Here is some general information about lighting to start our conversation about your performance’s light design. The main thing to keep in mind when designing lights is variety. The best way to complement a performance with effects is by changing the lighting to match changes in the dance, music, or mood.

  • Gels are the filters that we use to achieve different color effects.
  • Event Support can order various gels of different colors to use in lighting fixtures. The main brand of gel that we use is Rosco. By clicking on the following link you can view color options: Gel Colors.
Demonstration of Gobo

  • Gobos are patterns cut into metal or glass. By using them we can create different patterns of lighting.
  • Gobos can be used to create a specific effect, like having light come through leaves in the woods.
  • Gobos can also have a specific image on them that can then be aimed at the cyc, like trees, stars, or the university logo.

The way in which light hits the human form can affect the way figures appear on stage. Directionality is something that is often overlooked when thinking about lighting design, but different directions of light highlight different aspects of the performers and can greatly enhance a visual performance. When creating lighting scenes, often many directions of light are combined to make the desired effect.

Front Light is the type of light that most people are familiar with when referring to stage lighting. Front Light is the light that highlights the performers’ faces. The thing to keep in mind, especially for dance performances, is that it is not always necessary to see the faces of the performers brightly lit up, and you should vary front light with other directions of light as to make the performance more dynamic. The other important aspect of front light is that if used alone it makes people look 2-Dimensional. To counteract this effect, we need to add lights from different directions.
Back Light is often used to round people out while front light is being used. It is rarely used on its own but is a good compliment to the other directions of light.
Top Light is the light that comes straight down onto the heads of the performers. This can be a general white or colored wash, or it can be a down pool of light in a specific shape or pattern.
Side Light is a category of light most effective during dance performances. Side Light highlights the human form and enhances the viewer’s depth perception.

A sillhouette is created by lighting a backdrop but not the performers.

Cue Writing: If your show involves cue writing, then here is an example of the most effective way to write cues for your lighting technician.

0:05 Blue silhouette
0:15 Add stage lights, make it brighter, blue cyc (verse 1)
1:22 Green cyc, yellow lights? (chorus)
1:67 Return to same setting as verse 1 (bright with blue cyc)
2:09 Begin slow fade to green cyc (about five seconds) medium bright lights
3:59 Blue cyc, medium bright stage lights
4:05 Make it brighter? Add something cool like pink or yellow top lights
4:33 Blackout (fast)