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My Dora Jarr

Los Angeles, CA

July, 1999
Created by: Melinda Ring, Choreographer and Liz Young, Visual Artist
Photographs by Dan Wenke

Melinda and Liz described their concept as "A vigorous mental trip to an alternative architectural landscape where the viewer/participant experiences the very personal narrative of a lucid dream, filled with the unpredictable and inexplicable twists of nocturnal tales."

No set of photographs will ever adequately depict what the unsuspecting audience member encountered: theatre in the surround, a sculpture installation where a performance erupted and the exhibition came to life. The audience was so enveloped by the performance that they experienced the choreography as a sculptural form, too.

For a lighting designer, the excitement came from creating a design using primarily A-lamps, R-lamps, and PAR-38's, probably 30 lamps total. The rest of the equipment and crew included two 20-amp circuits, only four theatrical lighting fixtures (Thank heaven for Source4s!), no formal control console (just six Lutron household dimmers), and two skillful women who performed the lighting cues.

Knanssie performs a jerky dance in front of the "window wall." Again we used the roving Fresnel to light her and create a stark shadow dance. Some in the audience experienced the piece as voyeurs, looking through the window. This wall was built on casters. It and another "door wall" moved around the performance space, creating small rooms within the larger performance room. The room within a room was a recurring dream theme.

In this scene, set in a small room, the performers gaze intently at one another. They move slowly, responding to each other's movement, ebbing and flowing over and around the table. To accent the eerieness of the piece, we used one 6" Fresnel as a rover. The light moved through the space, adding an overwhelming shadow play to the scene.

Here we look through one of the doors and observe Patty performing a hand dance. Just her hands moved in this piece, and we used a Source4 to focus tightly on her.


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