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Effective Lighting

In tandem with a PillowVoices podcast episode which draws upon archival recordings of design luminaries including Jennifer Tipton, Beverly Emmons, Tom Skelton, and Mark Stanley, this playlist gathers together a few of the notable Pillow performances in which lighting has played a major role.

16 performances

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Effective Lighting

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Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born

Swallow the Moon, 2021

From Peter Born’s remarkable headpieces to the transition between natural and artificial light, this site-specific work created a special world in its natural setting.

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Playing 1 of 16

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jumatatu m. poe

Let 'im Move You, 2021

In a fully-immersive environment, the work of designer Juan Co-eL Rodriguez became an important element in the overall look and feel of this production.

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Playing 2 of 16

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ZviDance

Lapse, 2004

When this work received its New York premiere in 2004, The New York Times reported, “Mark London’s lighting designs gave the dancers the chilly heroic muscular look of Blakean angels at times.”

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Playing 3 of 16

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Miami City Ballet

Rubies, 1996

The bright-white lighting employed for decades at New York City Ballet by Ronald Bates and recreated here by James Leitner is augmented in this production by a backlit velour backdrop with holes cut out to simulate a starry sky.

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Playing 4 of 16

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

I Remember Clifford, 1995

Part of Jennifer Tipton’s task in designing this world premiere by Twyla Tharp was to simulate a bar at the rear of the stage to help evoke different settings.

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Playing 5 of 16

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Tere O'Connor Dance

Heaven Up North, 1989

The tight confines of the Ruth St. Denis Studio were pushed to the limit in this presentation from the Pillow’s festival-within-a-festival known as Splash!, with Brian MacDevitt’s lighting on full display.

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Playing 6 of 16

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Aakash Odedra

Constellation, 2017

Willy Cessa’s lighting is an essential element in this work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, in which a program note tells us that “different patterns of sound and different sources of light come together to create a constellation.”

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Playing 7 of 16

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Jessica Lang Dance

Within the Space I Hold, 2013

Nicole Pearce has designed extensively for Jessica Lang over a number of years, including this work which premiered at the Pillow. (Be sure to watch until the end of this clip when the light-up tutu has its moment!)

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Playing 8 of 16

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Tero Saarinen Company and The Boston Camerata

Borrowed Light, 2012

Revered as one of Europe’s most sought-after lighting designers, Mikki Kunttu evoked the Shakers’ inventive concept of bringing natural light into their buildings.

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Playing 9 of 16

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Gallim Dance

Blush, 2009

The Pillow’s Director of Technical Production created the eye-catching designs for Blush, prompting one critic to exclaim, “Vincent Vigilante’s lighting design was the real show-stealer.”

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Playing 10 of 16

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Dana Reitz / Jennifer Tipton

Necessary Weather, 1997

Subtitled “A Choreography of Movement and Light,” this groundbreaking collaboration positioned choreography, lighting design, and performance all on the same plane.

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Playing 11 of 16

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Mark Morris Dance Group

Falling Down Stairs, 1994

In addition to the dozens of stage works that Michael Chybowski has designed for Mark Morris, he also created the lighting for this film that was created in the Pillow’s Doris Duke Theatre.

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Playing 12 of 16

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David Parsons

Caught, 1989

Howell Binkley (1956-2020) was a key creative partner to David Parsons from the inception of the Parsons Dance Company, devising the jaw-dropping effects that have made Caught a surefire hit for decades.

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Playing 13 of 16

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Trisha Brown Dance Company

Set and Reset, 1986

With scenic elements and a film created by Robert Rauschenberg, the lighting design by Beverly Emmons became a key creative contribution to this Pillow-commissioned work.

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Playing 14 of 16

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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

Soaring, 1982

Nicholas Cernovitch evoked early 20th-century lighting effects to bring this early work by Ruth St. Denis and Doris Humphrey back to breathtaking life.

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Playing 15 of 16

José Limón Dance Company

The Moor's Pavane, 1951

Beginning her career at a time when lighting designers weren’t often given program credit, Jean Rosenthal nonetheless made her mark, as in this example of delineating a tightly-confined space for a modern dance classic.

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Playing 16 of 16

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