Stage Designs of Richard Finkelstein

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Richard Finkelstein
630 Stonewall Dr
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Finkelstein Stage Designs - simplified resume
Dance Photography by R. Finkelstein
Dance Artwork by Richard Finkelstein


Fine Arts Photography by R. Finkelstein



R. Finkelstein - web designs
Set Design and Lighting Design by R. Finkelstein

All work on these pages
is 2014 R. Finkelstein


Designing for Virtual Worlds - Although I have been working with 3D Computer graphics and CAD for literally decades, I am rather new to working in full immersive Virtual Environments. I am a fast learner though and have already made a mark in this rather new field. While most folks are familiar with computer gaming environments either as a creator, or as a designer/programmer, the virtual world of Second Life is unique.  A game world affords all sorts of interactivity for its players. Beyond this the worlds within Second Life are created entirely by the participants!  As such it is an excellent platform for artistic collaboration. My work in this arena is largely in three areas, presented here.  If you wish to skip ahead, the internal links right below can facilitate your quick navigation.

Contents with Quick Internal Navigation Links on this page.



ARCHIDANCE - BALLET PIXELLE 2011 - Ballet Pixelle is considered to be the first virtual dance company in history. In 2012 it reached its 6th anniversary. The company and dancers come into the virtual world to perform from about 8 different countries including Estonia, Bahrain, Japan, Canada, USA, Spain, Portugal. In may ways the process of preparation for production is the same as in real life though when I mentioned this observation to company founder and Artistic Director, Inarra Saaren, her response was: "Yes but in real life I have never had to give a note to a dancer to 'hover a bit higher' ".  The modern dance piece depicted in these first few images traces the development of dance in its form (like architecture) through the ages. It is a 3-act dance. Much of the design and choreography in the work is in homage to the work of Rudolf Laban.  

WINDOWS - BALLET PIXELLE - 2012 - This production was a revival with all new scenery, of a virtual dance piece that had its debut in the early days of the company. The modern ballet is in three acts, each telling an un-related story involving the human condition.

THE NUT - BALLET PIXELLE - 2011 - This production was nearly 5 years old when I was engaged to refurbish it with new scenery. The ballet, of course, is an adaptation of The Nutcracker. Depicted below are the snow scene and the first setting, before it moves into color as part of the magical transformation.
PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN - BALLET PIXELLE - 2011 - This modern ballet was commissioned as a fundraiser for missing and exploited children.

IMMORTAL WALTZ - BALLET PIXELLE - 2011 - This piece was created during Halloween season. Depicted is a view through the show scrim to the cemetery setting


Section 2: Design for Real-Life using the Virtual Reality  
of Second Life

For decades, literally, I have been designing scenery aided by computers and 3-D visualization. While this has afforded some interactivity, this is at a primitive level where one sits with a director and manipulate an image on a flat computer screen.  One remarkable difference in Second Life is that through the use of avitars, it is possible for the director to come INSIDE the visualization to interact in a more meaningful way with the proposed environment. My experiment was to apply the skills I learned in designing for virtual performance to my work in real-life stage design. Below are examples from the two productions that I have designed in this manner: Our Country's Good, and A Servant of Two Masters. Both productions have their own pages on this website if you would like to learn more. The first images depicted here though, are of the virtual recreation of the real-life venue, the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University.

OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD - Real-Life Design as planned on the virtual stage in Second Life

SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS - Real-Life Design as planned on the virtual stage in Second Life

The following two images demonstrate the use of Second Life as a means of simulating the complex parameters of performing the musical, Orphan Train at Grand Central Terminal in the fall of 2013. Given the extensive requirements and rules for working in such a heightened environment (homeland security) which also has National Landmark status, every detail is simulated doen to the trash cans. This allowed for easy communications between the various collaborators. Via Second Life I was then able to quickly produce walk-through videos to better explain the environment to the various levels of participant.

Section 3: Virtual Design for Virtual Worlds

Outside of my stage design work, I am now a Master Builder in the virtual world of Second Life. In addition to creating architectural builds in the virtual arena, I also operate two shops where my furnishings and design elements are for sale. Additionally I use Second Life now extensively as a teaching environment.  Below are a few images from my shops along with some examples of my virtual builds.

Second Story of one of my Second Life Shops.

A few samplings of furnishings that I manufacture and sell in my Second Life stores. Half of my furnishings are totally original, while other items are derived from historical example.

Views of two of the rooms in my house in Second Life. About 70% of the rooms was created by me within the virtual world.