Two Days of Lighting with Déda Derby

"I’m a freelance Kathak dance artist at the beginning of my working profession as a dancer. Having the chance to perform at Déda next week is a really humbling opportunity for me to be able to share the same programme and be part of a triple bill with incredible artists Subhash Viman Gorania and Sonia Sabri. In the process of finding out about the show I was keen to have some guidance for a lighting plan for the new piece I’m performing ‘The Beginning’ choreographed by my Kathak Guruji Sujata Banerjee.

Déda approached me about this after seeing one of my call outs for local lighting designers to get in touch. This worked out perfectly and Déda generously proposed two days of lighting support.

Straight after finishing 6th form in 2014, I made the decision to take up dance - hence taking it further as a full time profession. In 2015, the BBC Young Dancer competition took place and that opened up many doors for me which at the time I was keen to make the most of those opportunities.

Being at an early stage in my career as a dancer, embarking on lighting a piece was a new experience for me, therefore I needed as much guidance as possible with this. Mark Richards, a longstanding member of Déda staff, lighting designer and technical stage manager, was extremely helpful with this and took me through the entire process whilst willingly educating me on the fundamentals of lighting.



Travelling up from Birmingham to Derby by train was a surprisingly quick journey, followed by a walk to Déda. It was the first time I had visited Déda's space so Mark kindly gave me a tour of all the great facilities they offer and the different spacious studios.

It was a relaxed start to the working day and Mark began with asking the question, ‘How much do you know about lighting?’ and I plainly answered, ‘Not much at all’.

It was assuring to know that I wasn’t expected to come with all the answers and as we spoke about my ideas and Mark exchanged possibilities, restrictions and ideas - we were instantly on the same page. Since Mark hadn’t seen the piece so I warmed up and did a run through.

Questions, ideas and concepts were all open to discussion at this point whilst talking through the atmospheres I was picturing in each section of the piece. There was a lot of freedom; Mark made suggestions of what effect different lighting states could achieve and how what we choose would depend on what perspective I wanted to stage the piece. Once we came to a draft first lighting, Mark began rigging all the different lights. Each light has it’s important qualities including their strengths and weaknesses that make them unique. I found it fascinating to see the endless possibilities.

IMG_5938.JPGAfter Mark’s demonstrations, I could easily understand how effectively the intensity or use of shuttering could add and say so much more about the empty box and the whereabouts of the dancer.

Then we came onto more dilemma causing questions like what colours or gels I wanted to use in the piece. Overwhelmed with so many choices, I picked out a variety of colours and one by one Mark patiently tested each gel in the sidelights to display the effect they had on space and skin colour. Some looked drastically different to the colours I thought would be emitted; the slightest tinges made the skin look more colder, warmer or entirely ghoulish!


With Mark's many years of experience in lighting, he figured out and suggested what could work well with this piece to compliment the dance and give it a new life. By the end of day two, Mark had focused all the lights ready to be used  - with the option of gels for day two of the lighting.


Arriving, the next morning I made sure to return with my costume fabric which is maroon to see how it was lit. We used this time to walk around the space, feel how the light felt and the shadows it made. Switching places with Mark to see what it looked like helped me visual how it would looks especially with a few helpful spins and pirouettes. I was sensing that the lighting was creating the right atmosphere and trusted Marks judgement on this too.

After running through the piece with the lighting twice and having a small sharing to some of the Déda staff, there were a few places where I understood how crucial my place on the stage was to ensure I was lit. I also had a note to change the choreography on certain points according to the lighting. It was only after seeing the recorded version on my phone that I fully could comprehend how the lighting enhanced the piece and created the different states during the work. The lighting gradually edging in on different moments contrasted with intense columns of lighting worked together with the music and dance work beautifully to create the majestic atmosphere I wanted for the work.

It was lots of fun working with Mark, who was very welcoming and happy to lead me through the process, answering any questions or thoughts I had. I was really happy with the outcome and extremely grateful for the support from Mark, Déda and the entire team for this learning opportunity which I know will be of great help to me in my future works too.

I hope to see you all on Thursday!"



See Vidya's piece

'The Beginning'

as part of a stunning Triple Bill featuring Subhash Viman (Morph Dance Company) and Sonia Sabri on Thursday 28 September.


