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Cultivating Music and Dance in WFC’s Winter Garden

PLSN Staff • News • January 22, 2009

NEW YORK — An open-to-the-public atrium may not be as lighting-friendly as a fully equipped theatre, but that didn’t stop Tinc Design & Productions from lighting and staging Wait for Green, a collaboration of ETHEL, a string ensemble, and dance choreographed by Annie-B Parson, in the Winter Garden atrium at World Financial Center. With its interplay of dance, music, and thematic contrasts between inside and outside, Tinc lighting designer Lance Darcy sought a simple but elegant series of looks to convey the  “warmth and inclusion versus the snowy out-of-doors. Our choices were not to be about flashy templates or crazy elements.  Our color choices were simple. Patterns were not going to work.”

If the 10,000 square-foot matrix of palm trees encased in the WFC’s 10-story atrium was a good thematic fit for the living room-fashioned set, it posed some technical challenges, not the least of which was the fact that the room was already loaded with 100,000 holiday lights and all the dimmers were being used. All the lighting for the production had to be planned and brought in, within a short time frame.

“We didn’t have a lot of time in which to workshop the piece,” Darcy said.  “We were afforded only one day of technical rehearsal.  The project took a lot of preplanning and conceptual discussion.  We really had to think it through.” The crew also didn’t have much time to test the lighting system, and “we were using spaces that are not usually where performances are, and are not usually lit,” Darcy added. “It was comforting that Annie-B Parson, the choreographer and director, was very easy to work with.  We were really on the same page, conceptually.”

The World Financial Center commissioned the work in celebration of their 20th Anniversary.  Elysa Marden served as the program’s production director, Allan Abrams served as technical director and Zoe “Where” Huertas of Tinc was the production electrician.

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