Kerstcircus Ahoy recently completed its 51st season
The Netherlands - Attracting acts from across the world, Kerstcircus Ahoy recently completed its 51st season in Rotterdam. Supporting the performers and adding to the excitement of the circus was a colourful, and sometimes dramatic, lighting design by Ricky Bouckenhove of Live Systems that featured 70 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
Bouckenhove, who has been lighting the renowned circus for 24 years, relied on a mainly blue and white colour palette to highlight its 12 different acts, which featured performers from 16 different nations.
At the circus’ centre ring, he hung 24 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures on the 19m circular truss. Drawing on the 440W light cannon’s 16-bit dimming, he was able to have smooth fades at the conclusion of acts. Moreover, the fixture’s tight zoom allowed him to focus light where he wanted it without spill over.
Bouckenhove also arranged 14 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures on the floor around the edges of the circular ring. These units lit aerial acts, while also colourising the track itself. An additional 20 MK2 Wash fixtures enhanced the circus’ magical ambience by backlighting the area. At selected points during the circus, the wash fixtures were also used to create a dramatic effect by silhouetting the performers.
There were also 12 Color Strike M motorised strobe-washes in Bouckenhove’s rig. He used these versatile fixtures to light the stands and to underscore high-impact moments with strobe effects.
Speaking of his lighting system for the circus, Bouckenhove noted: “Since the acrobats regularly needed target points, it was important that these points were programmed in the correct position and that the moving lights maintained the correct pan and tilt values.”

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