by Pixeleen Mistral on 07/02/07 at 10:46 am
Second Life Ballet fills the sim – Linden suggests selling tickets
by Pixeleen Mistral, Cultural Affairs desk
Sunday, the Second Life Ballet company’s world premiere of “Olmannen” – an original ballet staged for metaverse production in Quat sim surprised me on several levels. I’ve enjoyed watching dance theatre in real life, and I was concerned about how this would translate into a virtual world. By the end of the first act, I realized that the same emotional response that real life dance can evoke is possible in the virtual realm. It was really cool and I suggest attending if you can get a seat – but show up early because the sim is going to fill. Performances continue Sundays and Wednesdays at 4 PM SL time for the rest of February.
How much I liked the performance is even more surprising given the difficulties the choreographer, performers, and the rest of the troupe have labored under over the last 4 months putting the production together. Most would agree that the Second Life has been a bit strained and unstable of late – adding challenges that go beyond typical artistic issues. The metaverse did enable choreographer Inarra Saarinen to pull together a troupe that spans the globe with members from London, east and west coast USA, Hawaii, and Australia. But – this also means their performances have to be during peak usage times for SL – so they are pushing what SL is capable of right up to the limit.
We got a flavor of the limit pushing during the premier performance. Most people arrived very early – before the sim filled. Pathfinder Linden also was in attendance, and after sitting on top of me once, he did finally manage to sit next to me. The prim curtain was raised, and I had a great time panning my virtual camera across the performers – it was more rewarding to actively move my viewpoint rather than sit in mouselook – and because of this I doubt that machinima can capture the essence of the performance.
Toward the end of act I, one of the dancers morphs into an old woman avatar in what I found to be an arresting artistic statement – then the dancers flew off the stage and the prim curtain fell. However – the sim is full – and the performers cannot get back in – so act II was somewhat delayed until a Linden raised the limit on the sim to allow for 40 avatars.
Acts II and III were also quite good, and I gradually got used to the faint red ban lines that protect the stage area from potentially unruly audience members. I can understand why this step was taken – but it is a shame that there isn’t a less visually obtrusive way of keeping the audience in its place. This is not a reflection on the dancers – but rather on the Linden’s technology and mind set. This came out during the Q&A session after the performance.
Pixeleen Mistral: what was the hardest thing to do in putting the production together?
Alazarin Mondrian: if anyone would like to donate a lag-free sim for our further performances and productions, we’d really appreciate it
Inarra Saarinen: dealing with 6 weeks of gestures and my account being broken
Cyanide Seelowe: i think everyone’s got a different opinion for that question :]
Alina Mikadze: getting everyone together at the same time, Pixel. lots of timezons here
Inarra Saarinen: that is also true
When the overfilled sim issue came up in Q&A, Pathfinder’s suggestion was to sell tickets
Pathfinder Linden: I think having reservations would be a good idea to explore. selling tickets or “season passes” perhaps?
Alazarin Mondrian: and a pleasure to know that there’s such an interest in the arts in SL
Pixeleen Mistral: odd that Linden Labs does not sell tickets to second life itself…
Pathfinder Linden: selling tickets or passes in advance to a performance would also help you figure out how many people are interested and how many will definitely attend
Pathfinder Linden: yes, congratulations to everyone who organized and performed tonight. it was simply wonderful.
Perhaps the irony of suggesting that the ballet sell tickets to avoid problems with over-filled sims inside an overextended metaverse was lost on Pathfinder.
We can’t we sell tickets to SL – but you should sell them to the SL ballet?
Two hours later a giddy Pathfinder was still talking to people in Quat, and said, “tonight was one of those rare moments, when one sees creativity and exceptional planning and hard work intersect….to create an event where every member of the audience walks off and thinks ‘wow, that was something amazing’”.
The best summary is what Christy Cosmos – an RL dancer from the Netherlands said, “I think this is certainly the ultimate test of expressing yourself artistically here and trying to stay true to the rudimentaries of ballet at the same time. i was very impressed and cant wait to see what Inaara comes up with in the future”.
SECOND LIFE BALLET
presents the premiere of
an original ballet
Story & Choreography by Inarra Saarinen
Music by Alazarin Mondrian
Animations by Chadwick Luxemburg &
Sets and Lighting by Alazarin Mondrian &
Seraphette …………………………. Amber Shablin
Namon …………………………………. Alina Mikadze
Devangs ………………………………. Chryssie Bunnyhug,
& Tarts & Forest Sprites Amelie Dibou
Understudies……………………….. Ssaspriina Sismondi,
Director Inarra Saarinen
“Olmannen” is the story of a couple in love, how evil in many forms can divide, and how true love can overcome. It is the story of souls fighting for love.
Centuries ago, Namon agreed to become a Devang to save his one true love, Seraphette, from evil. Namon has waited centuries for her soul to be reborn to reclaim their love. But now that she is reincarnated, Seraphette has changed. Can Namon still love the new Seraphette? Can Seraphette possibly accept the love of Namon, a creature of the Overworld?
Special thanks to our sponsors:
– Jeret Cord, Studio J
- Espresso Saarinen, Second Life Ballet sponsor
- Jaggpro McCannn, Second Life Ballet sponsor
- Veronica Duvall for theatre design and build
- Gog’s Media Hosting Service for the audio stream
- Bebop Vox for videography
- Cyanide Seelowe for logo design and stage management assistance
Thanks to our supporters:
– Andromeda Raine for costume assistance
- Malluch Cleaver for avatar assistance
- Keiki Lemieux for HUDDLES assistance
- Luna Benavente for lighting assistance
* For more information on Second Life Ballet, see the SL group ‘Second Life Ballet’.
* For more information on becoming a sponsor of Second Life Ballet, IM Veronica Duvall.