His physicality is obvious! He began as a 400-meter hurdler. But French-born choreographer Pierre Rigal then studied mathematics and economics in Barcelona and graduated with a master’s degree in cinema. Rigal made his transition to contemporary dance after meeting some choreographers whose work intrigued him. For the debut of his company, dernière minute, at the Joyce Theatre in NYC, Rigal and four musician/dancers performed Micro, an unstructured rock concert in which bass, keyboard, electric guitar, and percussion literally propel the artists into action as the line between music and dance blurs, and the music is not only heard; it’s also seen. Micro was part of DANSE: A French-American Festival of Performance and Ideas organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
The stunning lighting design was by Frédéric Stoll who collaborated with Joan Cambon and George Dyson on the sound design for the piece. The lighting adds an exciting visual layer to the work, varying from concert-style beams of white light cutting through a dark stage, to moments illuminated by red or blue light from above, from the sides, from the floor. There were many visual tableaux that enhance the force of the movement, making the piece exhilarating on many levels, from sound to light to Rigal’s sense of sheer physicality as he deconstructs rock music, mixing body parts and parts of musical instruments, and shimmying in the light like a true rocker.
“I travel with my computer, a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp,” says Stoll, who adds such tools as a Behringer BCR2000 MIDI controller with motor fader, nanoKONTROL2 ENTTECPRO DMX, a second screen, and as he notes “a very good mouse with quick wheel and a very good remote control with iPAD, so you can control light in real-time, with a lot of possibilities, and you see all the levels right on your screen.”
Stoll also uses WhiteCat software created by Christophe Guillermet. “With WhiteCat you can control the conventional lights, the moving lights, the sound, and the video with and interactive map on the screen,” he says, noting that WhiteCat also has Arduino serial communication built in, for easy remoting and receiving of electronics.
Take a look: