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Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories [Projection]

Projection design for modern dance.



  • Client: Dakshina Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company.

  • My role: Video Designer, Projection Technologist.

  • Tools: After Effects, Photoshop, Corel Painter, Q-Lab.

  • Context: It takes a massive, coordinated effort from a large team of people to make a dance show happen. I have to help choreographer Dan Singh clarify his vision, create the necessary video assets and then collaborate with a different crew of technicians at each theater to execute the show under pressure. Modern dance companies have limited budgets, I have to work fast and deliver results in a short period of time.

The Show

Daniel Singh’s 2015 work Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories a poignant, honest and powerful dance about the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic. I read the anthology that Daniel was using as source material, finding lines and passages that I connected with. Using Photoshop I selected, rearranged and repeated the lines in space, creating abstract textures and imagery. I took the poets' words and transformed them into dramatic scenery using 5 LCD projectors coordinated by software called Q Lab, which is the industry standard in theatrical projections. The word patterns both defined spaces for the dancers, and played across their bodies, changing them into otherworldly beings.