Seville, Spain – In May 2021, a company of world-class choreographers, designers, and dancers staged a stunning Flamenco production in a disused, ancient olive oil factory in the hills outside the beautiful city of Seville, Spain. Lighting was a key element of the production, with lighting designer Yaron Abulafia requiring wash, profile, and beam effects to complement the movement of the dance.
Eminent Israeli artist and choreographer, Adva Yer and celebrated flamenco artist, Rocío Molina led the piece, entitled Agua, in collaboration with Andrés Marín - one of the most innovative voices of flamenco avant-garde working in the world today. During the production, the duo embarked on a personal and poetic journey over the Mediterranean water currents between Spain and Israel, or in Henri Matisse’s famous painting The Swimming Pool.
As the title suggests, Agua drew inspiration from water as a material existing in continuous movement, depth, colour, texture, and sound, and its philosophical significance as source of life. As a performance, Agua drifted between dance, visual theatre, performance, and art-installation.
LD Yaron Abulafia chose to use the Vari-Lite VL5LED WASH as the dominant source, to beam rich color combinations across the derelict space, complemented by VL2600 WASH fixtures. A team of VLZ PROFILE and VL2600 PROFILE luminaires added front light and effects, with sidelight from the SL BAR 720ZT.
“I was very curious to try the VL5LED WASH for this production due to its retro look, which was very suitable for the site,” says Abulafia, who has designed productions around the world, including at Deutsche Oper, London’s Royal Opera House, and the Shanghai International Dance Centre. “The rich colors - both saturated and subtle - and the color mixing calibration were a pleasure to work with, and the accurate optics were outstanding. The exterior design is so appealing to the eye and the versatility of its light with blades open or closed had very interesting impact on the look of the space.”
Abulafia says he used eight VL5LED WASH units for backlighting, taking advantage of their large zoom range. Two further VL5LED WASH luminaires functioned as footlights and were used as spotlight to punctuate areas within the space. At times, Abulafia utilized the VL5LED WASH Dichro*fusion® blades to enable supply smooth, variable diffused light, adding atmosphere to the scenes.
Quiet Operation modes were also key to the success of the piece, as Abulafia explains: “The old olive oil factory, located in a village near Seville, is a beautiful cultural space with unique character, so LED sources, noise level and low weight were a priority for our site due to power consumption, live music and architectural conditions in the space.”
To add to the movement of the piece, Abulafia complemented his design using the tilt and zoom capabilities of the SL BAR 720ZT, placed at one side of the stage to beam dynamic effects. “At times, the fixtures illuminated and moved subtly with the dancers, creating a moving sinus-wave on the left wall,” he adds.
Enhancing the spectacle inside, Abulafia positioned a VL6500 WASH outside the space within the olive fields to illuminate the space through a window, beaming beautiful reflections across the back walls.
To make the space production ready, Agua’s team brought in specially silenced generators, and hung the Vari-Lite WASH fixtures on pipes and specially constructed rigging.
Serving as lighting programmer for the performance was Rafael Gomez, working alongside lighting technician Danila Scarlino.
A host of musicians performed alongside the dancers, including Christian de Moret on piano, electric guitar, and singing; and Alfonso Padilla on saxophone; with composition & original electronic music from Alberto Carretero.
Agua was filmed by Felix Vazquez and its trailer now available to view online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jszn327GNyI
Agua credits list:
Choreography and performance: Andres Marin and Adva Yermiyahu
Lighting design: Yaron Abulafia
Composition & original electronic music: Alberto Carretero
Piano, electric guitar, singing: Christian de Moret
Saxophone: Alfonso Padilla
Video: Felix Vazquez
Photography: Sonia Fraga, Yaron Abulafia
Lighting Programmer: Rafael Gomez
Lighting technician: Danila Scarlino
Production: Maria Sanchez, Giselle Daye
Vari-Lite luminaires used throughout