Friday, April 14, 2006

I wish I could wear makeup like that all the time

Last night, as I revelled in my complete absence of responsibilities (it being my first evening free from schoolwork) and watched Jeopardy, I noticed that there were a few people in my apartment that I didn't know. They walked back and forth between the bedrooms of two of my roommates, in various states of dress and undress, hair being done, makeup being applied. This makeup was something else, though.

Everybody had one eye all done up crazy cool-like, as you can see. Upon seeing one of these random girls walking by with the makeup done, I became curious enough to leave the Jeopardy game to find out who these people were and why they were so cool.

Turns out last night was the performance final for a dance class in which each student had to coreograph a dance and get their friends to perform it. My one roommate had been practicing this for months on end for one of her friends, and I finally got to see it happen! The whole evening was free, since it was a final and not a "real" performance, and included an acting class, a dance class, and a lighting design class.

The actors did the typical "I am...................a leaf!......Blowing,... blowing............... in the winddddd........!" type of performance- each had a few sentences to say, and they had to incorporate movement into their performance. Let's just say I saw a whole lot of running in circles and jumping in the air like an explosion, but not a whole lot of good acting. I dunno. I guess I just don't like that genre very much. There were two or three that I actually liked, but that's out of maybe twenty performances.

The dances were Very Cool. They were all kind of, uh, how would you call it? Modern Dance, maybe. You know, dancers in leotards with strips of fabric wrapped around them, doing Strange and Beautiful things in a random-seeming manner. I'm not really a fan of that kind of thing, either- it can get pretty cheesy and predictable, but these were pretty fun. As similar as the dances were, they were each very unique, using different types of music, sending different messages, etc.

The lighting design class did pretty well, as well. They collaborated with the dance students, mainly lighting a scrim with bold colors, and using backlighting (but it came from the sides of the stage. Is that sidelighting?) to make the dancers look all shadowy. They also lighted them just normally sometimes so you could see the amazing makeup jobs on the dancers. I know I probably sound dumb trying to look like I actually know what I'm talking about with the lighting stuff, Sis. Maybe you could explain to me what these things are actually called. Anyway, the effect of the lighting was very nice, but for some reason it took a looooooong time for the lights to go up after the dancers were positioned on the stage. Like, the dancers would actually be standing there, ready to dance, for up to two minutes, and this happened for *each group*. I don't know whose fault it was, or maybe they were just trying to drag out the performance or something, but it got a little tedious.

Ha! I almost forgot the acting class' group performance! The teacher of the class had explained earlier that he had coreographed their performance and they had been working on it since September, or something like that. I think this teacher had watched Quidam a few too many times before "creating" this piece. Not that it was cut-and-pasted from the show to their class, but they definately used some of the same effects, like the "slow walk of the group, huddled together, from the back of the stage to the front, slightly cowering," and the "some person pretending they're walking when they're actually floating through the air," and the "everybody is wearing suits and looks exactly the same, and they're all walking fast through harsh, contrasty lighting so it looks all confusing and weavy and stuff." It seemed like they had a little more original content towards the end, though. Perhaps I just haven't seen the original of what they stole the end from, though :).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ok. scrim: probly not. was it mesh?
if it was a big white piece of fabric, its a cyclorama. or cyc for short.
and side lighting is used a LOT in dance because it makes dancing looks a million percent more artistic, and it can cover up mistakes pretty well.

i wonder why there was such a long pause between numbers. it may have had more to do with Sound than lighting, cueing up a bunch of seperate tapes and cds and whathaveyou can take a long time and really slow things down. typically, lighting doesnt go up till the thing is ready to happen.
so theres my little insight.