As time goes by and the new normal becomes, well, normal, an increasing number of arts companies are tackling the restrictions on live performance by going digital. For Barcelona-based choreographer Daniel Navarro Lorenzo, he too has taken to the digital sphere, with the release of brand new dance film STATE.
Gathering over a hundred dancers across 24 countries, from San Francisco to Sydney and from Paris to the Philippines, STATE was created entirely online, as choreographer Daniel Navarro Lorenzo imparted his choreography digitally to these dancers. Each dancer contributes a segment to STATE, in which they dance in their own homes, gardens and cities. Says Daniel: “When lockdown was announced, all of my work as a freelance artist and choreographer was cancelled and things were really uncertain. Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, I decided to take things into my own hands and looked for ways that I could continue to develop my work online.”
He adds: “What I’ve loved about this project is that it has brought people together from so many different countries and cultures and it has shown that despite everything we can remain connected through dance. Some of the videos are amazing – normally I would expect to see my work performed in a theatre or studio – not in underground car parks or beaches. There’s even one filmed in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris!”
“I am amazed at the interest the project received. There are videos from the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, India, UK Spain, France, Italy, Norway, Chile, Mexico and Malta. It has truly become a global dance collective.”
STATE is set in a future world in which citizens believe they enjoy freedoms which they don’t actually possess. The dancers’ movements are robotic, mechanical – the only thing that releases them are memories of human emotion which they can discover through the traditional dance of previous generations. The work was conceptualised during Daniel’s residency programs at the Compaňia Nacional de Danza (Madrid) and the Work Room (Scotland, UK). Knowing how disconnected and disengaged the artist community have been feeling during lockdown, Daniel encouraged the participants to comment and share their experiences as well as submitting their video.
Reneejo Euriel Lascano from the Philippines felt the work resonated with the circumstances and what was happening in her country, sharing: “I treated this work as an escape from my current reality. The “new normal” we are experiencing is taking a toll on my current mental state and wellbeing.”