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 Post subject: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2000 7:44 pm 
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Location: New York, NY USA
I would love to hear Jeffrey's view as well as everyone else's on this topic. I have been to concerts that quietly light the dancers and to ones that use bold primary colors. <P>The trend I have noticed is that in more professional or artistic companies the lighting is bright but subtle.<P>In more commercial dance venues - like companies at the Jazz Dance World Congress - the lighting is bold and theatrical.<P>Do others see this trend? And more importantly - what is considered to be of better taste or quality? <P>What are the different views about lighting dance that are out there today? In college Thomas Skelton was the lighting designer of the resident company. So I grew up seeing his aesthetic and hearing him praised often. I would love to learn more about the views that exist.<P>Jeffrey and others....take it away...<P>Thanks,<BR>James

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2000 11:24 pm 
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It depends on the style of the choreography. Some pieces demand subtlety -- slow, imperceptible cues, with small shifts in color -- while other works benefit from broader strokes.<P>It also depends on the choreographer. Some don't want to notice light cues, ever, while some approach it with a "wham! bam!" attitude.<P>Good topic. Thanks.<BR><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2000 6:10 am 
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What about 'brightness' (as opposed to boldness) of the lighting?<P>Skelton's work on the Ohio Ballet while subtle was always bright. He seemed to border on the edge of work lights sometimes. Only on rare occasion would he allow shadows.<P>But then I have seen other lighting designers who leave the dancers in the dark with plenty of shadows falling across their faces. <P>Are both just as accepted in the lighting design community? Just a matter of opinions?<P>Thanks - James<p>[This message has been edited by James (edited August 15, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2000 6:45 am 
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It's a matter of opinion. . .and a matter of style.<P>As with everything else, with me, at least, it depends on the particular piece of chorography. Some pieces might be evenly-lit, but dark. Some might be evenly-lit, but bright. Some might use shadow as a design element (Max Reinhardt said that, "The art of lighting the stage consists of putting light where you want it and taking it away from where you don't want it.")<P>It all depends on what's appropriate for the piece you're doing.<P>"In art, the only absolute. . .is this one."<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 10:09 am 
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The one almost universal complaint I have with lighting for contemporary/modern is that it tends to be too dark--oftentimes I can't even see the choreography...why do they do this--someone explain...-please!! Not that it has to look be as bright as a supermarket...but pullleeeeze! This is so annoying...I pay money to see a concert, and then sit there in my seat wondering, imagining what the choreography is really like!!<BR>I also think it's important,lighting wise, for choreographers to have a basic understanding of lighting design,ie.some training. I'm not talking the circuitry and all of that, but some basic training in use of color, how to "speak" to a lighting designer/technical director. This has come in so handy to me over the years when visualizing my final choreography....color, visual design, how you highlight the human figure are an imporant part of choreography....unless you're collaborating with someone who knows a great deal about dance, or someone you've collaborated with for a long time, a choreographer is not necessarily going to get the "look" you want, because it's hard to communicate correctly with someone when you don't know their "language" (lighting) and they may not know what's inside your head (choreographic vision)<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 10:53 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The one almost universal complaint I have with lighting for contemporary/modern is that it tends to be too dark--oftentimes I can't even see the choreography...why do they do this--someone explain...-please!!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>. . .Because too many lighting designers are thinking only of making pretty, dramatic pictures and they've forgotten that one of the functions of dance lighting is to reinforce the choreography.<P>I've lit my share of dark dances (and will undoubtedly light more) but -- I hope -- they were dark in a way that still allowed the movement to be seen.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>it's hard to communicate correctly with someone when you don't know their "language" (lighting) and they may not know what's inside your head (choreographic vision)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Understanding the vocabulary will also go a long way toward preventing designers from deliberately baffling you with arcane argot.<P>(Not that anyone <I>I</I> know would do that!)<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 2:12 pm 
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<P><B>Understanding the vocabulary will also go a long way toward preventing designers from deliberately baffling you with arcane argot.</B><P>Wow, Jeff, give alllll the secrets away why don't you! You're probably gonna tell where the candy gets hidden at the tech table, too, aren't you<P><BR>Seriously, though, Grace, even without knowing ANYTHING about lighting, you are perfectly within your right to say: "I don't like that". And that, as far as I am concerned, is a perfectly acceptable comment to make to me, even if you can't tell me why. <P>(I may get out the Grace voodoo doll backstage and shake it up a bit, but heck, theatre is still a team sport, so you have to be happy, too!).


