She’s raising awareness about mental health issues through an electronic dance number. And today Malta’s Christabelle was every bit as stirring and striking as her song as she delivered a series of spirited, vocally-sound rehearsals.
The “Taboo” singer wears all black and at the start of the performance we see an on-screen graphic of a heart beating on her chest. This isn’t a cute emoji. It’s an anatomical heart with arteries and vessels, laying the scene for a song that flows from your ears into your soul. Rather than encasing a series of dancers inside a box, the Maltese team have set up a series of LED panels that feature red and black imagery. Inside that space a dancer performs ballet and interpretive dance, conveying a strong sense of pain and agony that convey part of the song’s theme. At times the cameras show the dancer solo; at other times with a liberated Christabelle before her. That contrast — of imprisonment and freedom — tells the story in a seamless way.
Pace and drive are critical here. Christabelle keeps the dynamism alive by adding impressive bursts of fire around the vast stage, illuminating the darkness and sometimes shooting out diagonally across the stage. I often complain about acts that pan out too much to show off the stage. But when Malta pans out we see the lights flashing in time with the electro-trap beat, and it actually enhances the overall effect. The show ends with Christabelle’s now famous jaguars appearing on two LEDs. It’s a proper finish to a lovely performance: Malta’s girl is roaring to life.
Christabelle — “Taboo”: Reviews and Reactions
Malta: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018
Keep checking back for more reviews of Malta’s first rehearsal
Malta: First press conference 2018
Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)