Francesca Abela Tranter born in Malta is an independent Choreographer, practitioner, researcher and pedagogue owning a rich history of collaborations. She began her training with Tanya Bayona Princess Poutiatine academy a historical landmark in Classical ballet training in Malta. She then furthered her training at the London Contemporary Dance School specialising in Contemporary Dance Techniques and choreography. Returning to Malta she performed with the Tanya Bayona Dance Theatre Company (1987 -1997) simultaneously teaching and choreographing developing her own creative methods.
In 2012 she obtained a Master’s Degree in Dance and Choreography from the University of Malta school of Performing arts, her thesis based on an analysis of physical brutality in European Contemporary Dance, an examination of personal aesthetic with reference to the relationship of current dance practices. She has continued to participate in a variety of seminars and practical courses around the world.
Since 1981 her extensive dance background has given her the privilege to teach, choreograph, mentor and coach extensively for several dance institutions, covering a diverse dance practice spectrum, developing strong, athletic and versatile dancers in professional training. Through her career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher she has developed knowledge and experience gained through constant dialogue with dancers, collaborators, students, which gradually transformed into a detailed style of work within her teaching methods. Over the years she has collaborated with celebrated artists, exploring her choreographic language and passion for interdisciplinary performances. She is recognized for her work as a pioneer towards establishing contemporary dance in Malta, giving importance to hybridity and diversity.
In 1998 she created and performed under the banner of her own collective Contact Dance Company as a springboard for her own choreographic research producing original works which have toured to
high profile theatres and festivals in Malta, England, Scotland, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Palestine, Italy, Lithuania, Germany, Turkey, Tunis, Portugal, France, Scotland, Germany, Cyprus, Sicily and Greece. Her choreographic approach over time has been affected by her interest in her own cultural identity within a post-colonial Mediterranean culture.
In 2000 she joined SEDQA as a volunteer where she worked with movement therapy as part of the drug rehabilitation programme. ‘this was a learning experience… the importance of being a good communicator …... the relevant significance that movement brings into finding our balance to living our everyday lives….’’
In 2001 she founded Dance Hybrid Malta, an annual dance training intensive programme focused on dance exploration working with exceptional artists to introduce and share styles of work and revolutionary techniques in Malta. Interested in interdisciplinary art this platform continues to thrive and persevere annually growing more popular internationally, offering participants a flavour of an intensive dance study experience within Maltese culture.
In 2008 she was instrumental in developing the current full time dance degree to the University of Malta which forms part of the University of Malta School of Performing arts offering an undergraduate programme (since 2010) as well as postgraduate research at Masters and Doctoral Levels.
In 2011 she established Dance on the Move, an on-going weekly platform of master classes that hosts a rotation of celebrated dance artists / practitioners / choreographers where dancers get together, challenge their training and share work. Since 2014 she has been part of the artistic programming team for the Malta International Arts festival directing the dance sector, collaborating with outstanding international dance artists and companies offering cutting edge performances whilst developing new audiences. One of her priorities in this position is to create opportunities and engage local artists to collaborate with international artists towards creation and performance.
Her current research investigates the written Legacy of Contemporary Dance in Malta, a chronological study of the events that impacted and influenced changes towards contemporary dance in Malta supported by an archiving process of video footage that discusses the evolution of dance on the island from the 70’s to date.
Currently an assistant lecturer at the dance studies department (since 2010) at the University of Malta’s School of Performing Arts teaching Contemporary Dance techniques/practices and theory leading up to examinations. She was the coordinator of the school’s dance outreach programme The Evening Space between 2010 - 2019 creating a welcoming space for artists to get together in open classes by reaching out to the community. In 2022 she became Artistic Director for Dance Festival Malta a multi-disciplinary festival that strives to cultivate a dance eco-system in Malta by providing dance students and professionals with a platform for intense training and professional development, creating a unique festival that not only celebrates movement and forges dance links with the global dance community.