios. That we rented the place then the rent started going up higher and higher then we rented within a fitness place. At the time it used to be an old cinema and then it used to be. I mean none of you guys would remember it like that. It used to be an old cinema where the ladies’ section of Zara is. It was an old cinema. Then on top there was a fitness centre. Then it all got demolished. But we used to rent a space there. That was very inspiring because you know, there’s, you, you, you have the mirrors there, the sun, you’re seeing the sea. It was beautiful. But obviously that is like rare. You’re not going to get that. But something like this space. This space… The biggest rooms you need are obviously for dance. I mean at Studio Centre, some of the singing rooms weren’t very big at all. It depends how, what classes you know, even. Often with singing you have one to one or you might have small classes of three. It just depends. Then you set the music studios, sort of you know, again they were never really that big. It depends obviously. Let’s say if you need room for a big orchestra where you’re playing together then that’s different. You know but really the, the biggest space you need is like for actual dance studios and stuff like that and like, like I mean you’ve thought about all, all this. You said things like canteen and stuff. Yes. You need all that. And differences between ... Exactly, yes. ... like you are trying in include ... Yes, outside dance we used to have. I mean now it’s like it’s called budget control, now it’s like everything ... which he uses along dance, bhala artist studio with a sound, gym equipment, you can work that, it’s like male dancers need to do a bit of gyming so that they have strong what we call ... work, so that, that you may have to include if you haven’t thought about it. Can we include a sauna? Or something like that? Physiotherapy? Or? I mean. I mean look, let me tell you I mean the thing is obviously this has all to do with how much money, obviously I know this is a fiction of things, yes I mean something like that, physiotherapy no differently. That you need, dances you need. We need eh a personal set-up they are there all time. I mean no something like a physiotherapy could be someone that would like let’s say for instance ok you would have your dances up for working every day Monday either Monday to Friday or also this arts centre I’m just thinking as a something else which you could include ... London studio centre, as I said, where I trained, was a professional vocational school, but at the weekends, they used to run classes for like like a school like we have so they would have a Saturday morning classes where children used to come so it’s an actual right that you’re building is not dead, its’ always being used, because dancers have to have days off, there are a few schools where they work Monday to Saturday but obviously if you need full time training especially something as physical as dancing, when even boys training, as I say, you have to have your rest days. So Saturday and Sunday you need it off. Well, the building is not dead and not earning any money, so we ideally you would eh you would have sort of like an an evening school you know, sort of an afternoon evening school. So that that could go on. But yeah, you said about the physiotherapy. Yeah you could have someone who would come in, maybe twice a week, and it would be by appointment. Something like that. Would be. Because something like that would be much more feasible because dancing do ... but I doubt if maybe I don’t know, a physiotherapist would be, would have enough work, yeah exactly, to work from nine till five, five days six days a week. Apart from this front floor, is it ... acoustics, is there a mirror? Yes. And ventilation. Is there anything else? And space, obviously, and anything that you think is important? Ehm really, you said, you need ehe, a good sales artist, ok what we have we have TV and DVD in our in our studio. And you say, what for? But that is something when you want to recreate some of your work or you wish to show your dancers, let’s say, like eh ok to show you just start a show dance rush and we we are 50


going to be going to America next January to take this like this show. And there are certain things that we need to make better, so let’s say this would be a good instance where we put in the DVD, we sit down before the rehearsal and we say “Look, let’s watch ourselves,” cos when you dance you can’t obviously see yourself, and you can try it for, I mean, with a video camera or something you can’t all see it, this is not practical, so we have a TV and we have a DVD player. I even sometimes it’s used for I don’t know to resurrect a choreography, once we did a show, one of our shows, to tell you ... sorry at our fifteenth anniversay school, and we did a celebration and we decided to recurrect some choreographies from five six seven years before, previous, obviously you forget them, there’s no way you could remember them, so rather than trying to watch them at home and then come and you know, so that is another good thing, and it’s even good because let’s say on the day of the dance you could have dances that you could show them to dancers, professional companies and soloists and stuff, or let’s say drama work shops for let’s say for drama students, or I don’t know, I need to be with the famous ... or something like that or maybe, we find that useful, I mean we just have it here in one of our studios, one of the three studios, but we we do use it frequently. So that’s something maybe you could ... and discuss, a TV and a DVD. Eh yeah you mentioned something like a sauna and stuff like this. It’s good it’s good for a good to relax the body, I mean it’s something it’s ehm it’s quite a luxury but if in this place it would really exist I wouldn’t say no to it. Once we’re done we’ll show you the end result. OK, so you’re planning, I know you would be very interested to say, so you have to, at the moment you’re just getting feedback, and. Yes, we need to gather information. Because we’re starting. So what is tell you is definitely with the space you need a choreography dance, because it’s common sense, you need space. OK. You know, you need your biggest spaces for that. Even I think you need you need some sort of a good, eh I’m just thinking, I do not know if you’ve got gone to speak to Monolito Galea, he is really good on sound, because him, I could give you his number, because I was just thinking about sound insulation, I would have one of the rooms like his recording studios are recording studios and I would just say to double the size of the room we have, so it’s not big; that room, a room like that, I mean he has sort of like but his room is insulated, and he has like his phone things, I don’t know the technical things, you have to ask him, ... that’s all for good acoustics and sound, that .... a recording live artist recording to to make a CD or something, and even we go to him as a company when he records our music, our productions, so we go to him and he would record our music professionally and all that. So actual on site stand recording studios would be fantastic. You have enough space for it. Do you think this ... studios they are double the size and the ... too? What you do know what the actual size is the height what is it? Eh actual size, one second. Nahseb ghandek eighty metres. Four metres. Kull fetha kienet. Four five? Three metres kull fetha, jigifieri. Imbaghad hemm. Cos these can be opened right through. And. That would be the best thing, yes. And they are approximately each each of these is three metres wide. So basically we have one, two, three, four, five, - ten kellna? Vaults? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven – about fifteen say. Fifteen times three, forty five metres by forty five. That’s fantastic. Sixty, seventy. You need ballet class, I mean you don’t know ... even as an artist, I ‘m just ... ballet and modern dance eh yes, what else would you need? Yes, sound system, like a good sound system. Ours here they were mount51


ed because when you because when it’s on the floor, something ... it skips. With CD, with CD. Now obviously now everything is like that, you know, unless you use. How about eighty by four metres high? No, that’s good, very good. All right. Air conditioning if I mean ovbiously you have an outside. Yes. ... so you would be able to get access for airconditioning; that is important because we are living in the Mediterranean climate, if you are going to do a vocational training you have to go, I mean, but here let’s say they finish the year like mid-July or something like that, mid- end July, it’s not like in Malta, I mean we finish end June, so like it’s hot air, you you need, we need the AC. Em, you mentioned a library before: that is really important for people to research, whatever field it is – drama, you know, ... or dance. That is really important. And I would say even maybe nowadays with internet, that is so important because people can get or tell something, “Oh listen, go and ... bus stop” that ... ballerina, I need to ... a British ballerina, go ... so if you have an on site access for that, that would be really good, you know. Something like that. We’re nearing the end? No problem, if you have any other questions, let me give you, because the sound, because normally you are going to the arts, you’ve got cos let’s say I’ve got one of my friends of mine, Vivienne, she had she was sending her son because he loved the drums to go and study music abroad, and when she had sent him to England, it was in England, I don’t know where, she had gone and they like all these fantastic sound studios and music rooms with obviously instruments and you know equipment. Technique. Basically. So that is really important and someone like Monolito would need to tell you what you would need cos I mean that’s you know what is like technically and he would really help you on that, cos that goes hand in hand for sure. Thank you very much. Right, so I’ll give you my phone and it’s it’s in Monolito’s number. There’s I think there is I was told there is money to be had, you just have to know or you just have to start knocking on doors and and finding out what’s your rights and how you are and how. Good. I’m finished. You know, how to apply for these funds, and you know ... thank you. Thank you.  

