We begin from the end of the performance, after the audience is moving out, when you see the lights being dismantled, the wires being wound and all the equipment being taken apart. And in the middle of this, you see this inconspicuous person who's directing the entire thing, and all that you have seen of him is when he comes on stage at the end for the credits. It is then that you realize how the special effects in the performance were brought out using the lights, how the dancer's emotions in her solo were so wonderfully clear to you, how the spotlight followed the dancer and the colours of the lights changed with the hues of the rasas.
Lights designer Sandeep Dutta is one of the most well-known names in Delhi's cultural circles. He has worked on shows for some of the eminent dancers and musicians, both those from Delhi and those performing in Delhi. Light design is integral to creating the right mood and atmosphere in a performance. My photographer husband and I interviewed Sandeep Dutta to find out how he designs the lights for different productions, the challenges for light design in the Indian scenario, and the prospects in the profession.
How did you get started in the profession?
We came to Delhi in 1986 from UP. My father was a doctor and we had a house in Delhi, so when he retired, we shifted to Delhi. After schooling, I did Electronics from IETE. I was looking for something constructive at that time. Fortunately, I met Gautam Bhattacharya, who became my guru and mentor. We stayed in the same colony and would meet often. He suggested taking up light designing as a career. But at that time, my parents had not heard of light designing. So initially, my father refused.
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