for the last 3 weeks the new zealand international arts festival has been in full swing here in wellington. held every 2 years it features a wide range of theater, music, dance and visual arts. i think most every local theater, stage and auditorium is booked up for the festival.
so far we have made it to 2 events – black watch and glow. the ukulele orchestra of great britain was also on our short list but sold out too quick for us. some of my work colleagues who went said it was great.
black watch was a play about the a scottish regiment – the black watch – and their experiences serving in and returning from iraq. very well done, although i think they could have trimmed it by 30 minutes and nothing would have been lost. i’m starting to pick up a trend – but it doesn’t seem that the scots are real happy about getting pulled in to the iraq war. as they described it 250+ years of proud service and tradition was trashed in a few short years in iraq.
glow is definitely a love it or hate it kinda thing. when i read the teaser i thought i might try and schedule a trip to visit to dentist to conflict with the show. “glow is a fluid and perfectly synchronized relationship between organic being and video world, an intense and concise experience.” oh boy.
turns out i really enjoyed it. reminded me a bit of “tron” for you 80’s geeks.
the show is a 30 minute performance with a single dancer on a small stage that is illuminated from above. the audience looks down onto the stage from seating above. so far nothing special. the magic is that the illumination is generated in real time based on the position and movement of the dancer. an infrared camera mounted about detects that dancers position and feeds it into a specially designed computer that controls the lighting.
still sounds wacky. easier to see for yourself.
one of the smallest and lowest tech items that both me and the jboss enjoyed was the placement of speakers at a few major crosswalks with short stories being read aloud. seldom else do you bummed when the light turns and you can cross.