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Prolight + Sound: Opus Awards for theatre play "The Parallel World" and the "Woman Worldwide" tour by Justice

11 Mar 2019

The Prize-winners of the "Opus – German Stage Award" have been announced. This noted award for particular achievements in theatre and stage production goes to two projects this year: in the category of "Theatre – artistic and technical realisation" Opus has picked the innovative stage production "The Parallel World" (Die Parallelwelt), which is being performed concurrently at the Dortmund Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble. The winning project in the category of "Tour – Lighting design" is the "Woman Worldwide" tour by the French band Justice.

The honorary award is given annually on the occasion of Prolight + Sound, International Fair of Technologies and Services for Entertainment, Integrated Systems and the Creative Industries, in Frankfurt. The jury and board of trustees of the award are made up of representatives of the The German Entertainment Technology Association (VPLT) and the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC), as well as experts, representatives of the trade press and Messe Frankfurt. On 4 April those in charge of these projects will receive the prize during a festive evening event.

Category of Theatre – artistic and technical realisation: "The Parallel World"

Two theatres, two stages, two auditoriums with a dual audience in two cities, who act as if they were one. "The Parallel World" is a play which tells the story of one person from birth to death. The stages present the plot in opposite directions (birth – death, death – birth). The strands of the plot meet only once in the middle of the play. The two theatrical groups are a counterpoint to each other. At this moment all certainties about our existence finally falter. Natural laws go mad; images of reality begin to dance.

At the Dortmund Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble seven actors each take the stage. They are filmed and wear microphones. What they say and what the cameras see can be viewed on a screen in the other city in as good as real-time. In each of the theatres, along with the screen story, the audience see the "genuine" events on "their" stage. That the actors play in parallel and also interact with each other is made possible because the delay of about 0.3 seconds is hardly noticeable. 

With this production Kay Voges is consistently pursuing the path which he already began many years ago: he is developing a new theatrical language by making modern media a part of the content and incorporating it in the overall aesthetic.

Category of Tour – lighting design: "Woman Worldwide" tour by band Justice

The second Opus 2019 is a personal award to Vincent Lerisson for the unusual and variable lighting design for the "Woman Worldwide" tour by the French electro-band Justice. As lighting designer Lerisson is a permanent member of the band.

The show largely dispenses with the video content often used in stage productions of this genre. Instead, Lerisson relies on the use of the very latest technology, great depth through focused lighting from the wings and various levels in the roof, and extremely precise timing: thus his impressive light show enjoys a perfect symbiosis with the songs played and the two artistes. The particular highlight of his stage design were the movable stage elements. These consisted of triangular structures, mounted on media spinners. On each of the three sides different surfaces were installed – a mirror, Chromlech Elidy and a video surface with 6mm pixel pitch. A further element in the stage show are the walls of sound, more familiar in rock concerts, which optically broaden the stage and in the course of the show surprise by becoming light sources themselves. The whole set design is extremely efficient for the surface employed: it opens out the space and frames the artistes, who in front of the Chromlech Elidys frequently appear as silhouettes.    

The starting date for the Woman Worldwide Tour was March 2018 in Bogotá. There followed performances in over 20 countries on five continents.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

* provisional figures 2018