CARMEN

World Premiere
Choreography by Kent Stowell – Francia Russel
Light and Stage Design by Rico Chiarelli
Costume Design: Larae Hascall
Video Design by Iole Alessandrini
H 12' W 48' D 2"
01. 31. 02 - 02. 10. 02
Mercer Arts Arena, Seattle, WA

Synopsis – Two live video cameras hand-held by dancers on stage showing close-ups of the performance are synchronized to a recorded video of the dance during rehearsal. The mirror in the studio rehearsal is recreated by the projection screen on stage. Unlike the mirror, however, video and screen extend the stage beyond the boundaries of fixed perspective and time.

Project description

The video design for the 2002 World Premier of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Carmen included a projection screen at the back of the stage 12 feet tall by 48 feet wide onto which live images of performing dancers were projected simultaneously with recorded video of the same dancers working on the ballet's choreography as it developed in rehearsal. The live projections were fed from two handheld cameras operated on stage by two dancers / camerapersons. At times, the screen included intense overlay of the stage lighting which altered the chromatics in the video, thus resulting in dancers' silhouettes emerging from large fields of colors.

Conceptually, the mirror in the studio evolves into the projection screen onstage. But unlike the mirror, the projection screen extends the stage beyond the boundaries of fixed perspective and time. The mirror and the notion of reflecting, duplicating, simulating, replicating, deceiving, regenerating and ultimately presenting the complete work, supports both the aesthetics and the idea of the video being part of the live performance. During the video editing phase, the original footage was shot, then divided into quadrants, and then by means of four synchronized rear video projectors, it was reassembled in a linear manner onstage.

The projection screen thus presented the audience with a multi-layered experience. The live performance merged with the previously recorded rehearsal which merged with live mediated projections, all interwoven with spelled-out words from the libretto.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Rico Chiarelli
Kent Stowell
Francia Russell

SPECIAL THANKS

Howard T. Howlett
Ed Mannery