Is This the Future of Dance Lighting?

In his latest work, Shadow, Japanese choreographer Mikiko collaborated with artist/designer/programmer Daito Manabe to create something pretty futuristic: lighting design by drones. Yep, you read that correctly. Three aerial drones follow a solo dancer (from Mikiko’s company, elevenplay), lighting her in really cool and unusual ways. (Definitely watch until about a minute in, when the drones start alternately flashing, creating a really weird strobe-light effect.)

Cool? Creepy? Both? It’s definitely theatrical. And maybe it’s the future of lighting design.

This isn’t the first time Mikiko’s used drones in his work—this piece features three dancers alongside three drones that actually get the stage to themselves by the piece’s end.

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