Visual Arts and Dance; bridging the language of expression. / by Carlos Delgado

For the last few years now I have been doing commercial live painting at events. It has been quite a rewarding experience that has introduced me to a lot of new and interesting people, seen many interesting things and had an opportunity to contribute creatively to many different events. I have been fortunate to paint live at many diverse events from private business events, public events such as Pan Am Games and Culture Days, and fundraisers like the most recent one with Toronto Arts Foundation and City of Toronto's Mayor.  I enjoy the challenges of creating a customized piece in a short time frame while having an opportunity to meet people and include them in the creative process. However, as I believe that an artist always needs to evolve (and I get bored quickly with the same thing), I wanted to see how I could push the expression of live painting in another format.

A few years ago my wife produced a dance piece called Stories That My Body Told Me. After the presentation we all talked about how we could continue to merge different forms of art together when the idea of blending visual art with dance came up. Forward to now, I am happy to say that the we brought this conversation into a reality in a creative collaboration between myself and one of the dancers from her piece Mateo Gilando Torres  and his dance company Form Contemporary Dance Theatre.  

 "I:Variations"  was presented at Burlington Center for the Arts and in Toronto in January of 2017. Below is a bit of the piece. 

"I:Variations is a solo created and performed by Mateo Gilando Torres with visual artist Carlos Delgado. The work explores the multiple realities that can coexist within one individual, and how these realities shift and mould through time according to circumstances and experiences. Carlos' live painting reflects back the layers of Mateo's consciousness seen and unseen. Music composed by Greg Harrison "

The process of fusing visual art with dance was a very interesting and new process of me from which both myself and Mateo learned a lot. Exploring how to tell a story of a feeling from apparently different mediums was a fascinating journey that had us experimenting with so many tangible and intangible aspects of  a performance. Using each detail, from light to type of canvas, to costumes, to music and silent moments, we brought to life a unified expression of different identities and expressions, at times seen and at times unseen. 

Sometimes it is easy to say, I am a painter, or visual artist, or I am a dancer and stay within the comfort zone of the craft which we have mastered or continue to master each day, but I think the fun lies in those moments when we step out of those pre-defined labels and simply say I am an artist; someone who uses a creative method to bring to life a story, reflection, a connection etc.