Project Overview

Icarus Performance Project (Malta) is an ongoing research project that focuses on the space between training and performance processes as a self-contained and integral phenomenon. Set up in 2001 by Frank Camilleri, the Project follows an evolving process of technical and performance structures within a context of laboratory practice.

Icarus Project is currently pursuing its research and performance practice mainly in Malta, but also in the UK.
For more information on any aspect of Icarus Project visit the contact page.


Cain Project (2001-2005)

The first Icarus performance project led to the presentation of Lamentations of Cain – A Vocal Structure (2005). The Cain Project evolved in three phases.

The First Phase, entitled ‘The Roots of Performing (2001-2003)’, was marked by the presentations of the solo pieces Amargo – The Tragedy of the Man Doomed to Die (2002-2003) and ICARUS 4 (2003).

The Second Phase, ‘Performative – Improvisational – Structural (2003-2004)’, was characterised by the crystallisation of two branches within the Project. Whilst Tekhnē Sessions explored the fluid space between technique and performance structures by means of a codified sequence of tasks, the performance presentations of TWO, TWO.2, and Amargo TWO continued the work on an evolving dramaturgical structure.

The Third Phase, ‘Dramaturgy of Action (2004-2005)', explored the possibilities of a shared dramaturgy by building on the individual dramaturgies of the First Phase and on the dramaturgy of textures and dynamics which informed the montage of individual dramaturgies into duos and trios in the Second Phase. This research led to the presentation of Lamentations of Cain.  read more >>

Queen Project (2005-2008)

In 2006 a new performance process was launched. Taking the cue from the previous project’s point of arrival, a vocal structure was devised as a point of departure.

La Reina, Spanish for ‘The Queen’, was inspired by Cervantes’s masterpiece Don Quixote. Material from Cervantes’s work was fused with other literary sources to provide a dramaturgy that explored the carnivalesque. La Reina tapped into Maltese and Mediterranean sources in terms of sound patterns and vocal textures by way of traditional songs as well as multi-tiered linguistic configurations pertaining to the Semitic origins of the Maltese language.

RISK: El Riesgo de La Reina (‘The Risk of the Queen’, 2007) marked the second step in the evolving performance structure. Based on La Reina, RISK explored liminal areas of theatre performance. Apart from the multi-tiered vocality of the songs and texts, the process incorporated digital/video projections and an installation-type spatial setting in its performative weave. Structured improvisation and choral work were also explored.

Duration 56 (2008) announced a new departure. The third phase was named ‘Eternal Queen’ due to the dramaturgical and vocal research on Eternal Feminine by Teilhard de Chardin. However, the work on daily actions and spatial patterns within a ‘risk’ (improvisational) structure led to the formulation of a ‘performance installation’ that can be located between training and performance configurations. In exploring the practice of duration, repetition, and improvisation, the ‘Queen’ of Duration 56 can be said to be the temporal dimension of space and action shorn of plot, character, and text. read more >>

Canterbury (2008-2013) 

Between 2008 and 2013 the Project was based in Canterbury (UK) where the research on the area between training and performance processes was developed through the work on Tekhnē Sessions and Duration 56.

A new research strand, entitled Projections, was also initiated during this period. It explored the possibility of identifying roles and character(istic)s within improvisatory structures. This work is still ongoing.

The concept of 'habitational action' as an alternative to the dichotomy announced by inner and outer action emerged from the work on Duration 56 and was articulated in a number of peer-reviewed articles.

The performance Martyr Red was developed in the final year in Canterbury. It consisted of a dramaturgically informed series of études each constituting a study in the application of 'habitational action' in performance.

The Project's research in Canterbury was supported by the School of Arts at the University of Kent, where it formed an integral part of the MA in Physical Actor Training and Performance.

Martyr Project (2012- )

The presentations of Martyr Red in 2013 signal the first phase of a new performance process. Co-created by Camilleri and Vivas, Martyr Red is Icarus Project’s new performance since 2007. Work-in-progress presentations were given at the University of Kent (Canterbury) in May 2013. The piece was then performed at the University of Huddersfield in October and in Malta in November 2013. Martyr Red signals the initial phase of a new performance process by Icarus Project.  read more >>