52


Lecture with Prof. Joanne Butterworth 13th November 2012 I think it’s the best way. I mean I haven’t seen, I had it for discussion ... which is really interesting, so I I mean I am the client, I have written a brief which is about you building for the performing art, you probably know that we have just set up a school for the performing arts in the university, which is slightly different from any other kind of performing art talking about an academy. We are not simply an academy, we are a school of performing art that also brings theory and practice integrated, not the usual, I would imagine, because we we are applying our art actually applying our art in the ... and so I have been asked to direct this school which is brought together dance and music and theatre studies. Now in this university at the moment the ... dance studies department has only been running two years; we are into our third year, and we have students em normally we take about ten every year and they have to be able ... they come in a normal way, as you did, and they also have to have reasonably high standards about technique and meaning that they probably would have been to one of the ballet academies, ... on the island. And and reached the level which is intermediate, and we do hold an audition as well, so we can take people who are not just very capable dancers, but also maybe have other skills or demonstrating the ability to to collaborate with each other or to be ceative or because we are not just asking them to stand up in the studio and do what somebody in front tells them to do. We are not engaging ourselves in passive education, if you like. So by the end of a three year course those students, I mean they they are just at the moment working on what we are calling our third year tour, and they will be dancing in in Sliema, in London, in Nice and at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. So they have four, four major performances of four new works by choreographers who have been invited to come to work with them. They are expected in those situations to do whatever the choreographer would like them to do. You might be a choreographer who says, “I’m going to teach you this dance; I want you to do it exactly as I am performing it now.” Mostly choreographers today, particularly in contemporary dance, don’t do that; they require that people get involved in the creative process, as they call it, get involved in the contribution of, you know, new dance. So then they have to ... they have to be able to choreograph themselves, so next semester they would be choreographing ten to fifteen ... with a small group of first and second year students and bringing it to a formal standard and they ... so that is the practical elements, they also have to do an independents arts project which is an applied project, it could be an education, it could be a dance, community, writing essay which allows them to do the research from a particular area, it might be looking at ... with, working with the elderly, for example. So they need stance, theoretical basis of working with the elderly. And then they take that into ... they might take it into dancing well beneath that kind of arena or they might be interested in working with a boys’ school and or working, what’s the difference between working with an all male group or working with a mixed, mixed group themselves. So it might be something to do with a choreography project or an education project or or a community work project. And we are very aware, we are aware of all of this, that we are kind of leading ourselves to the development skills and knowledge and experience towards Valletta, ... because for us that is really important factor and I think one of the rationale one one of the main reasons behind the desire to set up this school. So basically you then have to write a dissertation as a normal student would in this university they have to do and give a presentation or a lecture demonstration, so we are trying to cover a number of skills in that category, the ability to dance, the ability to choreograph, the ability to apply choreography in various contexts, workshop, teach workshops, write papers and to give presentations, lecture demonstrations, Powerpoints and so on. They also do a huge amount of theoretical work, so they understand what modernology is, they understand modernism and post-modernism and all those concepts that I am sure you are involved in as well. They understand about semioptics and theatre semioptics and so on. So they have something, they have 53


some understanding as well, the theoretical ideas lend themselves to their essays and their their dissertations, so that over there that was written as a single honours degree, that’s why I have gone on quite a long time about it because it was designed as a single honours degree. That’s very different from the way in which music studies and theatre studies were developed within this university. So those two subjects at the moment are quite interesting from the position of theatre studies having grown up a a theoretical approach to theatre which is eh which is one of the ways in which theatre developed itself in the English university system, on the back of English literature or studying Shakespeare or whatever it was and then developing a theatre course, and that most of their pratical work to date has been outside the actual course itself and that the course has had one foot in faculty of arts and one foot in the Mediterranean Institute and they have done some practical work. They don’t have to reach thinking skills in order to get into the university; they obviously have to matriculate. So it’s been a particularly kind of performance studies approach, a formal studies approach comes from America. There are two major universities in America that deal with performance studies and em one is New York and NYU in New York, and they will study almost anything as performers, so they might study obviously plays in the theatre but they equally might study a football match as a performance event and they might also study things like rituals in our daily lives like for example weddings, baptisms, funerals, and the performity event of those ritual, em events. So it’s a much broader concept of performance than what we are talking about an academy of performing arts in general using dance, yet that is that cause is now going, all the people within it are now going to write a single course and we can also have some acting skills and some directing skills in, in that course, and a more generic, not not a generalised ... perhaps, and the music studies the department has traditionally have been a very practically based department, all of them, the four music students are now just about to to do a play for the graduation masters, I think it’s tomorrow and the next day, the fourteenth and fifteenth, they will play, many of them will play for all the graduation ceremonies next week and the week after, they have to be able to reach a very high level of performance in their instruments, they, many of them, many of them go straight into the national philarmonic orchestra or they compose or they do ethno musicology, they are studying the music of a particular country or style or drama, so those people have not had the same kind of performance background in terms of theory but the hope is that eventually given that we have the school performing arts now in two months, so we are developing a sort of relationship between these very disparate departments at the moment, and we shall then develop some new courses to go with them, but for example, performance management, performances need managing and in future when we get to the ... there will be a lot of performances that we all need really skillful managers who have got some understanding of what that all means. There are equally, we have on the island at the moment not very many people who are professionally trained in design, theatre design or technical skills. So how many of you know how to run a theatre? How many of you know how to hand light and focus equipment and utilize technology to help with, maybe to use technology instead of any kind of scene, sort of, scenery, sets or props or whatever. Because that’s also something that we need to develop. And this university in this country, from my perspective is really well developed in terms of technologies, and I think we should consider how much we can take on of the performing arts and its relationship with technology. There is a great deal to be done very very interesting ideas particularly you can find on the web nowadays between the making of art work, performance work and the use of technology. So that’s what we are about, the school of performing arts is about in this university as far as the undergraduate courses are concerned. We then have Masters courses and we have taught masters in dance, we have some ... courses in music, we have some theatre masters in the faculty of arts at the moment and they will eventually all gather under our, in our school. And we shall all offer, we do offer PhDs in theatre; we will start to offer PhD in dance and we already offer the doctor of music in performance and composition and it has been offered at musicology or other forms of musicology and then they will be transferred to PhD. So that should be the whole level, so that’s the kind of, those are the people who will be in the building designed for, the staff will be a mix of people like myself who have danced professionally, who have done their PhDs, who have published, who have still choreographed and still make work and still direct things and so on. So I am very very keen that this school will not have little people who will know how to teach dance technique and then the big 54


