After Malta’s first participation in the Eurovision Young Dancers contest last month, it has been officially announced that it will be hosting the 2017 edition. This was announced during a press conference by the Minister for Justice, Local Government and Culture, Owen Bonnici who said that this was positive news which will raise our country’s cultural profile.
He said he was convinced that this would leave an important impact on the Arts, in the same way that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has done.
The Eurovision Young Dancers contest has been taking place every two years since 1985, giving opportunities to the best non-professional dancers in Europe to compete for the title of European Young Dancer.
On his part, PBS Chairman Tonio Portuguese said that the main factor which led to Malta being chosen was the Mediterranean Conference Centre as a venue. He said that in Malta’s application to host this event, it had also included our tourist facilities and cultural patrimony. He said that there was already great interest in this edition being hosted by Malta, with Germany, Sweden and Holland indicating that they would be transmitting the event live.
PBS Chief Executive Anton Attard said that in January, EBU officials would be coming to Malta to discuss the technical arrangements required for the production of this event. He said that in the next few months, a public call would be issued for participants so that in the first quarter of 2017, a national competition would be held to chose Malta’s representative for the Eurovision Young Dancers 2017.
MCC Chairman Dr Kenneth Spiteri said there was a synergy between PBS and MCC, and that apart from continuing to host other cultural and artistic activities at MCC, including activities organized by PBS, the MCC would also be outfitted with a purposely built on-site studio to be used by Żfin Malta.
The Maltese dancer Anthea Zammit, who took part in the last edition of the Eurovision Young Dancers said that her experience at the festival held in the Czech Republic had taught her a lot, and many new opportunities had opened up for her, including an invitation to be a guest dancer in Slovenia this coming January.
Minister Bonnici added that through the Eurovision Young Dancers, Public Broadcasting Services would be strengthening the art of dance in Malta. He said that he did not wish Maltese artists to remain in Malta but to export their talents beyond our shores.