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 2:28 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Wow, Jeff, give alllll the secrets away why don't you! You're probably gonna tell where the candy gets hidden at the tech table, too, aren't you<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>No way! I would <I>never</I> tell anyone that I keep my M&Ms under the video monitor!<P>Ooops.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Grace, even without knowing ANYTHING about lighting, you are perfectly within your right to say: "I don't like that". And that, as far as I am concerned, is a perfectly acceptable comment to make to me, even if you<BR>can't tell me why.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I agree, with the proviso that if you <I>can</I> tell me why you don't like it, I'll find it a lot easier to fix it for you.<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 5:22 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Tread lightly everyone... we have primadonna lighting designers amongst us... Image<P>Azlan <stomach full of M&Ms>


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 6:30 pm 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
This coming semester the lighting design course will be taught with a dance bent to it if enough dancerpeople sign up. this should be a great opportunity to learn about lighting and also be able to think about choreography differently. I'm very fond of the instructor and what he's done, leaving my only real concern that it'll be so much WORK!<BR>However, I refuse to not know what's going on, and will almost certainly sign up.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 7:35 pm 
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That's great news, Priscilla; I'm sure you'll get a lot out of it. Just remember that -- as in any art -- there are many approaches to dance lighting. . .and they're all right.

Well, most of them are right.

. . .And Azlan, there is no such thing as a prima donna lighting designer. In penance for having made such a scurrilous claim, you may kiss our ring.

<small>[ 21 March 2005, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 7:43 pm 
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Ahhh, I was going to make Azlan scrub gel for me!<P>Though I must admit, I was wondering which of us he was calling Prima, and which was Donna.


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2000 8:20 pm 
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Location: CA
Azlan, thanks for the thread, here are some thoughts…<P>I think the Lighting Designer is a super-audience, because it's through the eyes of the lighting designer that the real audience will get to see the piece of work on stage. Imagine there isn’t any illumination on stage? What are we seeing here?<P>I guess the choice of Lighting Design depends on the form and style of the piece itself. There is no formula that tells us how and what to design on stage. The idea of design is like planning a structure of light by manipulating a certain amount of controllable properties to satisfy a specific set of function. Being a Lighting Designer, you are there not only to provide visibility but also to create an illusion for the audience. It is the responsibility of a designer to take care of what and how the audience sees the piece. The connection between what is lit, the lighting, the eye and the mind of the beholder.<P>As for dance lighting…<P>Dance is very specific. It is a highly technique oriented art form. Style and interpretation are individuals. As a lighting designer myself, having the opportunity to work with choreographers and dancers is a mixed blessing. Their work is often aesthetically exciting. The mixed part of the blessing is the differing ways of looking at the process of putting together the experience, and the challenges of trying to help the choreographers to be clear about what they want their piece to look like. <P>Think about this, “Light draws the eye. Movement draws the eye. Light and movement create a compelling visual feast. It is well worth your while to think of light as part of your choreography. <P>Lighting Design need not make you crazy, but if you keep the various uses of light in mind as you picture the dancers on stage, you will richly rewarded. Your dances will be enhanced. Offer your audience a magical production by letting light and movement work together. <P>As a designer, we need to listen and watch. It is about lighting the piece and creates a magical illusion on stage. <P><BR>------------------<BR>Bee Bee Lee<BR>beebee@shippandcompany.org <A HREF="http://www.shippandcompany.org/beebee" TARGET=_blank>http://www.shippandcompany.org/beebee</A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Bee Bee (edited August 16, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2000 10:25 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
I must say that ever since grad. school, I've had a new respect for lighting designers/tech directors. I had to design, FROM SCRATCH, my own lighting plot for my 30 minute MFA thesis concert. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done!!!!..it was like an extremely uncoordinated person trying to dance the lead in SWAN LAKE...or at least it felt that way to me! And as anyone who knows me from CD for a while, knows that I am "technologically challenged". Butttttt...I'm really glad to have done it...the bottom line folks::: when a dancers screws up onstage, it can usually be covered up (unless they literally fall down of course, or unless the person watching knows the choreography pretty well, or is a very saaavy watcher). However, when something goes wrong technically, almmost everybody knows about it and knows "who to blame", so...."lighten up (no pun intended) on those lighting designers/tech directors"!!! It's a hard, STRESSFUL job!!


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 Post subject: Re: Lighting trends in dance
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2000 7:10 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Salzberg, I understand how to go about kissing a ring but, Babs, what is exactly entailed in scrubbing gel?


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