Monday, September 28, 2009

Creatures in Tikkurila?

I spent most of the August in Finland to do yet another production for Dance theater Raatikko. This was something I had really been looking forward, since Raatikko had decided to invite a guest choreographer to create a performance for high school audiences. - Neither of these phenomena has occurred during the years I've been working in Tikkurila. So, something new and fascinating was hanging in the horizon for me =)

The performance called "Olenko olento / Am I a creature" was to be designed for touring in various gym-halls and auditoriums in finnish schools with three dancers and one technician. A fact, which has it's own restrictions and demands. It eventually meant keeping it moderate in amounts of equipment and big in action, since one can never be sure, how easy it will be to set up or how dark it's going to be on the venue. Solution: let's rock'n roll!!! - Flashing lights and smoke effects will be visible even in broad daylight!

The performance which opened on 4th of September scratches the surface of being a teenager, growing up and trying to find one's identity and place in the world. Sometimes personality strikes out very loud and confident, other times one just would like to curl up into the inside world shutting everybody else out.

"Olenko olento" feels with a teenager and also tucks and pulls the invisible strings of expectations set by the surrounding world. It doesn't try to lecture or give answers, it's more like a rollercoaster of action (which leaves you hopefully breathless), just like teenage life itself. For me it was s-o-o-o-o-o-o easy and fun to ride along on this ride! It's been a long time since I had as much fun with a production as I did with these guys. It seemed that the team hitched really well together from very beginning and everybody's ideas just seemed to take the thing higher by breeding yet more associations. So, rock'n rolling was extremely easy and pleasant with this ensemble.

Me and the choreographer, Satu Tuomisto were somehow on a same wavelength starting already from the very first pre-designing discussions. She seemed to completely trust my vision and gave me lots of space to move in. I felt really good working together with her and hopefully there will be other possibilities to continue this also in the future.

The beats and music the sound designer Roger d'Olivere Mapp (who also happens to be a absolutely brilliant photographer, see for your selves: all the photos on this post by him, for which I thank him most humbly) created just simply made my fingers itch for chasers and stuff. The improvisational skill of the dancers (Esko Hakala, Roosa Ijäs and Elena Ruuskanen) and their plain amount of talent and physical energy also gave me so many ideas that it was hard to believe. It also made me want to design such lights for this performance that the operator can feel the energy and play along as one of the performers and not just be the guy who's gotta push the button.

I only hope that some of this good times we had comes through in the performance. It's hard to tell, since you grow so easily blingd to what you're doing. But I do believe so.

I would still like to thank all the participants of the production for the fun I had. I hope to C U all real soon again!

To the end a short technical word about the production. As said, it had to be touring-friendly. This much was clear from day one. So I set out looking for a solution that would be independent in any space. Satu was interested in idea to make the stage to be sort of an arena surrounded by the audience on all four sides. -360 degrees of action, sort of speaking.

My final set up was actually quite simple. To all four corners of the grey-carpeted dance area (app 6m x 6m) I set one 3-meter vertical pole with one six-channel dimmer box. On the top of the pole I have three Par 56's (white L201, red L106 and blue L079). On the bottom, a vertical blacklight tube. On the floor at the corner one yellow "policelight", which can be moved all the way to the next corner. Audiencelight to two directions 2 x 500W Floodlight on two diagonally facing corners. And finally, on the floor outlining the carpet, clear rubberlight in metallic track.

Everything is standing on it's own feet and base, so nothing except an adequate power supply is required from the venue.

Keep on rockin'!

1 comment:

Satu Tuomisto said...

Minna, it was inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable to work with you. I would love to work with you again and would highly recommend you to anyone looking for a brilliant professional lighting designer. Thank you for the superb lights, they are spot on.
Cheers babes!