THE RIGHT LIGHT
Interviews with Contemporary Lighting Designers
BY NICK MORAN
An excerpt from Nick Moran's book, The Right Light:
This chapter focuses on lighting for dance, and particularly on non-narrative dance. To quote lighting designer Michael Hulls from an interview with dance critic Judith Mackrell in February 2014, dance is 'where light can reach its full potential'. Later that year Hulls won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance. Here is some more from Mackrell's article:
Michael Hulls: 'Light enjoys a freedom in dance, especially in non-narrative dance, that it can't have in opera or theatre.' In fact, Hulls believes dance and light enjoy a special kinship, thanks to their shared ability to dramatise space and convey nuances of emotion. 'They're both so hard to talk about', he says, 'so ephemeral. They don't exist except at the moment of performance. That's why I only work in dance. It's where light can reach its full potential.' (Mackrell, 2014)
Michael Hulls: Icon of contemporary lighting for dance
Hulls is an icon of the UK contemporary dance world, but less well known beyond it - in part because of his refusal to work outside his favoured genre. Here is what Telegraph dance critic and founder of The Arts Desk.com Iseme Brown wrote in her article following Hulls' 2014 Olivier Award:
Lighting Designers are either wizards of useful pedants. They scrupulously light the action or they make light speak its own language, activating space, time illusion, imagination - inventing effects that your blinking eyes can only consider as magic. No one performs this wizardry more outstandingly than Hulls, who has become a co-creator in a new form of dance theatre, where light and movement are inseparable duet.
Read more in Nick Moran's book, The Right Light.
© Nicolas Mark Moran, 2017.
Published by Palgrave, 2017