XL Video supplied video equipment for the world premier of Patti Boulaye’s SunDance, which ran at London’s Hackney Empire through June 25. SunDance is the product of seven years of creative planning.
An international cast of 36 dancers, singers, and musicians led by British musical star Boulaye celebrated African culture–its vibrant music, color, and soul–in a stunning display of ceremonial dances and rituals.
Projected visuals are used to fully portray African culture. XL Video worked with show production manager Ben Arkell to realize Boulaye’s visual ideas. XL Video’s in-house graphics department, headed up by Chris Saunders and assisted by Steve Smith researched, compiled, edited, and animated colorful wildlife clips and other organic images used throughout the production. These are stored on a DoReMi hard drive also supplied by XL
Two Barco G10 projectors are rigged over the stage. They are positioned to both front project onto a cross-stage gauze and project upstage onto the set and projection screen.
For the first part of the show, the initial projection sequence featuring specific African historical and geographical information is projected onto the downstage gauze.
Later, the projectors shift to the muslin-sheeted polycarbonate-constructed set–designed by Christopher Woods–and backstage screen. These projections involve abstract projections: texture, movement, color in scenes like fire, water, clouds, and other environmental elements.
The video cues are replayed manually by the inhouse lighting operator. XL Video also supplied engineer Mark Hughes to set up the equipment at the start of the six-week sold out run.
Lighting designer is Nick Richings. Lighting equipment is supplied by White Light and sound by Purple Sheep.