When we set out to make “Becoming Violet,” our just-released video featuring six of our company dancers, the goal was simple: Create something that beautifully celebrates the uniting power of art.
The response, so far, has signaled our success. “Becoming Violet” has been viewed more than 100,000 times across our platforms in just a few days. It’s being shared, commented on and liked. But more importantly, it’s reaching creatives and art lovers of all kinds. The uniting power of art, all.
But the bottom line is: We couldn’t have made this video without the help of Steven Weinzierl, a director with the Lair collective (and a Columbus native, by the way).
Steven and a team from Lair flew in to Columbus from New York City this past April. They set up in our Performance Space on a Sunday and shot the entire video on Monday.
In an effort to give you a behind-the-scenes look at “Becoming Violet,” we asked Steven to elaborate on his creative process below.[vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/trSYcCp7Q-c” align=”center”]The response to Becoming Violet has been pretty incredible. How are you feeling about the reach it’s gotten so far?
After meeting the dancers and seeing their talent, I figured it would be well received because they’re truly amazing. All I did was expand upon the beauty of their moves. I had a great foundation to work with, so I’m not surprised at the tremendous response.
Talk us through your vision for the video.
The spot is about unity and the fusion of human and abstract elements. It’s about showcasing the beauty of visual arts through anatomy, sound, dance, color, love, etc. Through these art forms, we take the viewer through a journey of emotions. X vs. Y, good vs. bad, love vs. hate. It ultimately all concludes with an abstract representation of these opposing elements bonding. It’s a passion project, an art piece. This is a celebration of dance and film in its rawest form. It’s not a typical marketing spot. It was done for the love of the art form.
Put us in the room when you were shooting. What was it like?
Well I had blue boogers [from the colored powder] for a week… oh, right the room, sorry! We were in a big, empty theatre. We draped everything in black so that we could shoot from any angle we wanted. We never changed the lighting. We built a black box with consistent lighting so we could float around the dancers as they did what their hearts told them to do. In terms of the energy, it was chaotic, fun and open. I tried to pull ideas from everyone on the team. I know little about ballet, so I could just say, ‘What move is your ‘big move?’ Or, ‘Do that one move with the split in the air,’ which was fun because everyone would laugh at me. But in the end, not being able to give them detailed dance instruction left them the freedom to move as they wanted. There was more room for creativity.[image_with_animation image_url=”9982″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In”]The music—how did you find it and why did you end up choosing this particular song?
I had been listening to Ed Harrison, [who composed the music in the video], in my own time and was already a fan. I picked the song because I wanted something abstract, aggressive, dark and instrumental that could carry the movements of the dancers and accentuate the sexual tension between them. I reached out to Ed personally, and when I told him about the project, he happily agreed to let me use the piece. It was an honor.
Any other noteworthy items or fun facts you’d like to share?
I got to work with my sister! My sister, Lynette, is the director of marketing at BalletMet and has been working on the performance side her entire life, while I’ve been on the other side of the camera. This is the first time we’ve gotten to work together, and I hope it’s just the beginning.