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Ep. 06: Finding the Balance Between Digital and Analogue with Barbara Diabo and Rafael Franco

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Finding the Balance Between Digital and Analogue with Barbara Diabo and Rafael Franco.

Episode 06: Show Notes.

Joining us on today’s episode are Barbara Diabo and Rafael Franco. Having been a dancer all her life, Barbara has worked in many styles of dance. She is currently a choreographer focusing on combining indigenous dance with contemporary styles, bridging divides across different tastes and genres. Rafael is a live-action and animation director and pushes boundaries in both media. He has worked in the US, in LA, and across Canada. We sit down with these fantastic guests for an insightful conversation about their respective relationships with dance and technology. Barbara shares her background and how after leaving contemporary dance, she connected to her cultural roots. Her work since then mediates these two seemingly disparate worlds and seeks to bring them together. We also learn from both Rafael and Barbara how technology has impacted their lives, particularly as it relates to dance, movement, and the body. We then continue the lively discussion by diving into finding the balance between ourselves (the analogue) and technology (the digital) and how this might unfold. Having always had technology as a core pillar of his work, Rafael believes that there is space to explore the convergence between technology and movement. Barbara does caution that while this exploration is necessary, we must not take a technology-first approach and instead, always remain true to our bodies. We also speculate more on what a merged technology-dance future might look like and the implications of it. Join us today for this compelling conversation!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Barbara’s background, what brought her to the show, and the focus of her choreography.

  • A look into Rafael’s professional experience and his links to dance and movement.

  • How technology has changed Barbara and Rafael’s relationship with their bodies and work.

  • Discover some of the pros and cons that technology has for Barbara.

  • Learn how Rafael navigates between and mediates the digital and analogue worlds.

  • Even as technology makes its way into dance, it should always begin with the body first.

  • Why Rafael believes it is artists’ responsibility to bring people back into their bodies.

  • The tension between technology and the body: commodity vs organic being.

  • There is so much that real-life performance has that cannot be captured virtually.

  • Find out what Rafael’s ‘bleak’ vision for the future of technology and dance is.

  • Technology is distorting our relationship to our bodies by creating unrealistic expectations.

  • History has shown, that even during survival, human beings have an innate desire to move.

  • Insights into Rafael and Barbara’s different work with children and dance.

  • There are constantly new technologies emerging which can make it difficult to adapt.

  • Barbara’s values and goals that align with technology.

  • In performance, technology is used for capturing and sharing but could be used as an aid.

  • Learn more about the intersection between dance artists and technologists.

  • Barbara’s insights on how dance could potentially impact technology.

  • How constant innovation and driving forward can detract from presence and life itself.

  • What Rafael learned from not having a cellphone for several years.


“Film and video is a moving medium and ever since a young age, I’ve been very aware of the moving image.” — @rafaelziah [0:07:30]

“Having technology in my life, having a computer in front of me, I find myself sitting more.” — Barbara Diabo [0:09:41]

“I find myself feeling both fatigued and agitated after staring at a screen as opposed to calmed.” — Barbara Diabo [0:10:42]

“Technology just allows us to tell our stories in a different way.” — @rafaelziah [0:12:31]

“I find a lot of people, especially the younger generation now, they are putting the body aside and they are starting with technology.” — Barbara Diabo [0:16:48]

“Technological changes are exponential and biological changes are very, very slow.” — @rafaelziah [0:20:11]

“We require, as artists, to find some kind of place in our life where we can adopt all the new things that are coming in in a way that serves our purpose.” — @rafaelziah [0:31:40]

“Anyone can dance. There’s always movement. Everything we do requires movement.” — Barbara Diabo [0:45:16]

“In the face of the monster that is humanity and how fast and strongly it’s moving forward, and its insatiable hunger for what’s new, bright and shiny and all the things that come with wanting more, unfortunately those masses drive the need to create all these other things.” — @rafaelziah [0:49:36]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: