To celebrate the achievements of 2019 and to welcome all the prospects of 2020, Live Design is conducting 31 Days Of Plots. Every day during the month of December 2019, we will highlight a different lighting design, from across theatre, concert tours, corporate events, and more.
Lighting designer Kaili Story has shared her lighting plots for III. Third, choreographed by Rena Butler and performed by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the third installment of three-part series, dance(e)volve, for which Story was shortlisted for a 2019 KOI-USA Award.
"The series explores identity through culture, customs, and self-reflection," says Story. "When I began this journey with Rena, she was in the process of developing all three pieces as they were all performed within three weeks of each other on three different companies and in three different locations. She had not yet choreographed the work, but I told her that I respond very well to words or ideas, and we could build the world together from that. I began by word-banking words Rena would throw at me while passing by in the hallway or while having coffee. I was given words like 'gridlock,' 'migration,' 'desolate,' 'borders,' 'angles,' 'destroying,' and 'rebuild.' I tend to think more in terms of pictures and art, so after hearing these words I started looking for visual images to give us a shared language to help visualize the lighting.
"This led to Rena finding a quote by Rumi in which she shared with me, 'Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.' This quote provided more depth for us and led to further discussions about identity and the way your perception of you differs from someone else’s perception of you. It was important to us to create an environment where many different personalities could shine, a space that felt both urban and vast. Rena still had not choreographed the piece, but we had formed a structure and knew that there would be this defining moment in the middle of the piece, a point of no return where our lives in stasis would shift and alter our point of view of the world from that point onwards. We called this 'the explosion.' It wasn’t until this moment that we felt color should seep into the world."
KOI-USA Theatre judge Clifton Taylor said of her work: “The lighting was fresh and contemporary, and the visual language was crisp and clear. The ideas supported the choreographic work and came together to create an overall sense of place that remained compelling through the entire work.”
Check out other plots from the 31 Days here, and stay tuned for more over the next 7 days.