Reviews

The Making – The Seldoms – Carrie Hanson

Julie Ballard’s superb lighting design is a silent partner, highlighting one moment, obscuring the next, and clearly separating audience from performers. Gradually we begin to sense a dichotomy between stage time and audience time as the interplay of light, action, and banners traps the moving bodies in their own time-warp. See Chicago Dance – Nov 11, 2017 | By Lynn Colburn Shapiro

Berceuse – Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Penny Saunders

Julie Ballard’s lighting effectively defines their individuality, spatially isolating Schultz’s dance monologue in a pool of light, with Burnett watching him on the edge of its spill before they reunite in a lovely finish. May 11, 2017 | By Lynn Colburn Shapiro

Clan(Device) – Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Alice Klock

Deep freeze sounds of arctic breath set the five dancers in motion, caught between Ballard’s dramatic cross-beams of diagonally vertical light. May 11, 2017 | By Lynn Colburn Shapiro

A Glimpse Inside a Shared Story – Hubbard Street 2 – Yin Yue

Julie Ballard’s dramatic lighting discovered chiseled lines and fleeting interactions, almost as if the light itself were a supernal partner to each of the seven flesh and bone dancers. Dec 14, 2015 | By Lynn Colburn Shapiro

The ray of light in “A Glimpse” is a real ray of light, Julie E. Ballard’s insightful lighting design, with a cone of light illuminating a soloist at the beginning and low light that transforms the performers for a few moments into eerie dancing skeletons, a nice bit of stage magic that focuses attention on the pluses in Yin’s choreography. Splash magazine By Leanne Star

Power Goes – The Seldoms

Julie E. Ballard’s interactive lighting masqueraded as an invisible choreographic partner, heightening rhythm and dramatic intensity right up to the black, white, and red climactic conflagration.  Mar 22, 2015 | By Lynn Colburn Shapiro

Plainsong – Signal Ensemble Theatre – Bries Vannon

I must mention the sound design (Anthony Ingram) and lighting design (Julie Ballard), because their rich, successful contributions provided a mood and place that added brilliantly to the telling of the story.” — Chicago Theatre Review

Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase – Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Julie Ballard’s inspired lighting gives every piece polish. ~ Laura Molzahn Chicago Tribune June 28, 2014

Four Seasons – Chicago Repertory Ballet – Wade Schaaf

Each season brought with it a distinct look, complete with bold, colorful lighting from Julie Ballard – complimenting the choice for white marley. May 11, 2014 | By Lauren Warnecke ~See Chicago Dance

Off-Center ~Paige Cunningham Caldarella
“Varied stage and sound designs also honor uniqueness. Julie Ballard’s bold lighting choices and a score that ranges from old Brenda Lee recordings to neo-classical cello to electronic washes sharply define individual sections.” ~ Laura Molzahn, Chicago Tribune  11/13/13

Whiteout ~ Same Planet Different World~Joanna Rosenthal
“The brilliant lighting design by Julie Ballard turns the lights on the audience, literally blinding them with shocking white.” ~Vicki Crane, See Chicago Dance 10/13/13

“Extra sweet deserts were Julie Ballard’s lighting design (especially dynamic in this work, really taking a front and center role), and Petra Bachmaier of LUFTWERK’s video projections.” ~ Jordan Reinwald, The Examiner  10/13/13

Putting It Together~ Porchlight Music Theatre~ Brenda Didier
“The lighting design by Julie Ballard is simply beautiful. Ms. Ballard comes from lighting primarily dance productions and the soft hues she uses here only add to the sexiness of the design.” ~ Michael J. Roberts, GoPride.com  October 2011

Marchland- The Seldoms

Tim Daisy’s spare but expressive percussion, played live in response to the movement, underscored Julie Ballard’s dramatic shifts in lighting. In fact, the hour-long piece is a well-orchestrated symphony of brief scenes as the eight dancers’ world shatters and slides into chaos again and again. – By Laura Molzahn / Chicago Tribune
March 15, 2010

The Waking Room ~ Khecari Dance ~ Jonathan Meyer
“Meyer and Ballard have made a piece of dance cinema in the flesh.” ~Zachary Whittenburg, trailerpilot   2009

“Though unlike, both designs are distancing, creating an otherwordly place – an effect enhanced by Julie Ballard’s harsh, highly directed and dramatic lighting. – Laura Molzahn – See Chicago Dance

The Birthday Party ~ Signal Ensemble Theatre~Aaron Snook

-“The claustrophobic basement of the Chopin Theatre has never been put to better use than in Melania Lancy’s crepuscular kitchen with mossy yellow-green walls, set off by the sickish lighting of Julie E. Ballard.” ~ Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune –  August 2008

-“The production values, always high caliber in a Signal Ensemble show, are evidenced by Melania Lancy’s quaint cottage-like set with Else Hiltner’s costume design together with Julie E. Ballard’s lighting and Anthony Ingram’s sound design.” ~Tom Williams, Chicago Critic 7/8

-“Julie E. Ballard’s lighting is particularly effective at showing the absurdist horror that underlies seemingly innocent situations.” ~Zev Valancy, Centerstage Chicago 8/8

-“The design team – Melania Lacey (set), Julie E. Ballard (lights), Elsa Hiltner (costumes) and sound (Anthony Ingram) – has done impeccable work.” ~Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times 8/8

 

Fool For Love ~ Signal Ensemble Theatre~Ronan Marra
-“Julie E. Ballard’s nimble split-second lighting effects hit every mark mandated by the enigmatic text.” ~ Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Media Group 8/7

-…”Julie E. Ballard’s dusky lighting make it into something intimate, haunting and, most crucially, harder to shake off than other Fools you’ve suffered”. ~Chris Piatt, Time Out Chicago 8/7

The Weir ~ Signal Ensemble Theatre~Christopher Prentice

“Melania Lancy’s comfortable and comforting bar, warmly lit by Julie E. Ballard, looks and feels genuine.”~ Babara Vitello, Daily Herald 3/7

Hamlet ~ Signal Ensemble Theatre~Ronan Marra
“Melania Lancy’s foreboding castle, gloomily lit by Julie E. Ballard, makes a perfect backdrop, especially its grand staircases which fight choreographer Kevin Asselin uses so effectively in the sweeping swordfight that concludes the play. Laura M. Dana’s regal period costumes also deserve mention.” ~Babara Vitello, Daily Herald 4/7