Paul Curmi Dancers
The Paul Curmi Dancers Folklore group takes the name of its founder Paul Curmi born on 11 February, 1922 in Senglea and died on 19 February, 2006 ant teh age of 84. Mr. Paul Curmi started his dancing career in the pre Second World War years at the tender age of 12, under his guidance of his elder brother Richard. Paul’s youth was in effect characterized by his deep passion for dancing and he spent his teen years researching into dance literature and practicing practically all types of dance disciplines.
The upsurge in the number of tourist visiting the islands during the 1960’s was creating a demand for typical Maltese entertainment. It was this phenomenon that had prompted the Malta Tourist Board to approach Mr Curmi and asked him to introduce for the first time in Malta, Maltese folklore dancing. Paul Curmi accepted this proposal and dedicated all his energies towards this new venture. He delved deeply into local past customs and eventually came up with a series of folklore dances related to both peasantry and aristocratic mediaeval activities. His numbers are a vivid depiction of humble fishermen’s chores, the lively village festa celebrations, and harvest time reveling, in direct contrast to the sophisticated moments of the noble people of Mdina, and the leisurely paces of the spouse and guest at the traditional Maltese wedding performance. Paul Curmi is also responsible for composing the typical Maltese folk music which accompanies the various dances.
The company’s wardrobe was ably managed by Mrs Mary Curmi, Paul’s wife, today the wardrobe is managed by his daughter Mrs Odette Mercieca Curmi and his grandson Mr Eldridge Saliba Curmi. All the costumes worn during performances were designed after a careful study of illustrations of our forefather’s apparel found in the local museums and the National library. The different costumes can be considered to be authentic; the peasant clothing being made from water colored hand loomed material adorned with hand made lace and complemented by linen pantaloons and underskirts, the Għonnella gown is made from heavy silk whilst the bride’s wedding gown is made of pure damasque… They are all in fact heirlooms in their own right. The tradition set by Paul Curmi is set to continue from one generation to another. From his daughters the late Prima ballerina Doris Saliba Curmi, and Director Odette Mercieca Curmi to his grandchildren, Director Eldridge Saliba Curmi, and granddaughters Berthille Mercieca Curmi and Ewange Vidal Curmi who all form part of the group. Demand for the group’s performances is ever on the increase.
The school today has flourished immensely and today it offers a host of various dance disciplines. The mixture consists of: Classical Spanish, Flameco, Contemporary, Modern Jazz, Ballroom & Latin American, Classical Ballet, Hip-hop, Break-dance, Oriental Folkloric Belly-dancing, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba Fitness classes and last but not least, Maltese Folk Dance! The school offers excellent tuition in all areas by employing fully qualified teachers and instructors.
By offering a wide variety of dance, the school gathers students of all ages and all walks of life, starting with three-year old kids to adults. With such excellent ingredients, the school is guaranteed to offer the best tuition to its students in all aspects of dance.
In fact, the Paul Curmi dance Company stages its performances (both Folk and Cabaret) daily during evenings. These are generally organized by tour operators in hotels, restaurants and various entertainment locations. The Company performs in Maltese Summer festivals and at wedding receptions. The Company is also requested to represent Malta in International folk festivals and Maltese evenings by the Malta Tourism Authority. Besides, the Company holds a yearly show at a local Theatre with a cast of 300 dancers. The group in truth can boast of having toured the world like North America, Europe, Middle East, Scandinavia participating in different festivals and acquiring in the process several awards for their excellent representations. Paul Curmi’s story is unquestionably a story of success.
(click for video) at USA and Canada at 2008.