Initially “Borderlight” was intended to be a duo between Francesca Lombardo and Pablo Tapia. The concept of “glitch art” where mistakes are used as the starting point to develop a visual idea had inspired the performers to portray the unpredictable and imperfect aspect of relationships.

But (unpredictably) Tapia had to cancel due to an injury. With only a few days left to transform the piece into a solo it changed considerably.

“I decided that I would work with the sense of the other character, so I had him in mind during the final rehearsals” Francesca explained to me in our interview. But soon her focus shifted and became more about the individual’s relationship with itself when facing imperfections both internally and externally.

Lombardo intensified her collaboration with visual artist Francesca Innocenzi who is present with her on stage operating an analog projector pointed towards the wall and consequently casting the shadow of the moving dancer.

In order to strengthen the mirror aspect of this shadow play and highlight the contour of her body Francesca developed “Borderlight” into a nude performance. As a result her body presents itself as sculptural and graphical at the same time. Her presence is in the dark space and on the surface of the wall simultaneously. In vivid color and as a black and white figure.

At Platform A35 the piece was performed in a small room in close proximity to the audience which made the experience more intense and vulnerable than usual for Lombardo. “I felt like I was performing it naked for the first time. The audience had an almost three-dimensional vision of my body, so they could see every little shiver on my skin.”

As Lombardo’s skin surface is superimposed with spots of blue her dance unfolds as a struggle with and finally a surrender to the imperfections of life that eventually can make a person more complete and whole.

Here is a video with an extract from the performance and my interview with Francesca.


Photography and editing by Karin Grand

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