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 Post subject: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2001 6:53 am 
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The New York Times' Jack Anderson makes a case that over-the-top spectacle is becoming more prominent in today's dance productions:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Dance has made quite a spectacle of itself recently. In certain choreographic flights of fancy, scenery or multimedia effects have been an integral part of the show.<P>These presentations are not just lavish; traditional 19th-century ballets or contemporary multi-act works based on fairy tales or literature can also be that. But typically in such productions, scenery is only an attractive background.<P>Today, choreographers and designers are taking advantage of the technological wizardry now available to them. In some unusual creations, spectacle becomes an active partner of the dancers, sometimes even moving along with them. Or, if stationary, scenery can so drastically alter stage space as to help shape the choreography within that area.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/30/arts/dance/30ANDE.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE . . . </B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2001 10:12 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
How interesting. How much special effects can you do in a live performance?


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:17 pm 
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Personally, I think that the effects themselves are not the problem. I knew a choreographer who used to say that having a gimmick (or effect) is fine, but you have to create the illusion that there is no "special effect", that is, the audience cannot be conscious of the wires or the smoke machine or the revolving thirty foot wall. I guess that's the hard part.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 1:46 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
You can do quite a bit, Azlan.<P>I find the tendency of lighting designers to use moving lights whether they're appropriate to the dance to be particularly annoying. I'd guess that 90% of the moving light cues I've seen have been for no other reason than to show that the LD has neat toys to play with.<P>Other special effects that can be most distracting are holograms, pyrotechnics, & neon.

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 6:39 pm 
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I've quite liked some of the holograms that I've seen used in performance recently. <BR>I think audiences are too savvy to be able to hide technology from them completely, but it should support, rather than become the work.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 10:45 am 
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Merce uses holograms. I have to say I quite enjoyed them the first time but I'm not sure how much more of it I can take after the novelty wears off.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 11:56 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
I can only think of two shows that I've seen in the last two years that used holograms. Are we being inundated with holograms and I'm not aware of it? I don't mind any effects, video, vari-lites, whatever, as long as it adds to the concept. But sometimes in a boring piece you can zone out watching the video or the lights, it's a nice escape if there's no subtle way to get to the exit door.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:55 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I don't think I've ever seen a hologram on stage. Which Merce works have holograms Azlan?


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2001 1:26 pm 
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hiya!<BR> <A HREF="http://www.riverbed.com/duoframe/duobiped.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.riverbed.com/duoframe/duobiped.htm</A> <P>talks a bit about BIPED, a Cunningham piece that uses interactive technology. It's going to be on at the theatre de ville in Paris next month.<P>i'm thinking of making a special trip to Paris to go and see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2001 1:34 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Christine, there are some links to video clips from Cunningham's BIPED in this thread:
Merce Cunningham - 2001 Season

<small>[ 08-10-2002, 17:46: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Special Effects Overpowering Dance?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2001 10:49 pm 
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cool! didn't see that, thanks for pointing it out.<P>on the subject, i saw batsheva last week at the barbican in london and while i absolutely adored the dancing (see review in dance umbrella section), there was an almost gratuitous bit of 'multimedia' put in there - it was an animation that was projeted on to the scrim. i wasn't convinced that it actually played any real importance in the piece and didn't really add to the work apart from being a bit of a tangent ... my question is, are choreographers integrating multimedia into thier work because they're REALLY interested in the process (as say, Cunningham is) or do they do it because it's kind of trendy these days ...


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