Sandra Valero, the Spanish representative in Junior Eurovision 2023, stepped onto the stage in Nice this Wednesday for the first time. “Wow! How cool!” She exclaimed as soon as she got up, at 12:40 p.m. The representative of Spain performed three screenings of Loviu at the Palais Nikaïa in what was the second day of rehearsals for the festival.

Sandra Valero and her dance team – Juan Diego, Evelyn, Marcos and Elia – were very satisfied when they finished: “The last pass was the best. I felt very comfortable and I am satisfied to see that the work is and that I am almost my best version on stage”.

The sensations in the Spanish delegation are very good, as RTVE has transmitted in a note: “We are happy with the first rehearsal. We have to make some changes, of course, but in general the feeling is very good. The content on the screens is also very good. “It’s great and we are satisfied.”

Loviu’s lyrics are the common thread of Sandra Valero’s performance. Everything goes along the same line: the staging, the costumes and the choreography. The set design is designed as if it were a musical, with its beginning, middle and end. The singer is a character inspired by pioneering women and references in history: the staging refers to Matilda, the protagonist of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel, with her superpowers; or Ellie, from the movie Up, a girl who always dreamed of traveling. “We started the performance in Sandra’s room and until the end we used her imagination to tell the story,” explains Javier Pageo, artistic director of Spain at Junior Eurovision 2023.

The stage is dominated by a large structure of suitcases that simulate an airplane and its wings. The visuals shown on the screens also become very important. “We use them as if they were the curtain of a theater; when the backgrounds fade, we change scenes,” says Pageo, “thanks to this, things are happening in different places throughout the performance.” The images take us to visit European cities and their most emblematic monuments, as well as other places in the world such as the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal or Christ the Redeemer.

The costumes also go hand in hand with this staging and with the very idea of ​​travel around which Loviu revolves. Sandra Valero wears a traveling superhero costume who wants to discover other countries, languages ​​and cultures. According to Raúl Amor, RTVE stylist and costume designer in charge of dressing the Spanish artists at Eurovision, “her look is inspired by Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean.” The dancers, dressed in the jumpsuits of aviation mechanics, have printed passport stamps from the places they have traveled to.

Albert Cornelles, the choreographer, is happy with Loviu’s first passes: “With each pass it was evident that they were winning on stage. Having a new structure of the set, it was noticeable that at first they were more cautious but the change “On the third pass it was brutal.”

The choreography, he explained, goes in crescendo throughout the performance. At first, it is quieter, with Sandra Valero alone in her room, and as she begins to travel, the dancers gradually join in. “The idea is that in the end the five of them end up together, like a group of friends who interact with the public and have fun, inviting everyone to their party,” she says.

On a vocal level, Sandra Valero has also had a good rehearsal, according to vocal coach Verónica Ferreiro: “She is a very confident girl singing. At first she was more rigid because the sound is new, the acoustics of the space are new, and she was getting to know the stage and visualizing the space. We have talked between rehearsals to let go a little and so that the adrenaline doesn’t strain her too much. The second and third she has already been much more balanced in energy and voice and more familiar with all the elements.”

On Thursday, Sandra Valero and the dancers will rehearse again at the hotel to polish vocal and choreography details. In the afternoon they will rehearse the opening number of the gala, the flag parade and the common song with the rest of the countries. The next rehearsal on stage will take place on Friday, November 24 at 11:00 am. It will be time to adjust Spain’s staging and it can be seen on November 26 at the Junior Eurovision 2032 gala. The Spanish representative will perform in first position.