The new ballet for which I did projection and set design premiered at Ballet Sun Valley on August 24th. Gemma Bond from ABT was the choreographer, and Judd Greenstein wrote a complex and varied new score for the live orchestra. It was all quite ambitious for a summer dance festival, but it came off beautifully! The cast was big with 15 dancers, and starred Isabella Boylston and Marcelo Gomes in the leads. The title of the ballet, "eight/twenty-one/seventeen" is the date of the actual solar eclipse that took place on August 21st. We were all lucky that Sun Valley was directly in the path of Totality, andI I hiked up Dollar Mountain to watch it with Judd and orchestra conductor Martin West (from San Francisco Ballet). As a projection designer, lets just say I was thinking that Mother Nature sets a high bar for light shows. Seeing the gorgeous full corona was special.
Gemma wanted the ballet to be abstract, and include a platform for dancers to be above the stage level, so we set a circle element behind the platform. I used simple, bright moving color bands, color gradients and ripples in the video design to express the moods and changes in the music.
Isabella Boylston made her debut as Artistic Director for the two night event. The full cast of dancers she invited was unbelievable: Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck, Maria Kotchekova, Stella Abrera, Ida Praetorias, Tyler Angle, James Whiteside, Xander Parish, Kimin Kim and more. The performances were in the outdoor Sun Valley Pavilion which was a perfect place for this incredibly exciting new summer dance festival.