Our dance lighting workshops show you how to enhance your dancers movements and stage presence to make their performance stand out.

We explain sidelights, high sides, backlights, footlights, vertical spots, silhouetting with a cyc.

When lighting for dance the choreographer and lighting designer need to make notes on each dance, looking at the colour of costumes, the mood of the dance, the movement of the dancers, do they use lines, diagonals, circles, what direction are entrances and exits, do they start or end in silhouette, how many dancers on stage as they may block the light from other dancers so side lights may have to become high sides. Try to give each dance their own unique lighting design that complements the dance. When lighting for dance we want to highlight the dancers body from several different angles to show their body movement and direction.Using a different colour sidelight from both sides helps to reveal the dancers form, while a backlight gives a three dimensional image, while giving the floor a colour. Front light can be direct on, helping to show the dancers face for identification, while assisting with filming. Low footlights from the front produce coloured silhouettes on the cyclorama, adding extra dynamic range to the performance.

For younger dancers you need more front light so their parents can see their faces and ensure that the lighting does not affect their timing or concentration.

If possible supply the lighting designer with your choreography notes beforehand to allow as much lighting as possible to be pre-programmed to speed up plotting during rehearsals, as you cannot easily top and tail dance like you can drama theatre.

Reading: Dance Production: Design and Technology by Jeromy Hopgood