‘World of Dance’ Emmys exclusive: Production designers Dave Edwards & Florian Wieder on creating a stage that’s ‘never been seen before’

In an exclusive video shown for the first time on Gold Derby, “World of Dance” executive producer and superstar judge Jennifer Lopez introduces technological marvels Dave Edwards and Florian Wieder, the production designers who transport audiences to a new world for each performance. Watch the video above to see Edwards explain how their work takes “World of Dance” to the next level.

SEE ‘World of Dance’ Emmys exclusive: Showrunners Kris Curry & Matilda Zoltowski on dancers and ‘phenomenal’ Jennifer Lopez

“We were asked to design something that’s never been seen before,” says Edwards. “Imagine a venue that you would go into that was for dancers. We had the circle stage, which was the arena that they’re in. We created a stage upstage to give it a little bit more depth. In terms of backstage and the ‘reality’ side, it was created so that the dancers could have an area to themselves. They could have a place where they could perform, rehearse and play together. But when they went into that arena it was a different story.”

Creating a stage design for television does not come without difficulties. “The challenges were really in the types of flooring we were using,” Edwards says. “Tap dancers like a hard floor. Ballet dancers like one soft to the touch. Creating little pockets in the floor that we could have fog [or] blow smoke. We can have the video in the floor ignite so that the dancers are up-lit or make it disappear so [the dancer] kind of disappears and you can only see what the camera wants to see.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of Edwards’ job is collaborating with the woman leading the charge. “Working with an executive producer like Jennifer Lopez is an amazing experience because she’s able to push the package. She has that experience of not only being a producer, director, choreographer and dancer but she has experience with all of the technical sides of it as well. Her ability to look beyond the dance and look beyond the dancers pushes us to the next level as well.”

As the series evolved, so did the design aspects of each performance. “As Season 1 progressed we were able to enhance the stories of the dancers by incorporating scenery and incorporating video montage,” Edwards recalls. “We worked] with the choreographers and the dancers to figure out what that moment wants to be and bring it to another life that you hadn’t seen before in the series. At the end of the day production design is another character in the story.”

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