This week we had the honor of interviewing Chicago production and design luminary, Margaret Nelson, for the CDHP oral histories archive. Margaret recounted for us her many years as a lighting designer in the dance community, working in spaces as distinct as Links Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Navy Pier. While remaining one of the most sought after designers in Chicago dance, she has shared her expertise with students at Columbia College, Northwestern University, and young assistants of her own.
She has a true gift for collaboration with dancers, using her lighting design to support and be in conversation with their work, rather than as another element layered on top. She noted, “I design for dance because it’s four dimensional; dancers express with their whole bodies.” She uses her designs to help complete that picture. Throughout her interview, Margaret reminded us of the importance of treating one another with kindness if we ever want the humanity of our work to flourish.
You can catch her latest work at Northwestern University’s Danceworks 2017: Current Rhythms opening this weekend.