professors who only know how to publish lots of books. There should be an integration here and that it’s very very valuable people to be able to do both things. It may be that they do both things at different times in their lives, but I am happiest when we can employ people who have brought some experience to those separate fields and don’t think of them as separate fields so we we know how to study, we can be scholars but we can also be artists. And that emphasis is very very important to me, though at the moment we have all sorts of people in the school; we have people who are composers, conductors, theorists, most, we have got quite a number of people with PhDs ... we have some young members of staff who are currently engaged with their doctoral study and we are very much hoping in the future to introduce the notion of “PAR” which is which stands for practice as research. Now this is something that this university has not yet acknowledged fully, so in the next couple of years we shall be developing the arguments for valuing practice as a research mechanism. And I think that should also be something you might be interested in cos actually that’s what you do too. You don’t, you know, you don’t just theorize, you don’t just practice, but you are engaged in both practices ... OK, so that’s where I come from, that’s a little bit about what I believe in and I’ve sent you a brief of simply of the rules and make spaces and the things that I’m going to need in the next few years. Have you got a lot of questions for me now? OK, well I think there is a tendency here and I have been coming to Malta for forty years, I am not new to this, I am trying to learn Maltese ... I am desperately poor at it; I wish that I could speak some Maltese but I can’t and a few words is all I can do. But I do have an understanding about the Maltese culture and its people and their interest and so on, and particularly in the dance and the theatre and music arena, but I tend to be very very interested about a rather old-fashioned sort of ballet that is still being taught here. They are very interested in syllabus work, you know, every child that comes into a ballet school shall do grade one, grade two, grade three. We all enjoy it but it’s a particularly ... there’s no creativity to it. You do what the teacher tells you to do, and you dance for an hour, maybe once or two or maybe even three times a week, and very occasionally you get to perform in a show choreographed by your teacher, and that’s it, so there’s no creativity. There’s no, you know, let’s make choreography teacher together, let’s get young people interested in the making of work, let’s get, let’s get and that’s it, no education in schools. Our primary children learn to do dance or learning to do dance theatre or drama work or some, play some music. Why is it all so skill-based to do what I’m asking? Then the other problem for me is the, when you get dance led by companies of dancing teachers who are particularly interested in one ... tends to be a ... of musicals. All musicals. Let’s all do CATS or let’s all do this or this, this kind of presentation of work. And there’s more to dance and ... so what I meant in this particular one is that there is a sense in which everybody is interested in, when you give examples, there is from the musicals or sometimes they’re from ballets like Swan Lake; now nothing looks quite so terrible to me as a little girl on a point, who, a, doesn’t know how to do point work well, is double the calories, double the weight that she should be, on order to go on point, and and have not been tolerably well taught, so that she is not standing on point properly so she actually you know is doing something which could be quite dangerous to her long term. And then the other thing which is above their, above their means is, we talk about in Malta she’s a dancer, he’s a dancer, an actor, musician, we’re talking about amateurs here, we are not talking about professionals, you don’t have any professional, proper professional training at the moment, we could, we could set up something proper professional academies, if the government so wish to do that, and it may very well go that way, given that what they have been doing for the last few years is sending people abroad to study in London or somewhere else in the UK or maybe Italy or somewhere else. Do you know how much it costs to do one year in an academy in London? A few thousand. It’s at least, I mean nine thousand pounds is the minimum for one year. Now, if you go to university course in England, now, to study dance or music or theatre, I will be paying nine thousand a year. I will be paying twenty seven thousand pounds, I will not be funded by the government, I will then have to find enough money to actually live and you know, if you are going to do, if you are going to be a Joseph Calleja you are 55


then going on to Masters and do three or four year course at the Central Academy or or the Royal College of Music or somewhere and again the course is to be much more expensive than that, it could be actually twenty five thousand pounds a year. It ... seem to be sensible to start developing some academies somewhere else, you could have this kind of quality of work here on the island; there are lots of people who would really love to do that. Now one of the arguments is well it’s a very small population, less than half a million, but we now do have a national orchestra, a national orchestra, you don’t yet have a national theatre or national theatre company; we don’t have a national dance company yet, but we could have. And maybe we should have, because those are the things that would help us to develop our culture in terms of tourism, and so on as well. I think that the cultural industries are something that could really grow and develop in this country, but I don’t, I think we should be doing it properly, we should stop pretending that we are dancers or actors or whatever, if they are actually no more than semi-professionals around. If they are doing it one or twice a week, they are not professional; if they are doing it every single morning then they are on the way to be professional, but every single morning for ten years would produce somebody who is professional, that. So that’s some of it, some of the problems, you know, with with giving the wrong understanding about the kind of dance that I wish to inculcate. We are not thinking, .... we got to think about thse high standards; we also got to think about how to dance for music, or theatre, for ... the possibility that if overy sixty five could dance they would not have to have so many pedals, they actually, their well-being related to their life style and their exercise and their socialising. I had, I was involved in Yorkshire with a wonderful project, I call it a wonder project, I don’t know if you agree with me, but some of the local doctors had got together and it was such a pity we had so many people who come to us with depression, maybe they lost their job, maybe they have given up smoking, I do not know how to cope with that, maybe they are just lonely or lost somebody and are at home and don’t know what to do with themselves, maybe instead of giving them tranquillizers we could actually get them together and make some activity, so they they started offering ten week courses in walking, swimming, bicycling and dancing, and when they, the patients, turned up at the doctor, they doctor said, “I am not going to give you any pills, I am going to put you on a course; you could choose between this this this and this.” And they did, a lot of them did. And I met the sixteen people who had chosen to do dance and as far as I am aware most of them, they were all aware, they had to be over fifty, so that was a casual point, and maybe a few of them now died, but generally they got together, they enjoyed meeting each other, they enjoyed meeting somebody to chat to, they enjoyed dancing in a big circle, they ... social occasion but it made them feel good, you got them going, you got them thinking about their own body and exercise, you got them thinking about what they eat and how you know how they could be a little bit healthier, but most of all it gave them somewhere to have friends to meet with. So that has caused them a saving in the medical budget and and you’ve got more happy people, so these. The same thing can happen with music. ... music they get together because they enjoy playing music with their with their friends and the same thing happens in theatre. So you can have those sorts of benefits and it doesn’t have to be all professional, but the good kind of amateur work and the good kind of applied work that you could. ... A few questions. OK. let’s go for questions. Em, you said that the students. Is that of dance, theatre, and music altogether, or individually? No, no, no. They all do a set of things, they do not all do everything. So it’s ... dance. ... roughly I mean like every year we take students into music and to the theatre and so on, and at the moment we haven’t yet got a single honours theatre course or a single honours music course. So all our current theatre students or all our current music students are studying two subjects, they are doing a major, minor; and it may be anthropology with theatre, or it might be English with music course, whatever, ... music, languages, whatever. And why do you think so little people ... because of the space being provided or?

56


Not really, no, but I think we’ve also got to be quite careful about how many professional people we we create. Because if we flood the market and by you know in ten years if we are taking let’s say twenty five every year, in ten years time we would have two hundred and fifty people with those skills just in one area, and I am not sure this size of country could sustain that number because we would not, gradually what would happen is some will come, you know, they will go into Masters somewhere or do a PhD and come back and teach on the course. Some of them will want to do a Masters in performance and come back and join the company, some of them already telling me they want to go and work with children with special needs, for example, who all need some aesthetical awareness training and don’t actually get it very much or don’t have people who provide it for them, and this idea of taking dance into primary and secondary school which could only be beneficial. We we did a project last year, they were second years, and they were, Santa Clara, in Gżira?, and we had two classes of boys, really quite tough boys. We were in this huge great gymnasium and teaching, and of course you can’t go and teach them something pretty, you got to do something really gutsy, so we we built something on – I think the New Zealand rugby team how it starts with. ... Yeah do you know what it’s called? A hacker. It’s called a hacker. And we took these movements, we took we showed them a hacker, ... and then my students had made up a new hacker and we taught it, we danced it for them first, and taught it to them, and then we got them start creating new sections of it so then they got into small groups, creative work, and making these long, so they had to remember the movement because the longer, and these kids who come ... by the end of three or four sessions, because they have got so much energy, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old, and sitting on a chair it must be, like you, let’s get up and shake about a bit and use the body in different ways, they just enjoyed themselves so much and when you are coming back, and why you got to leave, and all this stuff. I would say that probably half the curriculum were really ready to continue to do dance all the time, that kind of dance, but if you went in and tried to teach them ballet you would get absolutely nowhere. It would not be worth your while. You got to choose ways in that will attract them, engage them in some point, high and physical work ... usually that really give them a good feeling, make them feel good, but make them feel exhausted as well, but there is a social element in there and making them work together, they are keeping fit, they are engaged both in body and mind, and it was a really quite interesting and extraordinary event. More questions. How important do you think is the fact that the school ... is located in the ... not as an individual entity. I think it’s really important. For this particular school, because we we engage with other people, we are engaging with you. When I was in frontiers, a university college in Holland, the choreography students and the architecture students were the only ones at PhD level and so actually they did a project together where they were doing some work the architecture students were doing some work on eh half-way it seems at that level station, so looking at sort of social use of the station and those ... What we did was to get architecture tutors came to give a lecture to my students and I gave a lecture, I gave a workshop actually as well. And they said, we do not want to dance; I said, you’re not going to dance, you just are going to walk. You know we started walking around the space and everything and then we ended up rolling on the floor doing all sorts of rituals, things, and I think that that ability to socialise across the university, to engage with ideas that we wouldn’t otherwise know about, and to find out about what each other does, this is a really important aspect. Plus, I think there are ways in which things can, we can combine with some of us studying; when we study space we studied space, but we never studied space together. And we study social space, and and space in terms of feeling and ... space, and so on. It’s not really very much research material about that. So why dont’ we share? We’ve had a great time with the neuroscientists last year; it was a wonderful room, we did. ... five years. But really the neuroscience room is to do more with health that they could always test. For example, they’ve got a chair where you sit down and you could tell whether your weight is equally balanced by the way a computer reads I think it must have had heat sensors on this chair, so it’s picking up your heat and then they want to show you whether or not you are completely balanced in 57


