This week’s guest is lighting designer Al Crawford! Al is a legend in the world of dance lighting having served as the Lighting Director for Alvin Ailey since 1998. Cory and Al discuss the ins and outs of touring with one of the most famous dance companies in the world and what it takes to maintain the lighting for dozens and dozens of repertory pieces. From international cargo laws, to language barriers, to ever evolving technology…Al has developed a method to navigate it all. Al shares lots of stories including what it was like trying to do a show in Greece right after 9/11, how he approaches designing a state dinner at the White House, and why there is nothing greater than finding a good set of headphones for those long flights.
Al Crawford has been the Lighting Director of the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1998. Now in his 17th season with the famed dance company, he has produced the lighting for Ailey in virtually every major theater, performing arts center and opera house on the planet having toured to 48 states and over 60 countries. He has worked with renown choreographers such as Judith Jamison, Robert Battle, Garth Fagan, Matthew Rushing, George Faison, Christopher Huggins, Hope Boykin, Jeanguy Saintus and many others. He has designed 14 new works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and 12 for Ailey II.
Al also founded Arc3design which creates the lighting for over 100 projects annually in the worlds of art, architecture, dance, live music, theater, television, and live event production. Recent and current projects include architectural installations at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, new ballets for Haiti’s Ayikodans, multiple State Dinners for The White House, Cedar Point’s multimillion dollar light show Luminosity and The Donkey Show in Miami.
He was recently an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts. He also serves as a selection committee member of the Gilbert Helmsley Lighting Internship Programs at Lincoln Center. He has had the opportunity to speak to students at Universities around the country and at the United States Institute for Theater Technology Conference (USITT). He is a member of United Scenic Artists (USA-829) and the International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees (Local 635). He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts.