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red/green auras around dancers
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9472
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Author:  katheryn [ Tue May 01, 2001 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  red/green auras around dancers

Hi, this is my first post in the backstage area, but I had a question which I think has to do with lighting. I went to Swan Lake tonight, and during the scenes with the swans, the dancers' feet blurred into red. There was no red in the production, just the white costumes, a blue-green background, and what seemed like blue-green lighting. I felt like I was watching a bad reception on TV and needed to adjust the antenna. I thought it was just my eyes, but my companion noticed the same thing. Later I noticed that around their pointe shoes there was a red aura, and around the arms there was a green aura. Although it was an interesting phenomena, it made it hard to focus my eyes on the dancing after awhile. Has anyone ever seen this before? Can anyone tell me what causes it? Thank you, <BR>--Katheryn

Author:  BabsLights [ Wed May 02, 2001 3:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

I suspect there was some red and green colors in the side lighting, or booms. If the lightings is not hitting the floor or set, you would only perceive it on the dancers, and the designer was clearly usinging it subtly enough to make you even wonder if it was there.<P>I have used green on the swans during the "white act". In our minds it was Rothbart's poison they were mired in. When he died, was when it went away.<P>Using red I think is interesting...very neat concept...would like to talk to the designer. Don't know if this is what they were going for or not, but red and their feet, and green on the upper part, would mean that where the red and green mixed in the middle would be an amber tone (color mixing of primary colors for light).<P>Very interesting......were they mired in Rothbart's evil blood?<P>And a question to you. What happened at the end? When Rothbart dies? Did it go away? Did it intensify?

Author:  salzberg [ Wed May 02, 2001 4:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Babs, that would have been my first guess, too.<P>Another possibility is that it was an optical illusion caused by contrast and/or color fatigue, but this is less likely.<P>. . .And welcome to "Backstage", Katheryn! Now that you know where we live, don't be such a stranger!<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <BR><p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited May 02, 2001).]

Author:  salzberg [ Wed May 02, 2001 5:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Barbara, that's assuming, of course, that the red and green <I>do</I> mix; they might be focussed too tightly.<P>I once lit a flamenco dance with an extra wash of shinbusters focussed so tightly as to just hignlight their shoes (as they stomped roaches all over the stage) and a wash of headhighs focussed so as to light only their hands as the held castanets in the air.<BR><P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

Author:  katheryn [ Wed May 02, 2001 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Thank you very much for your responses and welcome! Image <P>At the end, when Rothbert dies, the lights came on in a more golden tone, and most, if not all, of the blue-green light was gone. The whole stage was brighter, more like the lighting they used in the court scenes, although not quite as bright. No more auras then! The more golden lighting felt like a relief: it noticeably perked my spirits up, as I suppose it was intended to do. <P>I really like the idea that they were mired in his blood or poison. We had wondered if somehow with all that blue and white we had started seeing phantom colors as a result of retinal malfunction. But what you say makes a lot of sense. These colors were more noticeable when there was a lot of movement and a lot of dancers onstage at once, although at times it was noticeable on the soloists, too. I'm just guessing, but it seems if one dancer was onstage, holding still, we would not notice the subtle light hitting him/her -- it would just blend into the costume. But with movement it would present many more surfaces for the light to bounce of off and into my eye. (I'm just guessing! I've never thought about lights in a production before!)<P>The show was Swan Lake by the Moscow Festival Ballet, performed in Spokane, WA. The lighting was done by Marina Borodina.

Author:  BabsLights [ Wed May 02, 2001 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Well, if anyone knows Marina, it would be fascinating to have her join us, and discuss what she did!<P>As to things looking differently at different time, yes, it could have been more noticeable with more dancers onstage or bigger movement. But one tool the lighting designer has is to make different cues. SOmetimes many of them. Sometimes many, many, many of them. (sometimes WAY to many of them). And you may not have noticed the shift at all.<P>

Author:  Priscilla [ Wed May 02, 2001 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Oh really!? That production is heading here - I'll have to check it out to see these 'auras' for myself. Thanks for this neat discussion, eh - it brought out some comments from BabsLights and Salzberg which highlighted the lovely confluence of their art's creative and technological elements. <P>Had you guys waxed artsy like this before and I just missed it somehow?

Author:  BabsLights [ Wed May 02, 2001 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Salzberg, your castinets makes me think of some boom work I did once where I cut the head high off of the floor and dancers, but kept them at full, so when the dancer jumped or was thrown in the air, they flashed brighter.<P>Priscilla, artsy is what we do! It's just not always so obvious as a costume or set, etc. But lighting people can get REALLY artsy!<P>

Author:  katheryn [ Wed May 02, 2001 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: red/green auras around dancers

Priscilla, <P>If you go, you will have to let me know if you saw the same thing that we did. There was definitely red and green (we both saw it), but it was so subtle that we wondered if it was an optical illusion. I look forward to hearing more! <P>And thanks to everyone for enlightening me (and waxing artsy). :-)<P>Katheryn

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