Dixit, Béjart Ballet Lausanne


Show creation and direction: Marc Hollogne

Choreographies: Maurice Béjart & Gil Roman

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Modulo Kinetic and its tracking solution at the heart of Dixit, the “Cinema-Ballet-Theatre” show of Béjart Ballet Lausanne

In the summer of 2019, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne gave new performances of Dixit, the “Cinema-Ballet-Theatre ” show written and directed by Marc Hollogne, in tribute to its founder, Maurice Béjart. To embark the audience on the choreographer’s story and work, the company relied on Modulo Kinetic and its real-time tracking module, KineMotion.

To pay tribute to its creator, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne worked with Marc Hollogne to write and direct Dixit, a show that combines dance, acting and video projection to tell the story of Maurice Béjart’s life and work.

To bring this show to life, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne used Modulo Kinetic, Modulo Pi‘s media server solution, as well as KineMotion, its real-time tracking plug-in.

Lucas Borgeaud, Technical Director of Béjart Ballet Lausanne, explains: “We had already used video in some of our ballets, but never on this scale. For this show, the video is almost at the same level as the dance. That’s a first.”

For 1 hour and 40 minutes, Dixit allows the past and the present of the Company to interact with each other through a unique conversation between real and virtual life, choreographies of Maurice Béjart and Gil Roman (the BBL’s artistic director), new original creations and archive footage.

The show is performed on a 13m stage on which 2 screens are freely moved by the dancers and actors and tracked in real time. In addition, there are 3 screens suspended on DMX hoist in the theater fly loft.

A 30,000 lumen PT-RQ32 video projector from Panasonic deals with the projection. The media are projected onto a 13m wide by 7m high frame, the projection alternating between the entire frame, the 3 suspended screens, and the 2 tracked screens on stage in real time.

About the 2 screens tracked via Modulo Kinetic and its  KineMotion module, Lucas Borgeaud explains: “The screens serve as bubbles that help to understand the history of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne. They are moved over the entire surface of the stage. The characters are projected on an anatomical scale to interact with the actors and dancers on stage. These screens also allow the broadcast of different sequences and flashbacks. Modulo Kinetic is in charge of tracking and mapping images on the right location according to their position in the frame.”

The 3 screens suspended in the theatre fly loft are controlled by a light desk. The desk values are then sent in DMX to Modulo Kinetic so that the image projected on the suspended screens follows the movements controlled via the lighting console.

When Dixit was created in 2018, Béjart Ballet Lausanne was the very first entity to use KineMotion, the optical tracking solution developed for Modulo Kinetic, even before the module’s official release in September 2019.

“If we go back to the creation of Dixit more than a year ago, there were very few infrared tracking solutions available on the market,” notes Lucas Borgeaud. “Modulo Kinetic was reliable and usable for live shows. Small infrared emitters are positioned on the screens. Cameras film these emitters and make it possible to relay the position of the frames in Modulo Kinetic‘s 3D space. It is the media server that calculates and allows to map and track each screen in real time.”

Specially designed to integrate with Modulo Kinetic, the KineMotion module offers high calibration accuracy and low latency, which are both essential for live shows such as Dixit.

After working with a preview version of KineMotion in 2018, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne again called on Modulo Kinetic and its optical tracking solution in 2019 for new Dixit performances at the Théâtre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Now available in the dance company’s catalogue, Dixit is exporting beyond Switzerland’s borders with new performances planned in Belgium and Hong Kong. “The show is a great success because we tell the story of Maurice Béjart’s life in 3 dimensions. It’s an experience,” concludes Lucas Borgeaud.