your pelvis when you are seated or whether you are sort of sitting on one side or the other, on which buttock you are sitting, yeah? So that you are all, none of you are sitting straight or actually if you can feel you know that the pressure on the one buttock or pressure on to the other, because of the way you are sitting. And if, that’s fine if you are young, you’ve got good bodies, when we get a bit older you need to think about the alignment of the body and the way in which you utilize and that info, that equipment can give you that information. It is fascinating. So isn’t it good to get to be able to go to other ... and share. I have a question. This work, what good ... is the performance? It’s not high enough; it’s got a terrible floor. I mean, you know, the space, as far as I am concerned, needs some resilience, ideally, it needs to be grouted, and even if it is brown from wood, maple, ... or whether it is very very high density ... or, you need a decent floor where you want to do movement of an actor or whether you are going to do dance, a. ... dance. I I don’t like to use lights either, I hate them so, these flourescent lights, because I think they make people feel funny, I don’t know about it. I like natural light very much because the whole performance ... as well. So these curtains don’t do much in the way of giving me a blackout and. ... give us fresh air. ... There’s always such a noisy area, isn’t it? You could get a lot of students walking by. All right. ... Our space is used by different artists. Is there space? Yes, they are, quite often they are; we have to be flexible. You could think about a flexible black box theatre, you choose the same area, but they might utilize it differently. The theatre, theatre love to to do seasonal art for example ... to change ... dance tends to, not always, to use enough, and we are quite happy to have the dancers on the floor and not on the stage, but if you are a music ensamble you will need to have your musicians elevated, so you would need some sort of structure, you can buy them these days, these small staging structures that we ... so that everybody is elevated by about a metre and maybe there are steps for them as well. I think, I think flexible space is probably more expensive space. I took some colleagues to southern, ... in London, and they had two, two theatres, a very large theatre that seats about three thousand and a smaller ... for smaller events, amateur events, theatre events and so on. And it is, I mean you do need a full time technical staff if you are going to use it very regularly. But that box should be very flexible, it should be allowed ... all the areas. There are some, I mean, a dance studio should not be used by anyone else unless they take their shoes off at the door and come in with their socks or no socks at all actually. Some people would say, I never want to see socks on the stage, but that has to be ... normally it has to be ... depending on the daily class, it might be ballet class or it might be a contemporary class, it might be a sitting on the floor type of class or it might be a standing doing exercise. You got to be able to ... across the floor and here we have about two ... that would go into the wall. This size wouldn’t do for a lot. Normally, if you have a class of ten to fifteen people you would say I need fifteen by fifteen, you know. ... and six metres high. You need a space. If you are to lift me up in one of those amazing lifts with one hand then I would be quite, I would be knocking my head on the fan, decapitated probably, so you need up to, up to six metres, effectively, and more if it’s going to be a small theatre wtih ... it’s a ring, and the ability to hang. ... But the studios are the same, I mean, fifteen by fifteen metres, the studio? No, we would probably be very lucky if we had one or two, one or two of those, probably make do with a ten by twelve, a couple of ten by twelve. Some of them could be used, fifteen by fifteen can be used as formal space, for sharing not for the ultimate dance performance, but for the sharing work which obviously have to happen a lot with in between evenings and then you need a kind, you need to be able to have an effect to have the whole picture. So if I was videoing from back here I wouldn’t get, probably lose half of you, I would have to use part of this room, because my video camera wouldn’t pick up everything, and it wouldn’t be much good in terms of holding on to the choreography, so you need to to eh give ourselves distance 58


from the art work that we are viewing and ... but yes, you are right, you have to be pragmatic as well. We are going to have a building on campus, then it may even have to be underground, some people have been talking about underground spaces, but then what’s it like to work underground? It’s like a mole. Is it started? Outside ... it is crucial here, but non-noisy ones, not in the middle of Valletta where you could hear every guitar or every pigeon. Yes, I mean we do a lot of specific work here, because we are, we are used to work in Yorkshire, we had to be, we had to be you know, we had to be there to do an outside performance in the rain if necessary. But here in Malta as long as you do them in the evenings, and during the summer evenings, evenings on campus ... If they are sheltered, then they are more usable? Yes. Or you would prefer the openness? I see this summer where they did the mystery plays in York, they are using them ... they had built a very interesting theatre space, where the audience were in three blocks on the sides and the back of the stage was simple but very effective, it looked like a series of blocks but different, different heights, but each of the stage as well, large blocks, but everything something happened in each of these blocks and it opened or one or two of them ... along the stage and they had water, so there is part of the story, the history, the story of Jesus where water was important and in the Old Testament story, and some of them became they opened up and all the cast came down the steps, you know, as if you are going underground here. Or they would carry things on in wheelbarrows, like they did in the scene of Adam and Eve, the tempation in the garden, and they would place great big trees that they brought in in wheelbarrows, and I mean they had a cast of about four hundred people so it was worth their while, but they did, they were covered, so that they ... and had to cancel the performance. But they still had an open field to do it. But it was a very interesting design. Going back to choreography, I I want your view ... and in it I noted the varied contributions for the three regions, ... America, and. In your opinion, how do, how do, what do you expect ... from these choreographers, the fact that they are from different regions? ... Yes, it is actually, and I think for many many years we have been very selfish in the West; we have been rather ignoring all the excellent work that goes on in different parts of the world, and particularly places like South East Asia. I can remember when the British government started realizing that I think more than ten per cent of the population in the UK was from India or Pakistan. And that really some of the money came to the arts should be spent on some of these art forms. ... bringing dancers from India, they started setting up schools where young Indian children to learn something of their own culture. Now it’s kind of, it’s inherited in the way that we work, because in those days it was really quite strange because nobody knew how to look. We understand conventions of performance in our own world; we know that we don’t sit down in a theatre and the lights go down and then the curtains goes up and something starts to happen, and then we sit passively in the audience and let things happen and we are either entertained or we are a bit bemused or baffled or whatever it is. ... there are so many different kinds of performance. You know, you go to see a No theater production in Japan or whether on tour, one can see it in New York and and we don’t really understand its meaning or its many ... of it. Because we know nothing of their culture. And so it is really quite important to learn more about dance and culture. We know what dance means to the aboriginal population, for example, and I am sensing now that people are starting to do this kind of research and find out. 59


And recently you also visited the ... space. I asked you to use the top floor at the moment because we dont’ have anywhere else to go, so ... And we saw that there is a kind of ... as regards to the design of the school. Do you agree with that or do you believe that the design shoud be ... it should inspire the dancer? What should the ... dancer. ... Big open spaces with lots of light does inspire. I do not think, I mean, I think that ... created an environment, we didn’t inspire, then all the dancing would be inspired in the same way, so what you want is to ... not too much busy detail so that it does not kind of effect. Otherwise all the choreographers will start to make all kind of work, ... in the same way. OK. A kind of balance, neutral. Neutral, it is. Neutral. And the other thing if you like is that you have ... so that when you do creative work you can actually draw ... and have, you know what I mean? We have to have a choice: do I use mirrors or not use mirrors? ... I don’t care where the bars are or whether they are freestanding cos now you can buy very good classical bars which are free standing, and most, most companies, I mean I am on a board of ballet, when I see they are doing class ... poor, they do the class on stage. They don’t have a mirror, they don’t have a bar, they carry their portable bars with them and they still present them to the audience, even though ... they are just working for themselves and working in the way they know they need ... their own body and to the role that they are going to dance that night. But they really do not need the mirror. When you are a dance or theatre person in training you do need a mirror to be able to align yourself properly, you need to remember that some of the ... perspective inside not just outside. I talked to my friend who owns a dance stage, she tells me that before they go to class they still need to look good because when you go before the mirror when you see someone who looks determined and ... she told me trimming makes a difference, when I see myself, I feel more powerful. So she is talking about the mirror not in a kind of a dance aspect. .... That is a very very interesting literature on the use of the mirror. You really need foucal, foucal rights about power, and the mirror. It’s you know, it’s a very interesting concept of, the mirror can be your friend, the mirror can also become too powerful so that it takes over so that you don’t look anywhere else but at your own reflection. So can we come ... artist, ... and that an interesting issue as well. ... And I am not a specialist, you really need to bring somebody in to teach a Masters, we have a course in Masters programme, she is about ... and I have got several colleagues in the UK to cover. ... Because I mean for example when you are choreographing for the live body to get to read the virtual body, it’s a bit like doing a game, the avatars, and what not. I think that it is something quite close in terms of virtual agreement of the body and gaming and developing of the Avatars and so on. But you could do all sorts of things, I have had friends who do these performances, one in New York and one in London, two groups of people, two audiencies. The choreography is made by people who are able to put these two things together through the use of technology. So one in one theatre with an audience from the other theatre you can see that their own live dancers and the virtual dancers from the other country and the choreographers have worked even both so that you are creating ... or you could do things like what you are doing in the studio the next two years, ... we have camera, ... and we can see what is happening in the next ... that we conduct together effectively. There are all sorts of interesting ... a very good dance education resources, ... technology as well. So you see a TV for example or projection could be a part of the studio. Oh yes it is. I do. Very helpful. ... If you possibly can. It may ... nowadays we all use projectors and we would like all the students should be able to get on in the studio with their laptops; there is a lot of software that 60


