Re: the collaboration between choreographer and designer....
This summer, I worked with a theatre director who is also a costume designer (although he was not designing this particular show). In one of our early conversations, he was full of specific ideas ("We'll followspot this"..."that'll be blue"...etc.). At one point, he stopped and said, "I have no idea how to light this part," at which point I (gently) said, "Y'know, C.T., it really works better if you just talk to me in concepts and let me figure out the specifics. What are you trying to achieve at this point in the show? Why are you staging it this way?"
He paused for a minute, said, "OK," and started talking about his thought processes. We had a really great collaboration over the next few days after after the final dress rehearsal he said to me, "Y'know, you were right. I say the same thing when I design, but when I'm directing I always forget."
The point here is that it's not about ego (well, maybe a little); it's about vocabulary. I light 20 shows a year, during which I'm concerned only with the lighting; even the most successful and talented choreographers and directors do maybe 12 over the same amount of time, and they have to pay attention to lighting, costumes, sets, sound...and even dancers and actors. There's no way they could have the same command of the lighting vocabulary that I do; if they spend their time telling me what they're trying to achieve (rather than telling me how to achieve it), they're much more likely to get what they want.
<small>[ 08-28-2002, 06:32: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design