Light Shows: The dynamism of light in performance
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"Can we really put futuristic, "disembodied" images on stage? Can we show characters whose functions are taken over by an object?" These are some of the questions that Kris Verdonck asks himself.- Marianne Van Kerkhoven As an artist working with light in performance, my work explores the presence of light both as solo performance and as partner to human movement. This thesis builds from previous projects, including collaborations with Torn Space Theater and choreographers Anne Burnidge and Tressa Crehan, and reflects the influence of Robert Wilson (light as performer), James Turrell (light performs environment), Anthony McCall (light performs sculpture), and Kris Verdonck (light as character). I ask: In what ways can a single source of light function in performance? Specifically, I ask, what is the potential of light onstage before other elements? How might the power relations between light and other elements be reconfigured? What possibilities exist beyond the immediate function of illuminating the performance space? Past projects demonstrate that light functions as character, dancer, and partner. Here I also investigate light's potential as a director of movement. Situated at the junction of visual art and light scenography, Light Shows explored these questions through a series of light beam installations in which light performs as object, character, partner, director, and spectacle. Positioned within a found, urban space (rather than a theatre), Light Shows premiered at Silo City, a campus of rehabilitated early 20 th -century grain silos along the Buffalo, NY waterfront.
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