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TUBE Roller System and OPERA Front/Rear Projection Screen on “SHADOWLAND” World Tour
EWING, New Jersey (March 15, 2013)—Wherever “SHADOWLAND” goes, a Gerriets TUBE roller system and OPERA front/rear projection screen go with it. An evening-length work from Pilobolus Dance Theatre, “SHADOWLAND,” has just embarked on a second year of nearly nonstop touring around the world.
Gerriets has supplied projection screens for many Pilobolus performances, including the troupe’s shadow-play recap of the year’s hit movies on the 2007 Oscars telecast.
“We use Gerriets projection screens constantly,” says Shane Mongar, director of production for Pilobolus, “and along with super high quality there’s an elegance and thoughtfulness about Gerriets equipment that makes it really well suited to the work we do.”
Mongar notes that examples of Gerriets screens in the Pilobolus 2012-2013 season include an OPTILUX rear projection screen used in all shows by P7 (the company’s touring troupe) and a black SHOW rear projection screen used in performances of “Skyscrapers” (a collaboration with choreographer Trish Sie and the band OK Go).
For “SHADOWLAND,” the TUBE roller system and OPERA front/rear projection screen fulfill a highly specialized set of requirements. The show intersperses “live” dance sequences with theatrical shadow work, a signature Pilobolus innovation in which dancers’ silhouetted bodies morph into amazing configurations.
For the shadow play scenes, the dual front/rear projection capacity of the OPERA screen is crucial in allowing for multiple effects to be achieved simultaneously. For example, while evenly diffused light provides crisply defined, seamlessly reconfiguring silhouettes from behind the screen, washes of color and additional shapes and/or projections can also be layered on from the front at the same time.
Performing an equally central role, the TUBE roller screen system unobtrusively raises and lowers the projection screen, providing smooth transitions back and forth between live choreography and shadow sequences. The TUBE roller is made of low-density, high-tensile carbon fiber, so it is compact and lightweight but provides high load capacity (up to 1,600 pounds) as well as extraordinary stability and speed (up to 35” per second).
“We’ve been really pleased with the smooth operation of the TUBE system,” Mongar comments, “it delivers flawless segues from live dance to shadow and it’s every bit as reliable, portable, and quick to set up as we expected.”
The modular design of the TUBE makes it perfect for intensive touring—upcoming performances of “SHADOWLAND” include dozens of venues throughout Germany as well as dates in Austria, France, Denmark, and Russia. The TUBE’s 30-foot roller easily breaks down into 10-foot lengths, which are highly portable and easy to ship by air, and can be assembled in different combinations for a range of screen widths.
In at least one regard, the TUBE’s performance has exceeded expectations. Mongar reports that, to everyone’s delight, the roller system “brings its own fluidity to ‘SHADOWLAND.’ It’s like a thirteenth dancer in the piece—a super quiet, super subtle one that the 12 actual dancers are quite fond of—so much so that they’ve named it. They call it Stealthy.”