Frida Kahlo’s Story Told Through Dance at Manoel

A new dance production about the life of Frida Kahlo is soon to take to the stage at Teatru Manoel.

Frida Kahlo – Defining Moments follows the life of the legendary Mexican artist, from her thought-provoking art to her unconventional behaviour. Award-winning choreographer and dancer Diane Portelli has created the Teatru Manoel production, drawing on the famed artist’s strength as well as her humanity.

“Nothing was straightforward with Frida, which makes her life story so relatable until this very day,” explains Ms Portelli. “Frida was an inspiration and symbol of strength. She became a world-famous artist from a small Mexican village, in a male-dominated period. She defied social expectations and fought for what she believed was right. She was as flawed as she was gifted, and this made her human. The emotional intensity and imaginative scope of her work is extremely inspirational for me as a woman, as a choreographer, but most of all, as a person.”

Giving tribute to one of the world’s most ground-breaking women of her time, Frida Kahlo – Defining Moments encapsulates the artist’s passion for Mexico, her love affairs, her renowned Mexican artist and political activist husband Diego Rivera as well as her heartbreak and physical pain.

To convey Kahlo’s distinct physical characteristics and her inspiration for such vivid works of art, the dancers from Moveo immersed themselves in an intense, collaborative creative process. Meanwhile, costume designer Ritianne Zammit and music composer Albert Garzia complement Ms Portelli’s choreography in reflecting the artist’s passion for her Mexican culture and the strong political statements she made through her traditional Tijuana clothing.

Moveo Dance Company produces contemporary dance performances both locally and internationally in London, Berlin, Washington DC, Denmark, Bruno Cz, Liberec Cz and Romania. In 2016, Diane Portelli became a Director at Moveo, winning alongside Artistic Director Dorian Mallia the prestigious Premju Għall-Arti award as Artists of the Year 2018. Moveo Dance Company has received the Best Creative Enterprise Award, as well as the people’s choice award for Best Production for its Diversely Typical performance at Esplora’s first edition of the STEM Awards for Arts, Science and Technology. As the recipient of the ICO fund, Moveo is also one of the creative partners of Arts Council Malta.

“We are delighted to collaborate once again with Moveo Dance Company and welcome to the Manoel stage their unique take on the life of this truly extraordinary artist,” says Teatru Manoel CEO, Massimo Zammit. “This Teatru Manoel commission is an ideal opportunity not just to delve deeper into the life of Frida Kahlo, but to experience an unforgettable original dance performance created by some of Malta’s finest artists.”

Frida Kahlo – Defining Moments will perform at Teatru Manoel on 10, 11, 12 June at 8pm. This performance is suitable for audience members aged six and over. According to current public health guidelines, no masks or vaccine certificates are required at this event. Tickets are available via email to, by telephone to (+356) 21246389 or online at


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