set design

Collage as ballet performance backdrop

JaniceMcDonald.budding.balletsetIt was exciting to see my collage, "Budding," projected on the set during Patricia Renzetti's "Reflections" ballet, part of the recent "Eternal Dialogues" multimedia choreography and dance project.Reflections1 Reflections2 Reflections3 Reflections4 Reflections5 Reflections6 "Reflections" features three vignettes that begin in sequence and eventually occur simultaneously, conceptually examining the different stages of life through the mirrors in a dance studio and in the mirrors we use to view ourselves and others. At left is a series of photos that may give you a sense of how the piece evolves over time (click to enlarge).The choreography includes a young ballet student practicing at the barre, a man and woman rehearsing a pas de deux, and a tai chi master practicing his movements. Patricia described her piece as "representing three stages of life, modeled after the Tai Chi movements of passing on." It was lovely.The dancers, from Ballet Ariel, were: Drew Zhu, Amber Harris, Peter Strand, and Elvira Stewart.The meditative Arvo Part composition, "Speigel im Speigel," which literally means "mirror in the mirror," was beautifully performed by musicians on the stage, Kirsten Farnsworth and Steve Gravagne. The collage was projected just over their heads.The collage was a warm counterpoint to the cool stage lighting... it looks rather different in the photos than it did to my eye as a viewer... but these images indicate the scale and hopefully convey the effect. To see the original artwork, please refer to my earlier post, "Collage and choreography collaboration."What fun to have my bio in a printed program for a change, rather than on a little label on the wall at an exhibition. Loved seeing the collage imagery BIG!Thanks to Patricia for conceiving of this collaboration, those working behind the scenes with computer/projection magic to make this happen, and to Rachel D. Graham of RDG Photography for the photo record.

Collage and choreography collaboration

Choreographer Patricia Renzetti visited my exhibition at Spark Gallery this spring and was attracted to a small, experimental collage work on paper. She immediately could visualize it as the background for a dance she was working on. I was enchanted with the idea of seeing the work so LARGE.Janicemcdonald.budding"Budding," contemporary collage on paper, 8 x 8." © 2011, Janice McDonald."Budding" is simple -- only 8 x 8 inches, composed of just four pieces of paper, ripped from a magazine, and glued onto a white page. To better work with the horizontal proportions of the stage, the collage was scanned and the black paper element was cloned and manipulated to extend the "ground" to about twice as long as the original. The resulting digital file will be used to project the image onto the backdrop.Our collaboration will be premiered this weekend when Delusions of Grandeur Productions presents "Eternal Dialogue" at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado (August 19th and 20th at 7:30pm) and also the following weekend at Su Teatro Denver Civic Theatre in Denver (August 27th at 7:30pm).The piece is entitled "Reflections" with music by Arvo Part for cello and piano. I hope to eventually have a photograph of the dancers moving in front of the collage to post here.My daughter is a very accomplished dancer and I have a fondness for all things dance... however this is the first time MY work will be presented on the stage. I'm very excited to see how it will come together at a live performance!