Scharff Weisberg Slow Dances In New York

Scharff Weisberg made a big scene at Lincoln Center this summer with its support of David Michalek’s Slow Dancing, a unique HD video projected from the roof of Avery Fisher Hall onto a trio of 50-foot mesh screens hung on the facade of the New York State Theatre. Part of the Lincoln Center Festival, the high-profile event ran July 10-July 29 from 9pm to 1am daily.

Michalek, a noted commercial portraitist, is merging the idea of portraiture with performance, installation, and large-scale, multi-dimensional projects. His multi-hour Slow Dancing features ten-minute clips of 43 master dancers; shot on HD video at 1,000 fps and slowed even more in postproduction, the solo performances hover “eerily between still photography and slow motion,” said The New York Times, with “plenty of time to both sink into and dissect each portrait.”

Josh Weisberg designed the projection system to facilitate the display of Slow Dancing. He configured three Barco FLM-HD18 1080x1920 18,000-lumen projectors, brand new to Scharff Weisberg’s inventory, in portrait mode and projected Michalek’s HD slow-motion imagery sourced from three Apple-supplied PowerMacs with Xserve arrays.

Slow Dancing is “one of the few utilizations of Iridas Framecycler software for presentation purposes,” notes Weisberg. “Normally intended for film production and correction, it works very nicely as an uncompressed HD player which allows fine adjustment of color and other image parameters onsite on a per-frame basis.”

“This is my first large-scale work of public art,” says Michalek. “Scharff Weisberg has been fantastic—I’ve enjoyed working with everyone. Given the outside-the-box nature of this project and the challenges of making it work, Scharff Weisberg has been very impressive. The show looks spectacular. I’m grateful for everyone’s attention at Scharff Weisberg, particularly Josh for his calm demeanor and his ear,” Michalek continues. “Josh listens and responds which is an extremely meaningful quality for me as an artist.”

Stan Pressner is the technical director for the Lincoln Center Festival. At Scharff Weisberg, Jason Block and Joe Volpe were the project managers with the software and computer configured by Olaaf Rossi and Patrick Denny.

Suggested Articles:

ETC has partnered with an award-winning Broadway lighting team to create a new educational challenge: The Hamilton Programming Project.

The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative has rolled out a number of suicide prevention tools as part of joining the #BeThe1To campaign.

Finding out who's designing in LORT theatres by pronouns and genders and continuing to work toward parity.