Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Efficiency on tour

I was working for the Steps 2012 festival at Theater Roxy in Birsfelden when Introdans company from Netherlands arrived. Company had for this particular show twentysomething young dancers from all around the world. All in all they have currently four fullsized ensembles on tour.

These people really have figured the touring out in a cool way. Their tech crew shows up with a humonguous truck which has "Introdans" written on the sides with two meter high block letters. No mistaking there... They pour out of the truck pretty much everything they need including most of the light fixtures and request mainly only electricity (and enough of it). One of the first items to arrive to the new venue is portable kitchen with everything necessary attached; microwave, espresso machine, fridge with cold beer in it etc.

Movable kitchen unit with all the necessities

I was fascinated about the level of efficiency that these people showed. Everything is organized and smooth and they really know what they are doing. They also seem to have realized that if you really wanna have something in certain way, then it's easier to bring it with you. Saves whole lotta time in the end, which I also figured out very fast when touring with an university production last year.

Such a pleasure to work with this kind of people. And it was also cool to observe how they handle things. For example, they drag the ballet bars around the world with them to be used during the warming up of the dancers (photo below). During the get-in these bars serve as aids for the focusing the sidelights =)

Ballet bar travelling the world

I heard that this group was heading next to Indonesia. Maybe they'll ship the container with lights, set and kitchen over? There it might really prove to be a good idea to bring our own stuff, since one never knows the circumstances so precisely =)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maxim's de Paris

In mid-April I visited Paris for the first time in 16 years. I had been told many times over that Paris is the most beautiful city of the world, but I didn't believe that. Just because last time I was there in February and it was all grey, rainy and dull. This time I saw the potential beauty better.

Tour de Eiffel

Pont Neuf

Tuileries with Louvre on the background

Lantern at Place de la Concorde

Near Hotel des Invalides

Street art at Rue de Rivoli

Palais de Tokyo
I was invited to sneak in to this sneak-preview of one of the museums in Paris. The actual exhibition was not officially open at that point, but it was not really the exhibition that blew me away. the building itself is quite mind-boggling. As you enter to the ground floor lobby, it looks like any other museum lobby. But the thing actually is that the building expands into a maze of multiple floors underground. Definitely something to check out if you're in Paris.

Three floors down

It was a posh party, but not everything was so high-tech. I was giggling at these rubberlight installations on the yard of the museum:

OMG! Those kebab cables!!!

I was in Paris to do lights for a midnight dance show on a private birthday party at Maxim's. Such a fancy restaurant!!! All the decor and details are from late 19th century and all still original. The main dining hall is on the ground floor but the premises extend to upper floors as well. All in same art and fashion what comes to the interior and furnishing. Such beautiful lanterns and decorations.

Setting up at Maxim's

It was actually somewhat tiring after couple of hours to deal with all the abundance of detail and colors when one has to work with visuals there. It's just a bit too much =). Lovely place to have a dinner if one can afford it, but not necessarily the most comfortable place to work maybe. Cool experience nonetheless.

Beautiful art nouveau details

Anyhow, the actual gig was great albeit extreme and the people I worked with very nice. And oh, that amount of champagne in the later hours compensated the long hours of setting it all up...

Spiraling staircase

Screens like any other?