Light Inside: immersive musical in complete darkness

From August 26th to 30th Light Inside, the first Musical in the Dark of Russia, was presented in Moscow at the SAP Digital Space Center. I asked Tobias Reisner, part of the Dialogue in the Dark organization in Russia, how they imagined this unique concept, one of the most amazing experiences in the dark I have seen. “It was back in 2014 when we successfully performed a jazz concert in complete darkness. It was the first ever concert in darkness in Russia.”

Setting up a concert is hard itself. Setting up a concert in the dark, even though you don’t necessarily worry that much on the visual things, entails several topics as security, sound quality and especial logistics.

“It took long time. Writing the script and the music, translating it into Russian, fine tuning the special effects and floating sound system, and casting the right people took us approximately 2 years. Bringing it to the stage took us approximately 2 months of intensive work inclusive rehearsals.”

The story is amazing: Sveta, a young, tough and successful city woman, falls asleep at her grandmother’s house and wakes up in a land where light and eyesight are only known in legends. There she meets Timon, the free and easy country messenger, who reluctantly agrees to help her find her way back into her own sighted world. Together they embark on an arduous but humor filled journey to the sighted world, meeting the strange inhabitants of a land without light and conquering different challenges along the way. Little by little Sveta starts to understand that a world without eyesight can be as rich and beautiful as her own sighted world.

Therefore, Light Inside proposes a rich inner journey beyond sight. But not only the argument of the musical is wonderful. Tobias shared the technical details with us: “The story is embedded in very cool music, which was specially written for our musical, total darkness, special effects like wind/ rain/ temperature changes/ smells, floating sound system specially programmed for our play, encountering the space by moving in darkness.”

In total, 9 shows were offered, and more than 1,300 persons enjoyed it. The feedback was incredible. An inclusive team of almost 60 persons brought this experience to life. 18 blind guides, 2 blind musicians, 20 sighted musicians and 15 more persons supporting on admin, security and sound production.

“The objective was to do a proof of concept that an immersive musical in complete darkness finds a paying audience, finds positive PR reactions in media, testing the special effects in real performance situation. It was not our target to maximize the audience but to deliver a high-quality product that is scalable in future.”

This is one of the most amazing offers in the last years under the brand of Dialogue in the Dark in the world. We thank a lot our partners in Moscow and congratulate their great efforts. Here you can read another review of Light Inside in English.

Title: LIGHT INSIDE - Immersive Musical in Complete Darkness

Author of script and music: Michaela Steinhauer

Co-author and Music Director: Roman Stolyar

Director/ Regisseur: Vera Popova

Founders, Organizers and Producers: Tobias Reisner and Andrei Gidkoff