Circus Knie has just-concluded its 2023 season
Switzerland - Circus Knie, one of Europe’s oldest, has just-concluded its 2023 season which featured acts ranging from dancing horses to motorcycles spinning around in a sphere at high speeds whilst parallel to the ground. Lighting by Axel Melchior supported every performance
An example of Melchior’s precise work was evident in the way he lit the waterfall stage at this year’s Circus Knie. Made up of a circular pond with a waterfall at its centre, the stage uses 7,000-litres of water each day. Nimble acrobats perform on the surface above the cylindrical waterfall. Accenting their performance, as well as the captivating beauty of the pond and fall, is a collection of 33 Chauvet Professional COLORado PXL Bar 8 motorized RGBW tilting battens supplied by Dushow.
Initially, Melchior considered using another IP65-rated COLORado model, the PXL Bar 16, but switched to the PXL 8 for a more exact fit around the circular stage. “We wanted a colour rendering LED batten with tilt, zoom and pixel mapping that was IP rated,” he recalled. “Our initial thought was the PXL Bar 16, but the layout around the 8m diameter stage didn't allow us to integrate that product, so we opted for the COLORado PXL Bar 8 instead.”
Drawing on the colour capabilities of the PXL Bar 8, Melchior was able to create a range of moods around the water stage, immersing it in an array of colours, often deeply saturated monochromatic hues.
“We use the wash lights mainly used to illuminate the water during the various effects,” he said. “The PLX’s zoom allows us to obtain the right aperture without over-lighting the rest of the tent. We also light the performers when we don't have a water effect.
“We're very pleased with the PXL’s reliability and resistance to tour life,” continued Melchior. “Our water system uses a high-volume recycled water every show, and we never had any problems with the machines.”
Melchior, along with artistic director Géraldine Knie, co-designer Julien Lhomme, and technical advisor John Masson of Dushow are so happy with the performance of the COLORado PXL Bar 8 that they decided to use the fixture again for the 2024 Circus Knie tour.

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