Tutus Meet Tech: Bringing the Classic Arts to Everyone, Everywhere
June 01, 2018
Watching a ballet performance in person is an awe-inspiring and thrilling experience. The seemingly impossible leaps and twists, impassioned stories beautifully conveyed without words, and the powerful yet elegant movements draw you into a world like no other. Advancements in technology and an arts community eager to appeal to a new generation are reshaping the future of classic arts like ballet – illustrated in Paul Allen’s Seattle hometown through the World Premiere of Ballet Now at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and an innovative partnership with Pacific Northwest Ballet. With these new approaches, he hopes to bring ballet and other mediums of art to audiences everywhere – no matter their age or where they live.
Ballet embraces mixed reality
Buoyed by support from Vulcan Productions, local organizations like Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) have become uniquely empowered to share their own forms of art with broader audiences through technology.
Most recently at the annual Pacific Northwest Ballet Pointe to the Stars event in Seattle, professional division students performed Study IV Luminescent Figures, choreographed by Kiyon Gaines and produced by Vulcan Productions. The technology, developed by Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studios, allowed attendees to view the performance through HoloLens headsets, the world’s first self-contained holographic computers.
“Mixed Reality brings new 3D holographic form and dimension to storytelling and with it the ability to bring people together through new experiences. Turn around, experience the dance in the world of the dancer, you are the dancer” said Terri Richardson, President of PNB STARS, a volunteer organization that supports Pacific Northwest Ballet by raising money for PNB School scholarships.
Elevating a classic artform through storytelling
The World Premiere of Ballet Now at SIFF mixes multiple art forms – film, story and dance – to redefine our vision of arts accessibility.
The film provides a rarely seen, unfiltered glimpse into the world of ballet and what it takes to create a one-of-kind dance extravaganza. Featuring New York City Ballet’s Prima Ballerina Tiler Peck – the first ever woman to be asked to curate The Music Center’s famed BalletNOW program – and a diverse cast of world-class dancers from around the globe, the film follows Peck as she tries to execute her groundbreaking vision of mashing together the worlds of tap, hip-hop, ballet and even clown artistry. With less than a week to pull it all off, Peck faces the mounting pressures of not only dancing in multiple pieces, but also producing and directing this high profile event. The success of the performances rests squarely on her shoulders.
“I can look back now and say directing and curating these performances, not only as a professional dancer, but as a woman in the fine arts, has been one of the proudest moments of my career thus far,” Peck stated. “I now feel fortunate to be able to relive the challenges and triumphs of it all as I watch Steven’s incredibly honest and moving film.”