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gregmr

Lights! Cameras! Distractions!

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I love this show and have watched every season. This year the stage lighting is distracting from the dancing. Often by being too bright with moving and flashing lights. On the other hand, many of the dance numbers are lit with so little light the dancers remain nearly indiscernible in the dark.  The lighting is becoming a force stronger than the dancers. I wish SYTYCD would just illuminate the dancers and not compete with them. Anyone else feel this way?

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I agree. I was so distracted by how dark it was during Chehon and Jacque's dance. It was hard to see her feet, which is too bad because she was dancing on pointe. My husband thought they did it on purpose. He was convinced they were hiding her feet for a reason. It was also distracting during the Bollywood/Disco routine, because the lights were so bright, but it wasn't as bad.

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So glad you brought this up.

I hate,hate,hate obtrusive/obstructive lighting for dance. Let the dancers create the mood themselves.

We, the audience should be able to see them in total all the time.

In some dance cultures, not only is there no lighting, there are no curtains either -- the dance does it all.

 

Edited by ShaggyDog

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Mod note: I'd like to change the title of this thread to encompass all staging, camera, etc., issues.

 

I'm not feeling very creative right now, however, so I'm open to suggestions. Please make them in this thread, then I'll make it all pretty once my coffee has kicked in.

 

Thanks!

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TrudyC, I have to agree with your husband. All through that dance I kept saying to mine, "Her footwork must be really, really bad for them to be this desperate to hide it." It was the only explanation I could think of for putting her en pointe and then totally hiding her feet. Sadly, the camera work for the dance was some of the best -- showing whole body, staying on the couple (what we could see in the darkness). Even Nigel remarked on the choice of using one camera to highlight the dance -- which made me want to hit him upside the head and say, Duh! During Ricky/Jasmine's number, I kept saying, "Yes, thank you, we've seen that she has a very nice butt, now could we see the Dance??"

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I agree with the comments.  The Bollywood Disco was a seizure waiting to happen.  I think the lighting for Jacque/Chehon's piece was to hide her feet.

 

Sometimes, there is a bright light behind the dancers that is blinding.  It didn't happen last night but has happened in other shows (at least in other seasons).

Edited by realdancemom

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I rolled my eyes when the judges tried to defend the Jacque/Chehon non-lighting by going on and on about the beautiful shadows.

Working in tv myself, I cringe whenever a steadicam operator and his grip come into view. There was a particularly egregious one during Nico and Comfort's hip hop last year. At 1:25 the camera guys walk right across the shot and completely cover up the dancers.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3gQslWq63Ng

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Love the new title. Stroke of creative brilliance.

Seriously,the lighting,costuming and direction on this show have been a trainwreck for most of its life span. I think the "we need to win an Emmy" mentality has resulted in trying too hard to be edgy, creative, brilliant, whatever. At the end of the day, it is just a great big stinking pile of too much . . . .

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Even Nigel remarked on the choice of using one camera to highlight the dance -- which made me want to hit him upside the head and say, Duh!

Yes, can we have more of that, please, only with better lighting?

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I hate that it seems like this season was the first to discover a red gel for the lights.  Wednesday's lighting was okay, but the rest of the season seemed to be red-light heavy.

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Another thing the lighing people love to do is make it monochromatic. The dancers are wearing read - let's make the background red and use red lights, or if they are wearing blue, make everything blue. It makes everything blend together. Compare the devil dance, with Jessica's solo. Jessica in a red dress stood out so much better when she wasn't against the red panel.

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That's what I found in the Academy of Villains performance...the blue lights and the blue costumes made it hard for me to see some things...

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I rolled my eyes when the judges tried to defend the Jacque/Chehon non-lighting by going on and on about the beautiful shadows.

 

I not addressing this post specifically, but using it as a jump off to express a different perspective.  

 

I worked (helped out is more accurate) on lighting for a dance show back in my college days and for a few dances the choreographer wanted strong side lighting that would cast shadows and enhance the body shapes (half the body visible and half in darkness).  It was part of the overall feel of the piece.  It was very effective - on a live stage.  It's a legitimate choice for lighting dance.

 

I'm not sure it works as well for television and I, too, am suspicious that some of that lighting choice was a deliberate move to hide Jacque's feet. However, I did feel it added an ambience to Chehon and Jacque's piece.

 

I remember complaints being registered about Chelsie's fluffy white dress hiding her moves (in her and Mark's 'Tim Burton's Wedding' contemporary by Mia). Sometimes the choreographer makes choices that work for their vision (which is live) and it just doesn't work for ours out in TV land. 

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