Renata Pereira Lima (b. 1994) is a Cuban / Brazilian artist whose work explores the body as a vessel of reactionary and archivable phenomena. Through site-specific performance and gestures of dance, her research in choreography seeks to minimize expectations of narrative and maximize the bodies’ ability to communicate on a tactile level: the space the body moves through, the energetic tone of the environment or natural light, and the sounds that pervade the space and therefore, the body in movement, all represent indeterminate happenings to be examined. Rhythm, bodily rhythm, is essential even as the dance is translated into video, which continues a thematic obligation to the scaffolding of time itself.

Thereby, filmmaking has become a natural extension of choreography as a tool for annotating and archiving dance within the interface of digital content. Where dance could otherwise be considered ephemeral, it becomes an example to be revisited, expanded out from the site-specific. The process of editing is the direct embodiment of dance in document: a visual of music, irony, and juxtaposition. In real-time the body dances, creating space— interrupting or coalescing with space— and by recording, echos the shapes of dance within the shape of video. The digital product thereby synthesizes the physical and environmental structure of performance, repeating the dancers’ steps via zoom-ins or jump-cuts, then layering the digital onto the real, subverting performance to create a document of a moment. Videos are often short, collaged with found-footage, overlaying the dancing subject (Renata) with other media such as recordings, drawings, and writing, that intersect to form her archive of shareable content and sketched for future projects.

Above all, Renata´s work is concerned with isolating choreographic moments in everyday behavior. In habitual, quotidian patterns and routines such as shuffling across the street or picking fruit at the market Renata makes light of the natural and unconscious choreography of human movement and human decision making. Her work overall pushes the limits of choreography into the domain of the rapidly shifting and crypto-ized contemporary art world.

Aside from choreographing and editing her own body of work, Renata splits her time between Mexico and New York as a model, director and collaborator on music videos, dance campaigns, and commercials.

Written by Addison Bale