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Flash Review 2, 4-17:
Reflections on the Lighting
Refracting with Zawerucha and Fritz
By Susan Yung
Copyright 2000 Susan Yung
The concept behind "Fractured
Light," a collaboration between choreographer and dancer Stefa Zawerucha
and lighting designer David Fritz recognizing the talent and work
of theater lighting designers, is noble and certainly worthy. However,
to put the spin on a recurring thought, light doesn't become truly
visible unless reflected. "Fractured Light," seen Friday at P.S.
122, feels like beautiful, strong light struggling to find a good
reflective surface -- you sense intensity and purpose, yet it isn't
completely manifested. But it succeeded as a big valentine to lighting
Roma Flowers, Carol Mullins, Michael Mazzola, Philip Sandstrom and
Jennifer Tipton. A well-edited recording of the designers speaking
plays through nearly the entire 45-minute work. The text is fascinating,
touching on ideas such as receiving light in the womb, the physics
of light, dreaming in color or b/w, the visceral power of color,
finding "the muscle" in light. It only loses a bit of steam when
the designers remark on lack of critical and public recognition;
as well, the constant chatter threatens to become white noise, devolving
into lecture/demo-land. I also wanted to know each speaker's identity,
which wasn't provided.
performed solo, is apt at times, fluid yet springy, but leans on
descriptive gesture, mime, and a reliance on arm and hand movements
-- fluttering, shaping the lit air, windmilling and slicing space.
The dance was subservient to the overall concept and structure of
the work so that her movement was patterned after the text. I wanted
Zawerucha to stop the tape and dance more to the lush, percussion-based
music by Tigger Benford, perhaps experimenting in her own way with
the magic of light.
To an extent, it was
unavoidable, but the structure of the evening took on the form of
a checklist of lighting design. Raking light from the side, pin
spots, oval and rectangular spots, uplighting, angled spots, shafts,
etc. Perhaps it was the close confines of the small theater at P.S.
122, but one got more of a suggestion than an actual sense of awe
evoked by some of the lighting designs of the evening's subjects.
However, the performance
showed polish and a deep affinity for the subject and theatrical
collaboration as a whole. I find myself guilty as charged here,
citing the costume designer (Naoko Nagata) and sound designer (Andy
Russ) at the end, but their contributions were a part of the whole
that was refreshing and honest in theory and presentation. And,
in a footnote, I was much more attuned to the lighting in another
company's performance that I saw afterwards on Sunday afternoon,
showing that this writer came away at least somewhat enlightened.
"Fractured Light" continues
through April 23, Thursday through Saturday. For more info, go to
www.ps122.org, or click on the venue's ad on our Home Page.
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