you can use. You know, like musicians use Sibelius software to compose. Well, there is a lot of software, for dance composition as well. So, all dance ... theatre. I think it is really ideal to have; and also the lecturers ... what you do here, ... you can have your presentations, you can see something. We can say, I want you to reconstruct five minutes of this contemporary dance by a choreographer from Germany. We cannot afford the choreographer to come over to Malta and teach us, so we learn it from. ... the real problem is that you have to turn it round, so you could use another screen so that you could actually turn the stuff round, it would be like copying in mirror image which would be much more ... When we, we did a big dance last year, with my ex students in London, choreographs, it’s called a big dance, various movements from the eleven big gangs, it wasn’t last year, em in London and he made a ... piece and the idea was children from all over the world learn five minutes and we would all dance it together and outside at a particular time and for us it was two o’clock in the afternoon here in Malta, it was one o’clock in the afternoon in London, it was obviously different times around the world, let’s see how the people get dancing this same dance all at the same time. And they got thousands and thousands and thousands of people to do it, like putting in on live and doing a breakdown, have ... the only problem was they didn’t explain that they were going to do this ... so after people learnt it on the left side and the other half learnt it on the right side – it was very funny – they shouldn’t realize you have got to start to learn it ... it was a great worth, but it was just delightful to see all these kids being part of the Guinness Book of Records attempt to having the most number of dancers dancing throughout the whole world. That was the effect of the ... and also all these clever lights, you know, where you consider climbing up and changing the jels, you can press a button on your concert, and it goes from red to green ... intelligent lighting systems they are called. ... That’s a good way of changing the environment without doing it through the architecture or ... or the colour, the painting, whatever, but changing it through light, in a very very interesting way, considering how to create changes. And at different times of the year. ... In theory, for example a group of dancers would they need a lecture room? Yes, there is. They do just as you are doing now, they would take their notes and we would have interaction and they you know, have to stand up and do their own presentations. They do need a lecture room. And I would wish that it’s not always a lecture room where everybody is assumed to be right-handed. I am left-handed, so I cannot sit on one of those chairs. The equality of opportunity. ... And nowadays ... some of you bring their laptops, so actually it’s quite nice to have a place where you can ... taking you notes. We we learn to live with this sort of sound going on during the lecture. Anything else? Do you generate any revenue to performances like in ... but is it substantial, does it contribute to? If. To the faculty or is it kind of negligible? ... actually we are, probably not, we are working at the moment to get a designer to come over and look at the MITB, have you ever been to MITB entering Valletta. ... It’s like a big college ... a bit of old lighting out there, probably about twenty years old and it’s a bit drafty, but essentially it’s a great space it’s got, it’s got a lot of space. And we are now managing ... and we haven’t charged people, you know to come and use it, because it has to be kept clean and resources have to be ... and we are trying to raise money from European funding to actually renovate it properly as a ... but maybe ... to talk to you about inviting you to meet these two theatre directores. Would that be great, ... set up a meeting. You talk to them. We are are little bit at the moment, they then will raise their own funding; I mean they sell tickets for eight Euros for a performance, and if you have you manage to sell two hundred seats then you have you could be earning profit, but equally you have to do a lot of publicity as you know to get what we call bums on the seats. I keep going on to posteriors. But yes, you should be ... ... last question. Last question. 61


My my last question. Do you believe ... or the other way round ... how should we conceptually go about it? I don’t think you have to be either or. It doesn’t have to be either or. Why? I think that’s limiting either way, isn’t it? ... I think ... already existing. ... On of the things I told the director about you a few months ago was ... temporary building are ... even when I was a student, we had some temporary studio basis. They were really wonderful in terms of their size. They were not brilliant, I mean the floor was cork material, just the bad footwork. It got very cold in the winter but the space was just wonderful. These these big temporary studios, sat in the middle of a lovely environment. So it was quite extraordinary to be in there and they were quite high and spacious. Nowadays a temporary building is a possibility. I have been looking on the web for ideas to temporary buildings cos I wasn’t sure where I would be teaching the students this year, actually. We were very lucky ... stores ... to open. We’re actually we are building our own dance studios and spaces up in Industrial Estate at San Ġwann, for the time being, five years, until you know something happens here. Whether it’s an entire block or whether it’s underground, it would just be wonderful to have a space where we can all work together. Can you imagine? Before music and theatre and maybe design students were all working, so that they are brushing shoulders with each other, you know, and being able to know what is going on, have conversations and have stimulating ideas about productions they want to do. And the whole things would start to take off. Which is why ... Because it’s people that matter. ... Absolutely. Yeah. One more question. You were talking about quite a limited number of students at the moment. I was, yeah. But regarding the spaces that you gave in the brief. I know. There are buildings, you know, fifteen or twenty, and yeah we have to. ... What was the number kind of you ... those.

If you take fifteen a year, you have forty five in dance, forty five in theatre and forty five in music. So it’s quite a substantial amount. That’s three years. And then we have Masters degrees. So I think we, I mean, we grabbed a number I would say almost ... a year, but essentially in the little brief we gave you which obviosly. Yeah. We suggest an outline, we said that you would have an intake of at most twenty a year, you know, the whole idea that you don’t start with twenty but your facility would be able to accomodate. This university has hardly started with six hundred students, and now we have got eleven and a half thousand. So you have to start we a smaller group and and. Of course. Manage to grow.

62


You consider ... I do not want to flood the market but I would like to have more students from abroad. That is it. Yeah, and I wo uld think especially mention the cost of the courses; not, it’s not always the same in the UK. ... ... Yeah, why should we always invite ... to work with them, not just ... and the point in having big expenses companies, doing their show and then popping off again. ... It would be much better to collaborate with them and then our company would go back ... and we would. We would not be able to survive if you ... so you ought to be able to tour ... and a dance company can probably tour ... theatre company, you have to see which language you decide to write plays and do performances in. There are ways and means of doing performances in Esperanto, ... as long as we communicate and you need to learn more languages. ... You certainly know where I am now ... I would love to have a nice office. Thank you very much. Thank you. Bye bye.

