March 2016

The Masquerade: Launch of interactive film at the V&A

Working in collaboration with Slung Low Theatre company, Synergy was invited by the V&A to take part in a filmed re-enactment of an 18th century Venetian masquerade for an exciting interactive display for the newly opened Europe 1600-1815 Galleries at the V&A.

18th-century Venice was celebrated for its worldly pleasures, including its masquerade, held at Carnival time. One of the essential stops on the ‘Grand Tour’, it was a period of revelry that enlivened Venice and offered Venetians and visitors a range of entertainments, from acrobatics and performances in the city’s streets and piazzas, to balls, operas and gambling in private apartments.

The Masquerade film offers an interactive, fictional view of the Venetian masquerade. Visitors stand in front of a doorway that takes them on a journey in three acts: first at a ball, then in a gambling hall known as the ridotto, and finally at a commedia dell’arte performance in a Venetian piazza. The visitor is guided through the experience by a harlequin character who encourages them to copy poses and interact with the characters – played by the Synergy cast – on screen.

Synergy members were taught the traditional Minuet dance, dressed in 18th-century Venetian gowns and played out a choreographed ball in front of green screens that were later transformed into a fully interactive film.

The Masquerade is free to view and will be running for the next 10 years! Go and see it for yourselves.

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