Dirty Dancing in concert

Dirty Dancing In Concert is the world's first movie concert based on pop music. This completely new experience was initiated by General Entertainment Associates, who asked us to make a lighting design that would complete the unique experience they had in mind. Creating a brand new experience no one has ever seen before is right up our alley, so of course we were up for the challenge! After a successful first show in London, Dirty Dancing In Concert is now traveling the world.


Dirty Dancing In Concert is not just a movie concert where you can watch a movie and hear a band play live music in the dark. On the contrary. Do not expect to sit down quietly - you are here to party! We know you know the lyrics, so you might as well just sing along.

Of course you want to see Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze dance on the big screen, but they’re not the only ones performing. You can also watch the band with 4 singers play live music and dance on a beautifully lit stage. The show slowly builds up to a well-known climax, the song Time Of My Life. But where the movie stops, the Dirty Dancing In Concert party continues. In a medley you can enjoy all the hits from the movie once again.


In doing something for the first time there is one big challenge: there is no example of what it should look like. Director Gary Loyd relied on our expertise completely - and we delivered.

As always, we built the stage setting in a virtual world in our studio. Getting all the elements right was really challenging. Luckily, we have many years of experience with lighting and visual effects and know what to take into account.

We want to light the live band, while avoiding beams of light interfering with the movie screen. The virtual world really helps us to prepare this set-up. This way we are two steps ahead and we can quickly finetune during the rehearsal on location.

Another challenge that we need to take into account is the tour set-up. We contributed to the stage design and lay-out, looking for a complete set-up within the budget. All the elements need to fit in one trailer, because everything has to be moved to another locatie every day. At The Art of Light we have a lot of experience with (theater) tours, so we know to handle this.


Dirty Dancing In Concert truly is the perfect way to celebrate good memories. We created a real party at the first concert in England! We’re sure you can imagine the crowd being mostly female, screaming loudly when ‘Johnny’ (Patrick Swayze) enters the screen. Dirty Dancing In Concert is more than a movie and live music combined. It’s a completely new experience!

In the lighting design, we matched with the colors of the movie. In the forest, we used green. Dancing in the water? We need some light blue! We watched the movie again and again and completely time coded the light show until it was perfect. This way, after a first successful show, our client can take the coded light show all over the world.

Fun fact: one of our younger employees helped programming this show. We dare to claim that nobody of his age has watched Dirty Dancing as many times as he did. With pleasure!

Photocredits: Zdenko Hanout