63


Interview with Prof. Joanne Butterworth 9th November 2012 For our thesis project, we have to give a use to our assigned site, Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara. Its at the very tip of the Grand Harbour… I only passed from the outside; I have no idea what’s on the inside. We have come up with a use and we were thinking of a proper centre. A proper centre for performing arts, with teaching at a more advanced level rather than having children. A theatre space which will be open to the public and thus will get the public to the site. The problem is that the site is so remote. Exactly. Agreed, but at the same time we want to take this to our advantage and make a whole experience for people to come for a show and watch a performance or a show. If it were just a restaurant the people would go to Sliema or Valletta. If there is going to be a show and the theatre is well designed and you know there’s a public production, why wouldn’t you go? We are thinking of incorporating dance, drama and music. And then having the public sector coming for the performances. There will be restaurants and cafeterias and we’re also having people coming to the site by boat, which will add to the dramatic approach to the fort. We’re planning the theatre to be a contemporary addition, but spaces for classes and studios can be retrofitted into the existing fabric. Some spaces are very interesting… Oh… it is quite interesting. They don’t need to be little black boxes. In fact the specific ones have done very well though didn’t they? We would like to ask you, is there are certain things that you would criticise regarding current spaces in Malta? For performance spaces? For performance space. Oh absololutely I can. We are having these conversations all the time now. We’ve got a school, a new school here, and in terms for performances in the future. I’m thinking long term about V18, I’m thinking, how are we going to do? We need some big spaces with acoustic that match and MCCA has got that – the MCC rather has got some really difficult problems with acoustics. And it’s shape. And apart from the fact which too large without the performers. Apart from the big commercial ones. But then with the big commercial ones, the stage isn’t big enough, while the resources ain’t good enough. And the Manoel is a delightful stage but it is very small as you know and the parking in that area is a really big problem and it isn’t big with 300 seats? 600 seats 600 seats. But I mean you have a lot of them are up on the gods. And then we have the MITP, which we are currently working on questions about its renovations about the school – the school of performing arts 64


and we’re having some consultants coming in January. At the moment it’s like a college hall. We’ve got sound but not very good one and not very many and it’s not a sufficiently flexible space. And the only one that we know about in Valletta is the City Theatre. But again we’ve got the ordinary chairs and there’s a great distance, you ‘re not looking down , the performers are looking up at it. Again a small stage for our performers- for theatre performers. I know there are a lot of different kinds of theatres that we might opt for but what ‘s the optimum size for Maltese audience? Given the size – amount of population. We’ve got less than half a million and yet is that right? Yes And yet we are looking at MCC which seats two and a half thousand roughly. I have never seen it completely full. I saw it with an orchestra with Wayne Marshall and the Natonal Philarmonic Orchestra but it wasn’t completely full and the acoustics for music ate not good. So you know you would have an acoustical problem but personally music concerts of that kind would draw in that a number of people. Theatre performances may not draw in as many people and certainly dance performances are still in their infancy here. If you have a big production like Rush, like Felix Busuttil, you will have a big possibility of a large audience. You’ll have a large cast, well known people dancing and it’s a commercial thing. But if you’re doing anything to do with contemporary dance or new choreography, then you do not need that kind of space but you do need some decent lighting equipment, you do need a dance floor and dance carpeting, you do need fine lighting and so on. But essentially, I think the best thing to do, is try to create a theatre space where within a week, as long a you got properly trained technicians, a theatre manager, within a week you could have all the performances in the same space with just a few changes to the auditorium. You could change the seating very easily in the black boxes. You do not have fixed seating. You can have either full up sating or have the aluminium blocks where you can build the different configuration seating quite easily that seems to me that this space with the aluminium blocks and flexible seating arrangements would be a good idea for you. So you can actually change the configurations. It can be end on, or it can be in the round enabling whatever the director would like to do. How many performance spaces do you thing there are in the fort? They were storage before. They’re naturally very large and they could be very flexible, according to our design they could change the shape itself. This is the biggest one of them (refers to picture). … It could really work. And if you could organize the transport. In the Lauri Theatre in Manchester, they have a very large theatre, a small theatre, all in the same buildings with restaurants and bars. You can get there by car, by train from Central Manchester. So the trains coming to Manchester from two major train stations. So the people can come to the theatre on a tram, which is actually quite an interesting experience as it goes by the old motorway. So the people would enjoy that part going to the theatre and taking the car is a bit of a pain, getting stuck in traffic and all that. So it is actually part and parcel of going to a theatre, it adds onto the experience.

65


VISIT TO THE MANOEL THEATRE, VALLETTA 7th November 2012 So this theatre was built by the Knights in 1713 and it was inaugurated in 1732, also by the Knights. In those days, the Knights performed in the lower theatre, some of the Knights were castrati about it like Fardinelli. They used to give the female roles themselves. The theatre was in stone in those days, not as it is today and it was U-shaped. There were boxes at the side of the stalls. The gallery did not exist in those days 1700. And 1732 it was inaugurated with an Italian tragdy called L’amero’ by Scippione Marseille, an Italian speaking Knight. Till 1790s, the Knights performed, and as I was saying, some of the knights, for your benefit, were castrati – the knights had castrated voice – they used to do the female voice themselves –very interesting like Shakespeare’s time after all. And then in 1800 exactly 1811, this theatre was changed from stone to wood. The reason was to ameliorate the acoustics of the theatre. We have very good acoustic in this theatre because we have stone, we have wood and we have wells of water beneath this stage and orchestra stage. All Valletta is like this. I am sure you know, Valletta is built as a city underground. All the streets which you see, they all the seen underground. Some of these dungeons or as we call them also, secret corridors are being opened. We are also trying to open ours which we have beneath the stage. So this was 1811 when it was changed from stone to wood for acoustics. Then in 1844 paintings were added to all the boxes. Each box has a painting – a landscape painting. We’ve got Naples. And the reason why we have Naples – because the painter was from Naples. He chose his native land. We also have Palermo. And Palermo because the theatre was built from the model of theatre Santa Lucia in Palermo. I am sure you have noticed the from of a U shape, this theatre is now a horse-shoe type. It’s a theatre al Italien. 1700 - Palermo had two beautiful theatres. Both theatres were destroyed. I am proud to say that this theatre was never touched during the war. Then we had the Opera House in Republic Street. Have you noticed the wreckage we have on the way into Valletta? We had the Opera House which was built by the British and bombarded during the second World War on the 7th April 1942. What are we doing today? Today we’re building a new theatre. It’s going to be a modern theatre without a roof. Let’s be positive about this theatre. Let us welcome this theatre. There’s a controversy in Malta at the moment about the building of this theatre. We have to be positive about it and we have to see and wait for this project to be ready to be able to criticise and say something about it. It’s going to be a theatre which will take approximately one thousand people. I must admit that Malta, it’s not just Malta, it’s the world has lost another building. The Opera was built by the British. The architect was Edward Middleton Barry. Same architect of Covent Garden, House of Parliament in London, the Big Ben. Same architect Edward Middleton Barry. We lost a beautiful building. The famous opera singers in the 1800 made their debut in the Opera House. Between 1866 and 1873, when the Opera House was in full swing with ballet and opera, this theatre became known as a doghouse. People used to sleep in boxes and pay a penny a house. Then in 1873 it caught fire and it was rebuilt. And when the Opera House was rebuilt, Manoel Theatre lost its popularity again. It became known as a cinema and the Opera House was bombarded completely during the Second World War on the 7th April 1942. Valletta was heavily bombarded on this day. 85% of Valletta was bombarded. When we lost the Opera House completely, the Manoel Theatre became once again as a theatre. We now run a theatre season between say the last week of September to the first week of June. This year 66


