Live Design Award Winner: Tal Yarden

Counting Sheep
(Ka-Man Tse) Midnight Moment: Tal Yarden, Counting Sheep, December 2016 in Times Square

The third annual Live Design Awards honor a stellar group of theatre, opera, and concert designers as well as a leading architectural lighting design firm and a non-profit association. This year’s winners include: Es Devlin for brave new worlds in scenic design for concerts and theatre; the design team for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812 (Bradley King, lighting; Mimi Lien, sets; Nicholas Pope, sound; Paloma Young, costumes) for creating a truly exhilarating theatrical experience; Jonathan Deans for being a sound designer extraordinaire and winner of the second annual Abe Jacob Award for Sound Design; Tal Yarden for pushing the boundaries with cutting-edge projection and video design; Sooner Routhier and Robert Long for masterful teamwork for concert design and production; UVLD for continued excellence in corporate lighting design; and the Event Safety Alliance for selfless work in keeping our industry safe.

The 2017 Live Design Awards will be presented, alongside Excellence in Live Design Awards and Products of the Year, during a reception in New York City on Monday, June 12, sponsored by GLP and Meyer Sound.

©Christopher Ash - [email protected]

Tal Yarden

His wingspread is international; his discipline is video. Tal Yarden creates, designs, directs, and shoots visual content for a variety of mediums, specializing in dance, theatre, opera, special events, and music performances. His work has been seen throughout Europe and the US, with recent productions ranging from the Broadway revival of Sunday In The Park With George, Les Damnés for the Comédie Française directed by Ivo van Hove, and Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adés in Salzburg to The Crucible on Broadway and Lazarus by Enda Walsh and David Bowie, directed by Ivo van Hove at New York Theatre Workshop. He also designs for opera in numerous European cities and is a consulting technology advisor for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center in New York. Straying from the stage into Times Square, Yarden also recently designed a three-minute video installation, Counting Sheep, perfect for those who have trouble sleeping as it was seen on electronic billboards from 11:57pm to midnight.

His frequent collaborator, Dutch scenic designer Jan Versweyveld and James Nicola of New York Theatre Workshop share their appreciation of Yarden in conjunction with his Live Design Achievement Award for pushing the boundaries with cutting-edge projection and video design, which will be presented by director Sarna Lapine and is sponsored by d3.

I’m very glad I met Tal Yarden back in 1999 preparing the design for Rent in Amsterdam. Since that time, we have worked together on the most challenging and boundary breaking productions all over the world. Tal is an extraordinary video designer. His view spans over the whole of a production. He is able to think outside of the box, and even in the most stressful situation, his mind stays artistic. Always pushing the limits of technical possibilities, Tal brings a world of images to the table that’s deeply rooted in the American performance and art world. He is never interested in beautifying. He always shows images that serve the meaning of the production. Tal has the extraordinary talent to adapt to the different visual worlds of different productions and artistic teams. His projected images are thoughts. Perhaps it is better to say that Tal has an artist’s soul.

Jan Versweyveld, Scenic Designer

Tal Yarden tells stories for the eye. He penetrates the specific dramatic event and illuminates the human conflict or encounter in the primary narrative with his own visual poetry. At New York Theatre Workshop, a small institution with limited means, he has always and unfailingly taken the limitations on resources and transformed these deficits into opportunities for creativity, and always with equanimity and grace—a true artist and a profound human being.

James Nicola, artistic director, New York Theatre Workshop

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