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Robe fixtures used for 'Varoffer' performance
Urban dance impresario Fredrik ‘Benke’ Rydman's 'Varoffer' performance at the Stockholm Kulturhuset Stadsteater in Sweden featured two different pieces: the first a 40 minute ‘solo’ performance by Rydman dancing with an industrial robot to a specially composed new soundtrack by Johan Liljedahl and Carl-Johan Rasmusson; and the second comprising 20 synchronised street dancers moving to Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ in 5000 litres of water with a massive mirror suspended above the stage bouncing their images back into the audience to appreciate their symmetry and formation skills.
Lit by Palle Palme, Robe BMFL Blades, LEDWash 1200s and ColorSpot 700E ATs together with other luminaires all played a vital part in this show. Palme has worked with Rydman since 2003 when he was in the Bounce Streetdance Company including for their global hit 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest' which toured worldwide.
Palme joined the 'Varoffer' creative team around nine months in advance, and the initial discussions with Rydman involved an in-depth outline about how the show should look. They established a workshop complete with scenery and lighting fixtures several months before the opening which allowed them to experiment with various products and techniques.
Both acts of the piece played in specific areas on the stage - Rydman and the Robot performed in an area approximately 8 metres in diameter, while the Rite of Spring dancers occupied a space around 12 metres on a custom 5 cm deep carpet filled with a 3 cm draft of water on which they slided and glided.
Palme used two of the 11 BMFL Blades as low side and front light, with five BMFL Blades on LX bar 0 also for front lighting, and four of the fixtures on the over-stage trussing. The 24 x LEDWash 1200s were also dotted around on the overhead trusses, while the older ColorSpot 700E ATs - among the theatre’s original purchase of Robe fixtures - were hanging in side-stage positions.
For the first act with Rydman and the Robot all the Robe units were used sparsely, primarily one BMFL Blade at a time for back-light, catching Rydman and the Robot in the path of the cross beam, fading in and out in rhythmic harmony with the music and the movement.
For the second act more lighting came into play, and Palle Palme had to be strategic in where these sources were positioned because anything overhead reflected and refracted off the mirror above the ‘pool’ of water. He utilized the lighting budget to have 20 special low-rise side-lighting towers built, accommodating a total of 120 x static profiles which allowed him to hit the dancers in the pool in a variety of different coloured whites without catching the water in the light.
Palle Palme utilised the theatre's own ETC Cobalt lighting console, worked alongside house programmer Pekka Hellsten, and was also assisted by the venue’s head of lighting Anders Tuvesson.
(Photos: Håkan Larsson)
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