we start on the 2nd of October; and we put up all the performances. This theatre does not deserve to be just a building, it deserves to see a performance. Because of its intimacy. It’s a small theatre, just 18 rows in the stalls and 600 set up. This weekend we’ve got Legally Blonde. A very good musical. You can attend this performance. It will be the highlight of your holiday. Legally Blonde, this weekend till next Tuesday. We put up all types of performances. We have our own musicians, our own ballet, our own drama companies, our own opera singers. I am sure you know our tenor. Have you ever heard our tenor who was live on BBC on the 8th of September. Our tenor, Joseph Calleja, and our Soprano, Miriam Gauci. We also have Lydia Caruana and Gillian Zammit. These are all Maltese opera singers with International Level. Next year we have the Opera Festival. The Pagliacci and the Cavalleria Rusticana. So now up to next June, Legally Blonde till next Tuesday, some more plays, some more concerts, December we have the Christmas Pantomime; The Curse of Snow White. It is a traditional performance. It was introduced by the British and we kept this tradition. Then February some more plays, and some concerts. March the Festival for the Opera dedicated to the Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana. April we got the String Festival. So as you noticed three festivals already in this theatre. And then May some more concerts, some more plays and we end the season. And if you come between June and September, you’ll find the theatre all in dust, because we do a lot of restoration. We do a lot of types of restorations. To give you an idea about ten years ago, w also restored the ceiling, we changed the 400 worth of 22 gilded carat gold. If you give it a very good look, the ceiling gives you the impression that it looks like a dome. It’s flat – optical illusion. Notice the three shades of celeste and three shades of blue. Why is it bue? Because there was a time they used to open the ceiling and wanted the sky to have the same blue colour. It is stunning. This is how you have to see the theatre. Very very simple , not very gaudy as you see in many theatres. You see a lot of chandeliers coming up and down, you see a lot of curtains, you see red, a lot of sculptures. It distracts you. It distracts you from what is going on stage. Did I mention the mirrors in the boxes? I don’t think so. Mirrors in all the boxes. That is vanity and vanity is the history of theatre. There was a time when it was important to be seen than to see. Entrance to the theatre. Straight from the street to the theatre. We don’t have big foyers. And notice the construction of the boxes. Opposite each other again. Vanity, again. You can wave, the people can see you. A hydraulic orchestra stage. We do not use the full philharmonic orchestra because this is a small theatre. And notice the stage 8 metres width, 13 metres depth, 20 metres height. We still change scenery by rows. Prices range from 10 to 15 euro in the gallery, 30 to 40 euro, and the most expensive for normal performances. The opera does not exceed 60 euro. The theatre is known as the National Theatre of Malta. We get subsidy from the government. Various other local industries help us. To give you an idea, Malta International Airport has just donated money for all the boxes to be restored. And other industries like Simonds Farsons Cisk, Air Malta, Alitalia. We have also friends of the Manoel Theatre and the association which helped us also. Recently they purchased the curtains and the carpets for the Manoel Theatre. So this is how we work. We have our own and we do our own work. We get a lot of help, we always need. It’s a never ending process. The theatre is known as the National Theatre of Malta. Third oldest in Europe, in constant use, never closed, never touched during the War. One of the oldest working theatre in the world. Never closed, never touched. And one of the oldest in the fifty three Commonwealth countries. Now, we are at the second floor. We host performers in these apartments and we hire these apartments. We have two guests at the moment. They are on the second floor. Are they open for performers? No. They are open for whoever wants to hire the apartments. This complex was taken by the government in the seventies and obviously it was closed for some time. And 67


now, about say seven or eight years ago, we started working on them and have them to be converted into dressing rooms, cubicles, warming up space for the actors and also used for rehearsals.

68


PLANNING GUIDELINES Access The site is to be accessed through two main gates. They are to be known as the Main Gate, accessed through the Southern Approach Road, and the New Gate, accessed through the Northern Approach Road. The public transportation system is to be revised such that another bus stop is provided in front of the Main Gate to promote its use. Possibly adapt Triq Rinella into a one way road to accommodate easier manoeuvring of buses along the serpentine road. Allow for comfortable turning circles at the Main Gate for buses and coaches, by extending the road outwards. The Main Gate is to allow access to groups of tourists arriving by coaches and minivans, students arriving by bus, visitors approaching by ferry and any approaching by foot. The New Gate is to allow access to service vehicles, students and any other possible visitors. Consider a supplementary ferry system for easier access between Valletta and Kalkara, Birgu and Kalkara. The water taxi service boats are to dock along an existing platform in Rinella Bay. Passengers can arrive to the Main Gate by opting for the shuttle service or on foot. Provide loading bays within the site for larger vehicles dropping off visitors. Consider access for larger vehicles within the site, including turning circles and temporary loading bays. Parking The car park is to be located within the scrap yard outside the fort. It is to be used by students, staff and visitors. A shuttle service is to be provided to the New Gate to facilitate accessibility. Entrance Walkway The walkway is to have a maximum opening of 3m. It is to allow the passage of people and electric shuttle carts. Tank Cleaning Facility The tank facility is to be relocated as it poses health risks and detracts the value of the fortress. The tank cleaning facility offices are to be demolished. Ditch The ditch should be made readable by the choice of materials this to be natural stone. Either hard stone or travertine, to reflect the limestone texture or colour present in the existent constructions. The ravelins’ form should be highlighted through narrow paths using an alternative material. The entrances to the countermines located in the counterscarp should be accentuated with light in each tunnel. Public toilets are to be provided along the two entrances between the barracks and the ditch. The only vegetation to be used is low lying. No trees are to be used. Glacis The countermines’ footprint should be highlighted the lack of vegetation grown purposely above the glacis. The only vegetation to be used is low lying. No trees are to be used. Outworks Landscaping around the counterguard is to complement that throughout the ditch. Administration Block Its volume is to give an impression of the original heights of both the bastion and the fausse-braye. The administration block is to be extended till the edge of the vaulted building. It is however to be divided by a 69


choice of materials such that it is read and understood that the edge is simply an extension to the original bastion. The block should represent the demolished fausse-braye as seen in the 1976 aerial photo. The open space of the ditch must be entirely conserved.The counterguard is to be conserved due to its military value. All closed windows can be opened. The administration block within the new gate should be constructed of hard stone to represent its military value. The expense magazine constructed below it can be demolished if of no original military function. If so, its façade should be distinguishable from the more solid reinterpretation of the fausse-braye’s volume. The new administration block in the ditch level is to be adjacent to the entrance to the underground road but they will have no direct links with each other. In the additions proposal, the addition to the administration block outside of the gate should have a footprint, not larger than the perimeter drawn up by the extension lines of the existent and the secondary original block. The reinterpretation of the building adjacent to the existent block of the administration found outside the gate should have a height not exceeding the current volume. A link should be created between the entrance walkway and the reinterpreted administration block, which should both be in direct contact. The structure found on the left hand side and on the way down to the library area can be demolished. Gun post, control towers and RML stations are all military features and thus must be preserved such that their most important characteristics have to be conserved. Modifications are allowed providing that their military integrity is conserved. Hence, walls can be demolished or modified but the general feeling of the space and volume must be retained. No addition is allowed on top of the temperance bar. The library addition at the level above the underground spaces is allowed to go up by a maximum of 4.5m. The slope’s volume and form should be respected. If any buildings are to be proposed, they should be subtle and not overpower the slope’s gradient Vaults The vaults’ façade must be preserved, such that the arches should retain the structure’s rhythm. A link should be provided between the school and the library area, keeping in mind the underground road and the retrenchment. The underground design should take into account the stables. The underground spaces should reach a maximum height not higher than the ground level at the vault’s entrance. Access from the pit, the vehicular service road and the pedestrian underground walkway should be taken into account. The tanks located adjacent to the vaults should be preserved. Access to ravelins and caponiers must be made public and separate from the school complex. Preferably, residences would have a separate entrance through the far end (main gate side) through the vaults. A public access will pass through the central vault. Another option would be having a lift for both residences and the public through the recording studios, and another lift from fausse-braye level to residence level. Form of residences should be balanced as to compliment the symmetry of the vaults, and not higher than 4m above floor level. The crown should be open to the public. A maximum height of 4m is to be allowed for the receded addition above the vaults. Library Area Making use of current spaces incorporated with additions. The spaces are to be fragmented, with the possible need for links between rooms or additional access cut through earth and rock. School The school’s location was chosen to reflect the original zoning where these buildings were to cater for residential and day to day activities. 70


Dance The faculty of dance shall provide: 1 large studio of 125m2 to accommodate approximately 20 students; 3 medium studios of 70m2 to accommodate approximately 10 students each; 2 small studios of 48m2 to accommodate approximately 6 students each. One small studio shall be fitted with sprung flooring suitable for all types of dance whilst the other should be fitted with flooring suitable for tap. Acting The faculty of drama shall provide: 3 studious of 56m2. Lecture Rooms Theoretical lectures shall be held in lecture rooms, distinguished by two types: 3 large rooms to accommodate approximately 20 students; 7 small rooms to accommodate approximately 8 students. Rehearsal Rooms There will two rehearsal spaces, with dimensions equal to those of the performing stage. One of these spaces is to be located within or at least in close proximity to the theatre. The other can be detached from the theatre space. Married Quarters and casemated barracks Roofs have to be replaced due to their poor state. Interior walls can be removed to allow for amended interior spaces. The ditch outside the main gate is to be reconstructed as was. The gate, fausse-braye and bastions are to be conserved. The building between the married quarters is to be demolished. A new volume is to be constructed Demolition of interior walls and features, as well as the excavation of new rooms in interior spaces should be an individual decision to allow for individual criticism and freedom of expression. Additions should never cover a military feature completely. Additions should be always built behind the parapet walls and cannot extend any further along the bastions. The area behind the married quarters is to be landscaped with low growing vegetation. Black Box This should provide a flexible space seating 100 in an area of 150m2. Canteen Area This is to be placed in a location easily accessible from all spaces, especially the main gates. It is to serve as a recreational area targeting mostly the students. It should be a one storey building. Dormitories and Gym Landscaping should direct the students residing in the dormitories towards the parade ground. Thus mini piazzas should be avoided so that the parade ground is the most outdoor space used. The walkway should be, if possible, easily viewed and accessed by the general public. A maximum of 100 and minimum of 80 dormitory beds should be provided. The gym should provide for a range of 20 to 30 users. A maximum height of 4.5m is to be allowed for the new additions in this area. Entertainment Wine Bar The wine bar is to be located beside the entrance to the fausse-braye leading to the walkway into the theatre. The rooms are to provide a private atmosphere. Consider external spaces to work in conjunction with both the wine bar and the tailoring studios, such that activity generated can create a pleasant environment for people walking towards the theatre. 71


Family Restaurant This family restaurant should aim to cater for approximately 70 people. The wall enclosing the courtyard is to be demolished. The façade behind the portico is to be demolished to allow for an increased floor space. Consider partition systems to represent the existent walls to be demolished. The structure is to be extended outwards and serve as new addition. It should allow for a funnelling effect to direct visitors into the corridor space between the tailoring studios and the wine bar. The kitchen provided for the restaurant is to be used by the wine bar. Consider external spaces to work in conjunction with the internal spaces. The extension of the family restaurant is not to exceed a height than the level of the fausse-braye. High End Restaurant This adult restaurant should aim to cater for approximately 50 people. The structure is to be extended outwards by an approximate 50m2 and serve as a new addition.The doors in each of the vaults may be reopened to allow for better circulation flow between the spaces. The small room directly in front of the vaulted spaces allocated for the high end restaurant is to be demolished. The high end restaurant is to have an underground storage space. No additions are to be allowed above the roof level of the buildings in this area, this to preserve the skyline and allow an open vista towards the parade ground and vaults as currently exists. Theatre The theatre is to act as the core of the complex. is both the students’ and visitors’ aim to finally terminate their journey at the theatre. The theatre is to be detached from the fort by an approximate 20m. The berthing facility is to be completely removed. The ticket booth is to be located within the theatre. The walkway is to be accessed by two lifts to serve for the flow of people whilst provide an alternate route in the case of the failure of one of the systems. The existent stairways are to be retained such that access to the fausse-braye is open to the public. Sun and Shade Protective Walkways The school is to be linked by a number of walkways these to provide the students and staff with protection from the sun and rain. Pathways may be either above or below the ground. All underground links are to be accessible by wheelchair bound users. A walkway, located 3m below ground level, is to emerge along the canteen to work with the married quarters. It is to be accessed either through a 63.6m accessible ramp or by lift. Both options are to be supported by an additional flight of steps. A walkway is to be provided between the two married quarters and the casemates. This walkway is to be open on both sides to retain the original feeling of the space. A walkway is to be provided along the casemates’ façade. A walkway is to be provided between the second married quarters and the public restrooms. The restrooms are to be further connected to the officers’ quarters by another walkway to provide a deflected link from the married quarters. Derelict Buildings Possibly to be Re-interpreted Extended fausse-braye Addition to the counterguard Outer walls All elements to represent the original military features are to use a limestone based material to simulate the feeling of solidity and embody the old construction methods. The material is to have a different cut, shape and size from that used in the currently constructed buildings. Sustainability Run-off water All water should be collected in cisterns allocated throughout the site. This water is to be treated for the 72


use of showers, flushing, sinks, watering, etc. Pervious paving should be considered to further allow water absorption to increase collection percentage. Heating and Cooling Energy is to be generated through the use of water to water or water to air pumps. Choice of materials and passive design can further reduce energy consumption. Electricity Photovoltaic panels to be researched. Movement sensors and energy saving bulbs are to be used for the reduction of energy consumption. Other Measures Demolition wastes should be recycled and used for the construction of new additions. Materials used are preferably locally sourced. Materials are to be assembled on site to reduce transportation costs.

73


Primary sources were retrieved from Personal Interviews with: Prof. Joanne Butterworth M.A.(NYU),Ph.D.(Kent) Justin Roy Barker Alan Montanaro Emma Loftus Anthony Bezzina Mary Jane Bellia Jean Marc Cafa

REFERENCES

Secondary Sources The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. (2008-2009). Undergraduate and Post-Secondary Programmes - Prospectus. Hong Kong. http://www.maltadramacentre.org/MDCWebsite/Courses.html Accessed on: 13th November 2012 http://www.masquerademalta.com/about.php Accessed on: 13th November 2012 http://www.belmont.edu/theatre/facilities.html Accessed on: 17th November 2012 http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/facilities/blackbox Accessed on: 18th November 2012 http://dynamics.org/ROGER/THESIS/ Accessed on: 18th November 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2009/jun/19/black-box-theatres Accessed on: 18th November 2012 http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/001/064/Blackbox%20Policies%20 Accessed on: 18th November 2012 http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-black-box-theatre.htm Accessed on: 18th Novmber 2012 http://www.ehow.com/about_6531125_history-black-box-theatre.html Accessed on: 18th November 2012 74


http://m.youthinfo.gov.mt/default.asp?m=cat&id=5 Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://www.euroinstitutemalta.com/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3 Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://yellowpages.com.mt/Malta-Search/Music/he/Music-Instruction/0/100-in-Malta-Gozo.aspx Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://EzineArticles.com/3832717 Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://ezinearticles.com/?Tap-Dance-Floors-Vs-Ballet-Dance-Floors&id=3832717 Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://www.harlequinfloors.com/us/en/files/pdf/USA%20Architect%20Guide.pdf Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://www.boloproductions.com/index_files/Page483.htm Accessed on: 12th November 2012 http://www.artsonthemove.co.uk/education/secondary/dramastudio.php. Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://dramacal.stanford.edu/webevent/PDF/Mem%20Aud%20Use%20Policy.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.artsonthemove.co.uk/education/secondary/dramastudio.php Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://TAPSCalendar.Stanford.edu – TAPSCalendar@Stanford.edu Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.indiana.edu/~thtr/facilities/acting.shtml Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.tcd.ie/Drama/samuel-beckett-theatre/facilities/ Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.theworkstechnical.co.uk/education/dance-and-drama-studios.html Accessed on: 14th November 2012 75


http://www.theworkstechnical.co.uk/education/dance-and-drama-studios.html Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.drama.org.nz/?p=444 Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.dramaaustralia.org.au/assets/files/WorkingConditionGuidelinesFINAL[1].pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.creativemalta.gov.mt/ccis/size-and-importance Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.hertzfurniture.com/buying-guide/classroom-design/music-room-design.html Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.noiseairconsultants.co.uk/soundproof-studio.html Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.siebeinacoustic.com/publications/papers/2003%20-%20Case%20Studies%20 of%20Acoustical%20Design%20of%20Rooms%20for%20Music.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.music.umich.edu/faculty_staff/auth/SchedulingPolicy.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://marthagraham.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/technical_rider.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.buworldsymposium.com/production/getFileDownload.php?path=Technical_Information.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jun/24/shobana-jeyasingh-toomortal-architecture-dance Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://www.acoustics.asn.au/conference_proceedings/ICA2010/cdrom-ICA2010/papers/ p754.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012 http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcat2/pdf/FL10SpISG68RWTr3gfinal.pdf Accessed on: 14th November 2012

76


use booklet