Dialogue first started as a reflection on telepresence. Imagining how to adapt Marguerite Duras’s screenplay “Dialogue," which uses two different locations to develop a story for actors/characters who are not in the same physical space, Daniel Pinheiro, Andrea Messana and Nerina Cocchi tried to imagine how (and why) to develop a project that could be performed at a distance. After a first residency in Brussels in 2014, our reflection became more of an experiment in using the [networked] environment as a way for us, three geographically separated artists, to keep collaborating on the long term.
One of the project developments was research residency "Laboratoire #2 Web-Act" at Fabrique Autonome des Acteurs - FAA (France) in August 2016. Together with Daria Lippi and Juliette Salmon of la FAA, Andrea Santini and Francesca Sarah Toich of UBIK Teatro, and, remotely, Constança Carvalho Homem from Portugal, and Lisa Parra from New York, we explored possibilities of networked interaction within fictionalized narratives, and workshopped telepresence as a dramaturgical and set design tool. The research culminated with a final experimental performance object which connected not only different rooms at the residency space but also external artists, and fostered the understanding of the potential of telepresence as a powerful tool to introduce external live elements into a narrative performed at a specific location.
In July 2017, Daniel and Nerina were invited to present a [networked] duo at FAA's Festival “La chasse aux acteurs.” Interacting at a distance (Nerina physically present in Bataville, and Daniel in Porto), we composed an outdoor score that tackled the theme of remaining true to oneself as life journeys draw people apart. With a screen as a physical tool to embody/materialize the absent body, the score included singing (“Goodbye My Love” from the musical “Ragtime”), text (“La longue route” by Bernard Moitessier, translated into Portuguese) and play about who we see when we look at ourselves.
In March 2018, we further developed this score connecting Smith College's Global Salon (Northampton, MA, US) and Montreal, Canada, during Daniel's Fellowship with Université de Montréal. Inspired by Lina Prosa’s “Lampedusa Beach,” audience members who wore glasses were asked to wash them under water before entering the performance space. All others, [remotely] interacted with Daniel who asked about their origins. Integrating a mirror in the screen's use - allowing the participants to “watch themselves on the other side” - we highlighted the concept of distance or, rather, of moving between places, and experimented with voicing experiences of displacement.
Dialogue continues to be a framework of reference, a set of principles, or guidelines, in our ongoing artistic [remote] collaboration, as we tackle issues of intimacy, mobility, impermanence and transformation, and delve into a new project, "Ad Nauseam."