Symphonic photochoreography is an innovative art form that is connecting today’s orchestras with today’s audiences. It engages audiences worldwide with evocative, multi-image photographic essays choreographed and performed live to selected works of classical music. We cue photochoreography to the orchestra's performance of the music. No click track is used.
During a performance, hundreds of thematically-related photographs are projected onto a 440-square-foot, three-panel, panoramic screen suspended above (and normally in front of) the orchestra. As the musicians perform the music under the orchestra's conductor, the guest artist (photochoreographer) precisely cues elegant visual transitions, filling the screen with single, double and triple image combinations that often form impressive panoramas.
This creative synthesis of music and imagery provides a compelling new symphonic experience that has been performed with over 150 orchestras across North America and abroad.
The Alabama Symphony performs "A Love for the Land."
• How do orchestras use photochoreography?
(1) Program photochoreography from our repertoire. Select from
15 pieces set to 17 different composers, including Beethoven, Bach, Debussy,
Dvorák, Copland, Barber, Vaughan Williams, Mahler, Smetana, Sibelius and others.
See a full composer list at right under "What music is used?"
(2) Invite your community to submit photographs and we’ll
create a new visual piece from their images. They’ll be delighted
to see their images on the big screen during your performance!
Learn more at our Community Involvement page.
(3) Choose a meaningful event, time period, person or place.
We’ll create a thoughtful, compelling fusion of music and images from
archival or submitted photography for you.
(4) Take your audience's breath away with a night of beautiful classical
music and giant-screen photography showcasing popular natural or cultural features in your city or region.
(5) Create an entirely new form of symphonic expression by combining
one or more of the ideas above with your own.
New photochoreography pieces can be set to new or existing musical works.
The three screen panels are joined together and suspended above the orchestra.
• How is photochoreography programmed?
Symphonic photochoreography is programmed by orchestras of all sizes for classics, pops, family, educational, summer festival and chamber music concerts. It is performed in all kinds of venues, from auditoriums and theaters to concert halls and outdoor settings.
• What music is used?
Many classical works are well suited for visual accompaniment. Currently, we offer 15 photochoreography pieces set to selections by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Dvorák, Barber, Vaughan Williams, Smetana, Fauré, Copland, Elgar, Diamond, Glass, Pachelbel, Grofé, Górecki, Mahler and Sibelius.
We are continually producing new pieces. Orchestras interested in highlighting the work of one or more composers can do so through a new commission set to new or existing music. Visit our Repertoire page to learn more about the pieces available for performance. Contact Westwater Arts to discuss your ideas for new productions and to request a full repertoire sheet, listing specific musical pairings.
Three advanced, whisper-quiet digital projectors use a combined 18,000 lumens to display hundreds of vivid photographs, all precisely choreographed to the music.
• How does photochoreography work?
1) Fees. The concert fee typically includes our equipment (projectors, screens, laptop, etc.) as well as the artist's time supervising the setup and takedown. Fees are at times less than the cost of renting the equipment alone, and are less than most alternatives utilizing multimedia. Orchestras work directly with the artists (Westwater and Bardonnay) to book engagements.
Three projectors (cross aisle center) are normally placed on a low table surface situated in a cross aisle, an open sound booth, or straddling seats—without the seats needing to be removed.
Photochoreography engagements include the principal orchestras of Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburgh,
Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Dallas, Vancouver, Baltimore, Milwaukee,
Detroit, Cincinnati, Saint Paul, Indianapolis, Houston, Portland,
Denver, Saint Louis, Columbus, Rochester, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Singapore and Scotland, plus over 150more >
For repertoire, booking and
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2) Setup. Typically, all performance equipment is provided, including 3 advanced, whisper-quiet digital projectors (totaling 18,000 lumens), a laptop, and a 3-section, 10.5’ x 42’ screen. Back-up digital equipment is also typically brought to concerts. Front projection is preferred and most often occurs from a small cordoned-off section of the audience seating area (without the seats needing to be removed). An alternative projector location might be in a cross aisle or an open sound-mixing booth. With front projection, the projectors are located anywhere in the center of the venue between 66’ and 98’ from the screen pipe. Rear projection may be possible but is not typical and may require scaffolding, rear screen rental, etc.
The Oregon Mozart Players perform a piece of Westwater photochoreography, many of which are performable by chamber as well as symphony orchestras.
3) Performance. Orchestras provide both the music and the conductor. Under the direction of the conductor, the orchestra performs the selected score(s) in the dark with stand-light illumination. Image transitions are cued by the artist to the orchestra’s live performance so the conductor and musicians can focus on the musical performance. No click track is used. This simplifies the process and reduces rehearsal time, especially compared with performing to a video or movie.
For more information please call
or email Westwater Arts.