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Dr. Yaron Abulafia (PhD)

"Light is my tool to spark imagination with.
I am fascinated by light's capacity to stir emotions and impact our behaviour, to recall memories, and to influence how we feel toward everything we perceive."

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Netherlands-based Yaron Abulafia is a visual artist and researcher fascinated with lighting and space design for performance. Over the last 20 years, Yaron has designed internationally over 250 performances in different genres, performative installations, concerts and TV shows.

His international reputation developed as an innovative performance designer with unique visual aesthetics and poetic use of light as scenography. The vivid painterly and sculptural qualities of his work explore the dramaturgical role light can play in contemporary performance.

Yaron has collaborated with many large scale opera and theatre houses like: the Deutsche Oper and the Komische Oper in Berlin, Sadler’s Wells and Royal Opera House – Covent Garden (London), Melbourne Arts Centre, National Operas of Poland, Czech Republic and Israel Monaco Dance Forum, Grand Theatre Luxembourg, Poly Theatre Beijing and Shanghai International Dance Centre, for: Staatsballett Berlin, Nederlands Dans Theater, Stuttgart Ballet, English National Ballet, Shanghai Dance Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Ballet BC in Vancouver, Ballet Theater Basel and Compañía Nacional de Danza in Spain, to mention but a few.

Yaron designed productions in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.

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Dr. Abulafia is the author of the book The Art of Light on Stage: Lighting in Contemporary Theatre (2016), published by Routledge with a foreword by Romeo Castellucci. The book release was followed by 23 book launch events in opera houses and national theatres and festivals around the world. It is the first book published on state-of-the art tendencies of lighting design for contemporary 'post dramatic' performance, approaching lighting design from semiotic and phenomenological perspectives, with reference to cognitive studies and the arts.
Yaron holds a PhD from the department of Arts, Culture and Media at The State University of Groningen in The Netherlands, a Master’s degree (MFA Scenography) from The Frank Mohr Instituut in the Netherlands, and a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

He is the recipient of WORLD STAGE DESIGN 2022 Award in the category of Best Performance Design, the CEZ Prize (by PHILIPS) for lighting design, special Grants for Excellency by America-Israel Cultural Foundation, The Doron Foundation for Education & Welfare, and the Ubbo Emmious Full PhD Scholarship for his research.
Nominations include Knight of Illumination in the UK and Theatre Lighting Design Award in Israel, both in 2011.
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Yaron is a curator for the prestigious WORLD STAGE DESIGN (WSD) exhibition in Calgary Canada 2022, and has been presented as one of 15 international ambassadors of the Prague Quadrennial (PQ) for Performance Design and Space (the largest global event celebrating the best of design for performance, scenography and theatre architecture)

He served as a jury member in the PQ 2019 edition and WSD 2013, and is in-demand lecturer in universities and art academies around the globe.