by Dr. David Glen Robinson
But the performance promised immediately to be a very colorful show. The first performance segment was perhaps the most affecting. A lone human soul (Nicole Whiteside) danced somberly on terra firma when suddenly lights faded up on a celestial figure atop the arcing colonnade of the Long Center plaza (termed the Ring in the program) . The figure was positioned directly above the earthbound dancer and mirrored precisely the human’s movements. The figure danced by Theresa Hardy, guest artist of this show, could only have been the human’s guardian angel.
The color and light in which the two danced were spectacular, and that enchantment carried through the entire show. Lighting designer Jason Amato proved himself at least equal to the task of illuminating the monumental space of the Long Center plaza and helping solve the performance problems inherent to it. His painting in photons was powerfully imaginative, as always. Amato is privy to a semi-secret that others know but seem to employ but rarely in lighting design. It is that smoke or any other heavy, visible vapor will reflect light directed onto it. Amato released smoke from smoke machines on cue and then projected light patterns onto the smoke. Voila, patterns appeared in not-so-thin air. Performers made exits and entrances behind the patterns, seeming to disappear and appear magically. Such a simple concept, and used to such striking effect. I anticipate with pleasure many more awards for Jason Amato in the upcoming awards season.
Click to read more and view performance pictures at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .