Sydney Dance Company celebrates with Martin
Thursday, 19 December 2019
sdc2The Sydney Dance Company recently celebrated its 50th anniversary
Australia - The Sydney Dance Company recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a double bill featuring two starkly different performances illuminated by lighting designer Ben Cisterne with Martin Professional MAC Encore Wash WRM fixtures.
Established in 1969, the Sydney Dance Company has a broad community beyond the practice and performance of its lead dancers who believe in the universality of dance, and with the largest public dance class programme in Australia, they help over 70,000 people a year connect with the grace, strength and creativity.
To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the company performed a short run of special back-to-back performances from 1-9 November at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Walsh Bay. The first piece performed, 6 Breaths, was choreographed by the company’s artistic director Rafael Bonachela to an original score for piano and six cellos by Italian composer Ezio Bosso. Twelve dancers clad in ripped black clothing danced on a dark, smoke-filled stage, with abstract animations projected onto a scrim downstage between movements.
The second piece on the programme, Gideon Obarzanek’s Us 50, contrasted the first performance with a bright, open setting and an energetic electronic score by UK musician Clark. The piece featured an impressive 50 performers, including current and former company dancers as well as members of the community. Lighting designer Ben Cisterne illuminated the show with Martin Professional MAC Encore Wash WRM fixtures as recommended by Ian Gerrard from Intense Lighting, relying on their power and versatility to serve the different aesthetics of each performance.
“When Rafael or Gideon call, I’m always keen to do the show,” says Cisterne. “6 Breaths is a super abstract, really moody piece of work, and everything is about timing and small adjustments. You have to find the nuance in each little movement. Rafael’s work has lots of little sections and you have to create a scene for all of them. It really is about each moment, whereas Gideon’s work, Us 50, is more of a grand concept. It’s usually one big design idea.”
Cisterne selected the MAC Encore Wash WRM, an updated LED replacement for the discontinued MAC TW1, to achieve the soft-edged wash lighting with a good amount of flexibility while staying within a budget. With a 3000K colour temperature, the Encore Wash WRM delivered the warm, classic look of a tungsten lamp while allowing Cisterne to easily switch to a daylight look when necessary with its variable CTB. The fixture’s ultra-quiet operation proved indispensable in the intimate setting of a dance performance.
“I had four Encores on either side in a high-side position, and they really are awesome,” explained Cisterne. “They have a tungsten feel to them, and it’s like using an old MAC TW1. What’s great is being able to run the CTB wheel in them and it’s like putting Lee 201 in front of tungsten light. Plus, it dims like a tungsten light. I love their soft focus and I was a bit shocked at how bright they were. They’re also whisper-quiet, which is obviously great for my work.”
(Jim Evans)

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