Violet Kid is piece by Hofesh Shechter, a choreographer who is also composer, lighting designer, and costume designer. “He choreographs the entire experience,” says French. “We collaborated on the entire design. The lighting is very specific to the piece—very dark. Hofesh loves darkness, and the architecture of light on as big and black a stage space as possible, with lots of haze and a foreboding atmosphere. There are a lot of bump cues in the lighting, tied with MIDI to the music.”

In the evening-length piece, Orbo Novo, for sets of enormous steel lattice-work walls designed by Alexander Dodge were inspired by Jill Volpe Taylor’s talk about having a stroke. “The dancers move the walls, carve space and create obstacles with them. French describes his lighting as having “a square vocabulary that emphasize the walls to compositions that deemphasize them and highlight the space around them. There is a constant back and forth in this piece.”

French’s goal is “for every piece to be absolutely unique in terms of the lighting,” he says. “We don’t want people to say there is a single Cedar Lake style. We take a lot of pride in putting on the same version of the show every night, in every venue, we push very hard not to compromise. I like an edginess… we have lighting that breaks out of standard approaches to dance. Cedar Lake is where I get to go to do edgy work and come up with crazy ideas. Compared to everyplace else that I work, this is a risk-taking environment, and a willingness to take risks, means not all works are successful, some are revelations but there is also a scrap pile of works that were performed only once. But we are always out there performing at our best.”