Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience.
Olafur Eliasson developed the visual concept for the contemporary ballet Tree of Codes, choreographed by Wayne McGregor and with music composed by Jamie xx.
The stage design uses intricate sets of reflective, transparent, and refractive surfaces and coloured light to create a dynamic, ever-evolving, and complexly layered space in which the dancers are multiplied and overlap.
Lights panning over the audience cause its spectral image to appear on the stage’s reflective, coloured scrims, integrating the viewers with the activity on the stage.
Triggered by Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (an artwork in the form of a book, which was in turn inspired by Street of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schulz), this new, evening-length work features a company of soloists from the Paris Opera Ballet and dancers from Wayne McGregor Random Dance.
The opera Phaedra by German composer Hans Werner Henze was commissioned by the Staatsoper in Berlin and premiered in September 2007.
Eliasson created the spatial concept.
The focus of the individual scenes alternated between the music and the visual elements. These comprised monofrequency lights; a kaleidoscope; the works Your space embracer 2004 and Square sphere 2007; and a vertical mirror that spanned the entire stage and reflected the audience as well as the orchestra, which had been moved to the back of the auditorium.