Veronica Stivala shares a few of her initial reactions to the site-specific performance L-Ikla t-Tajba, running this weekend
The imposingly beautiful Xwejni salt pans in Zebbug, Gozo, took on new life during Teatru Malta’s site-specific performance L-Ikla t-Tajba yesterday. With nature as one of its protagonists, the performance started before anyone had perhaps realised it had: as the audience walked down the dusty limestone pathway to the makeshift stage, they were invited to watch the sun set, only once the show had begun to be told that their first actor had taken her bow.
Taking inspiration from on a real Frenchman by the name of Grimaud, this surreal performance was a journey, sometimes a bit erratic, with characters from Greek mythology, Shakespeare and the Bible, while stretching to the limits the analogies of food, recipes and eating habits.
With the majestic sea as its backdrop and the almost ethereal saltpans as a major component of not only the set but the salt and its analogies featuring in the story itself, the setting was powerful and evocative. The set was coupled by a metal structure with wispy banners and an ever-present banquet table, which paid more than a nod to the central theme: food. The choreography, featuring seven women, was striking as they swayed from flowing gestures, to contrasting sharp, stark movements.
The performance certainly left me trying to piece together the poetry, visuals, music and so many literary and other references. It certainly also encouraged discussion after it was over. L-Ikla t-Tajba continues to run until Sunday and I remain curious to learn about what others thought of it. What did you think?
Full review out shortly with The Sunday Times.