NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Shaping Sound, the contemporary dance company founded by Emmy-nominated choreographers Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and dance visionary Kyle Robinson took their art to stages around the country to tell the story of a girl whose dreams take her on a journey through love, loss and life. The incredible performances featured numbers by some of the most respected dancers, whose collective work has appeared on American Idol, Glee, The Tony Awards, The Grammy’s, The Oscars, and The X-Factor and wrapped their 36 date tour in late February.
Seth Jackson and co-designer Nathan Scheuer worked to create a traditional dance plot with modern technology, and with lighting director Teresa Porterfield Fensler out on the road on her own, the designers selected an automated rig provided by Bandit Lites.
House pipes were used to hang the overhead fixtures and carried dance towers to side light positions, while Colorblaze 72s lit the upstage drop. A key component was the VL3500 spot which proved to be essential to the design due to the internal shutters.
“Despite the modern, high technology look of the show, at its core this is very much a traditional approach to dance lighting,” explained Jackson. “We are using the Jean Rosenthal / Tom Skelton playbook to the letter. Lots of side light, shin busters, and at its core, it is Skelton's 12 area dance plot.”
Additional equipment included GRN Battens, ROBE Robin 600s, GLP Impressions and two Grand MA 2 Ultralite.
Jackson shared that the four choreographers, Nick, Travis, Teddy and Kyle were very involved and specific regarding the elements of the visual storytelling, a trait he said was his and Scheuer’s favorite aspect of the show.
“They are all so committed to the craft and the outcome of the show and they each have a different style and approach to their dance pieces within the whole of the show. All four of them are such a pleasure to create with and their enthusiasm is infectious.”
“Additionally, because you are dealing with choreographers, you have incredibly specific cues and focuses that are essential to the storytelling and the performance,” added Jackson. “For example, Bohemian Rhapsody is done with a single dancer inside of seven different boxes of light. There are hundreds of cues in a two minute section of the song that illuminates each dancer based on their movements. You could not be more connected to the performance and the lights are as choreographed as the dancers.”
Facilitating that connection between the performance and the lighting was Bandit lighting director Teresa Porterfield Fensler, who called her experience on Shaping Sound as one of the most fun tours she has ever worked.
“Seth came up with just an amazing design,” said Teresa before adding, “the dancers were so incredibly talented and I enjoyed watching the show every single night, as both the intricate choreography and lighting came together.”
“This is quite a challenge for someone to tackle as the lone warrior out there and Teresa nailed it,” expounded Jackson. “She got the show up and down with ease and had the operator skills to deal with a difficult set of focuses and integration with time code. We couldn't have left the show in better hands.”
This was a project that clicked on every level, according to Bandit Vice President Mike Golden. “When Seth Jackson called me about this tour, his passion was obvious. We agreed this show was well suited for Teresa as Lighting Director and she executed well beyond our expectations. Brad Bauner (GM) and Robby MacLean (PM) are total professionals as well and a genuine pleasure to work with on every front. I can honestly say we all look forward to the future of this project.”
About Bandit Lites, Inc.
Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace. From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.