It’s summer in the city and New Yorkers are celebrating at “Midsummer Night Swing” and “Lincoln Center Out of Doors.” WorldStage is providing lighting support for lighting designer Andrew Grant at the two annual festivals held in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.
The stage in Damrosch Park
“Midsummer Night Swing” ran from June 23-July 11 in the outdoor ballroom at Damrosch Park. Now in its 27th season, it combined live music and dance lessons and encompassed genres from swing and tango to Latin and R&B. The 45th season of the free “Lincoln Center Out of Doors” is held July 22-August 9. It features performers as diverse as the Muscle Shoals All-Star Band, Randy Newman, the Chinese-American Arts Council Dancers, and Lyle Lovett and his Large Band.
“For me it’s all about having a relationship with the people you work with,” says Grant who heads Andrew Grant Lighting.
For “Midsummer Night Swing” a huge dance floor for those taking lessons was erected in front of the stage and surrounded by scenic elements; a large free dance area extended into the park as well. A rear-projection screen on the stage acted a backdrop for the band and guest artists. “The whole park was one big dance environment that needed lighting and movement,” says Grant. “Lighting changed night to night as it followed the syncopation and style of the music.”
Philips Vari-Lite VL4000s were mounted behind the rear-projection screen to light the bandshell and create a layered look on the screen. Chauvet Nexus LED panels and GLP Impression X4S LED fixtures were on each of two delay-speaker towers and on a truss position further into the house.
Most of the Impressions, along with Color Kinetic ColorBlast LEDs, were mounted in the circle truss under the main rig over the stage. ColorBlasts were also positioned in the scenic elements.
Full-size grandMA and grandMA light consoles were networked together for lighting control. WorldStage also worked with Lincoln Center to create custom corrugated plastic housings to protect exposed fixtures from inclement weather.
When Damrosch Park transitions to “Lincoln Center Out of Doors” the dance floor is removed and 2,600 seats are set up. “All the focus moves to the stage,” Grant explains. “The shows are longer, and it’s all about catering to the act. All the Impressions move to the stage, and we add five more VL4000s, most of them in the downstage truss. This gives us the opportunity to do a lot of layering.”
Grant will also consider how the addition of cameras will affect fixture deployment. “Last year we did three live streams, and this year we’ll be up to six. Some shows run from afternoon to night, so we have to be able to capture all the different light levels on camera.”
At Lincoln Center, Randall Etheredge is the director of production. At WorldStage Terry Jackson is vice president of lighting. Andrew Grant’s team includes programmer Jason Marin and master electrician Sarah Thiboutot.