Book for 2Faced Dance Company's 'Outlands' AND Triple Bill for just £16 (saving up to £8!)




refurbishment  acting  Hydra  dancer  Book Club  disco  Festivals  QUAD  Workshops  Wellbeing  salsa,   Meditation  partner  Back pain  socialise  history  ACE Midlands  Derby,  Studying  India Festival  Arts Council  review  September  DJ  Tutor  Performace  dance,   Ballet  Writing  Udance  Udancebythesea  Stephen Munn  Alice Vale  commercial  Strictly  Poetry  feedback  siteline  Career  social dancing,   Adaire To Dance  Derby  volunteer, Deda, dance, arts, Derby, Derbyshire, marketing, 20 years  Choice  training  Soul  young people  SNOW  Routine  retro  Northern Soul  Autumn  carnival  Lost Dog  Holly Noble Company   Dance  Productions  Shakespeare  Graphic Designer  business  Contemporary Dance  interview  Poetry Performance  Cultural Vision  professional  Brochure  Kathak  reading  accessible  food  ballroom  words  mythology  Sky Academy  health,   research  ballet,   All Dance  Tour  Performers  Studio  dance, dancers, Joss Arnott, Derby, Déda, Triple Bill   University  work experience  Aakash  variety  corporate  Rolls-Royce  dyslexia  funding  Déda Theatre  New Dimensions  DYDC  Tender  Derby Theatre  BA Dance  Performances  Residences   T42 Residency  Summer  Music  Bounceback  isolation,   National Youth Circus Event  inclusive  disability   party  Social  Vale  ArtCore  veganism, acro, nikki&jd, dance, Déda, Derby  National Centre for Circus Arts  Nightclub  management  Circa Tsuica  Jasmin Vardimon  student  Hercules  disabled  projection  education  Discusssion  Competition  fun  comedy  Sleep  celebration  books  hula hoop  Regional  study  City centre  Arts Award  Simon Armitage  Website  Knot  Hen Party  Acrobatics   Celebrate  Creative Living,   New Art Club  CUBE  Shows  celebrating age  Dancing  development  Children and the Arts  Website Development  vintage  offer  Nikki and JD  Journalism  Stompers  Fifties  relaxed performance  Derby Festé  dance, placement  Blog  artcore,   Clare Limb  Plus One  The Siddiquis   marketing  Fundraising   Night at the Theatre,  Stopgap  Derby Book Festival  Participation  Victoria Brown   Déda Refurb  café  Juliet and Romeo  Web Developer  Course  RnB  student, work experience   meeting  InCompany  Creativity  NCCA  club  Déda  artist  diversity  An Evening with the Siddiquis   Hires  Schools    actor  Fresher  BBC  hubbub  network  Plymouth  Poet  Casson and Friends  Wendy  regular  Stress  performance  Derbyshire   event  Children and young people  East Midlands  family  Community  Heritage  facilities  choreography  Audience  Leah   STEM   group  Circ Bizerk  Rock 'n' Roll  50s  Building work  Michaela Butter  New Year  December   Youth  Projects   Deda  New Website  birds  Christmas  outreach   Artists  Hertiage Lottery Fund  STEAM   social media  Website Design  Culture  Derby University  Midlands  Higher Education  Degree  Ben Spiller  contemporary  Coordinator  Developer  office  Dance4  Arts  expansion  storytelling  Candoco  Déda,   placement  Dance Development and Learning  Classes  Relaxation  Dance Career  mood,  University of Derby  Zumba  digital  U.Dance  Dancing,   jive  Ashtanga  Just Imagine Working Here  Circus  NCCA  START  Derby Arts  Print  apprentice  Path  photo  ACE Dance and Music   Baby Shower  depression,   Graphic Design  story  Planning  Danish+  BSL interpreted  Charity  Yoga  Greek  wedding  Derby Dancing | Déda | Derby Dance | Dance | Heritage Lottery Fund | HLF | HeritageLotteryFund | Rendezvous de Dance | Victor Sylvester | Stork Club | Italian Club | Polish Club | Locarno | Locarno's | New Penny | Blue Orchid | Bell Hotel | The Clouds |   accessibility  Southbank  anxiety,   Outdoor Events  BA Hons Journalism,   Emma  Foxtrot  AGM  Icarus  Dance Development  Theatre  National Lottery  Déda Bloggers  learning  Inspiring  cabaret  Illuminos  Déda Board