'You Are So Beautiful'

Friday, November 28, 2008

Article by Neuron Bandit (SL Newspaper) – M.A.C.E.

Over the last four months I’ve had the pleasure, by invitation to go and view rehearsals for a SL dance school ‘La Performance’, who have been preparing for their latest dance show ‘You Are So Beautiful’. The team of dancers come literally from all corners of our real world, from Bali, Europe and the USA.
During my first few visits, I saw them performing some of their dancing routines and a few special effects within the theatre, but initially I didn’t really understand the complexity and underlying processes that were at work and slowly being developed by the ‘La Performance’ team.
The theatre is laid out with two overlooking balconies for guests to sit, looking down onto the main stage. Jie Loon the team coordinator explained that one of the aims was to keep prim counts as low as possible to minimise lag issues, so suitably shaped mega prims made up some of the larger structures and the dance theatre itself is sat over two sims, one for the audience and the other for the performers. The chief goal for La Performance was to get the audience as close to the dancers as possible. This was to help immerse viewers within the show making them feel a part of it, the two balconies getting more of the audience closer to the action.
There are several important messages coming from the team and that is fore mostly they ARE a team, and that their efforts are a non profit system based on the fun and the companionship they share whilst meeting to rehearse and fine-tune their performances. Being that the team is spread right across the globe, they have dancers practicing mornings, afternoons and evenings, with the flexibility to come practice whenever they have some free time. They enjoy their times together and have over the last year become very close friends and sentimental with the progress they’ve seen and developed on their journey together.
Their goal is to allow the audience to enjoy the shows, which have been designed to be full of positive and happy emotions; this closely influenced the choice of music, dance and costume.
The dancers perform with a system they have coined the term ‘Live in free sync’, which means that dance animations are performed by each dancer in synchronisation, but their positions and formations within the show are skilfully choreographed live by the dancers. This has taken a great many hours of dedicated rehearsing to bring the routines into the wonderful display that they now perform.
La Performance has a rich history behind them, starting back in September 2007 with a simple idea and the challenge of bringing this idea to its full potential that can now be enjoyed by all. Contacts of similar interest were slowly gathered over the year by word of mouth alone. Skills had to be learned, the theatre had to be built and ways to train and organise dancers needed to be established.
Being a voluntary group, they have had many generous forms of support helping them on their way. Sim owners allowing them to use land for rehearsing and building the project, has clearly been of an enormous help. Later assistance was given to the team in the form of a scripter to create the special effects and coordination of the dance floor system, which is in itself a complex achievement.
Sponsors have also donated many of the costumes and shoes that are worn within the show, which requires a total of 43 outfits to dress the whole team. Skins were also donated to La performance, and they expressed much respect and thanks for all those that have helped and continue to do so.
The dancers themselves as mentioned before come from all over the world, they all are all involved in the arts in real life, two are real life dancers, and others are members of a choir and play instruments. Some of the performers have been practicing the ‘Live in free sync’ techniques for over a year. They explain that it is one thing to dance in real life, but quite another to reproduce theses skills within second life. So there were quite a few other dancers who were keen over the last year, but just didn’t have the technical knowhow to perform in sl even though they were keen and more than capable in rl. The remaining team are very close and feel very much like a family.
Sunday November 23rd 2008 was the premiere night of the latest show which I also attended along with 47 others in the audience. Now I promised La performance that I would not publish details of the show itself, but what I will say is the final presentation, having seen a great many rehearsals. Came together wonderfully and their hard work truly has paid off, the whole audience were making a great many positive comments though out and applauds after each routine. I had not seen the full show up until this point and the costumes were stunning and appropriate to the dances and song, with many special effects included to put the icing on the cake as it were. The whole show lasted a good 40mins and I thoroughly enjoy it.
I wish La Performance the very best of success in their coming projects.