Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Danceworks Projection at the UM Exhibit Museum

UPDATE  9-12-2013

They did a reprise of the show right after school started.  Here's 2 photos.

Here's a stitch of what the rotunda looked like from above.  We got the video almost 2x bigger this time around.
This time we used a large SANYO with 0.8:1 wide lens.  Same mylar mirror.
earlier posting from June:

Here are some shots with dancers in them.  The first gives a good view of the venue and the second shows how they worked with the projections.  These were taken at a rehearsal.

The photographer is Kirk Donaldson.  The rest of his photos can be found on a June 7th post on the Ann Arbor Dance Works Facebook site:

Early in June I worked with Peter Sparling (Dance Faculty) and Matt Linke (UMEM Planetarium Director and all around helpful guy) to devise a way to get the best possible projection onto the center of the rotunda floor from the second story mezzanine.  This was for the Danceworks summer site-specific show. Excerpted from the full site, here are short descriptions of the works presented:

"Four choreographers find inspiration in cutting edge scientific research taking place at the University of Michigan and beyond. 

-a new work by Edisa Weeks, inspired by the spiraling structures of DNA.

-Jessica Fogel premieres a dance inspired by the research of UM Associate Professor of Astronomy Sally Oey, whose focus is the role of massive stars in the evolution of galaxies.

With 'How Autophagy Works",  Peter Sparling offers a dancer’s guide to cell biology that is both spoof and serious interdisciplinary research, freely interpreting the ongoing cellular process of autophagy, or “self-eating”, the body’s method of cleansing, recycling and defending against disease.

-Robin Wilson performs a new solo inspired by the book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", whose cells became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more."

Do visit their site for the full story.

Anyway, here's what the resulting projections looked like:

Peter created the circular images in his editing process.  The task was to find a way to make it as big as possible and as square (or round, actually) as possible.  If we had to shoot it at an angle there would be a lot of keystone distortion to try to correct.

The solution was to suspend a mylar mirror (saved from when the CAVE was refitted some years ago for just such possible uses) using 2 C-stands.  A C-stand is a standard film industry useful tripod style stand that holds lighting accessories or just about anything else that needs to be supported.

In this case, we set the poles at the top to be horizontal and attached the mirror to that.
The mirror is almost invisible in this shot, but you can see the projected image reflecting off of it.

This is Matt, the stage manager, and Peter:

Next is Peter and me adjusting the setup, followed by a shot taken just for the artistic merit.  ;^)

Unfortunately, I was at the NMC conference for the shows that weekend, but it was a big success.  If I can track down some photos I'll add them to this post.


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