Laser artists to add glimmer to ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’


By Elizabeth Kramer for the Courier-Journal

“We’ve got lasers everywhere, but we can’t shoot them off at the same time or we’ll be burning people’s retinas,” said artist Garrett Crabtree.

No. This is not a recreation of “Star Wars.”

Crabtree is talking about the laser designs he and artist Ryan Daly are creating for the Louisville Ballet’s new “Swan Lake” opening this month.

“We have to be really careful and coordinate with the production as to where the dancers will be on stage,” Crabtree added.

Artists Crabtree and Daly have worked together on several of their own spectacles – including a four-story projection for the Waverly Hills Sanatorium and hose an eight-laser installation entitled “Laser Sinfonia” at last spring’s re-opening of the renovated Speed Art Museum.

Louisville Ballet artistic and executive director Robert Curran approached the duo last November about working on a new “Swan Lake.” This version, Curran said, will have the classic choreography after Petipa and Lev Ivanov and wrestle with the established themes of family relationships, love, betrayal and redemption. But, it will be set in a futuristic world.

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