The performers create shadow silhouettes including those of elephants, faces, buildings and cars (photo: Emmanuel Donny)
Germany - Impressive acrobatic performances and the play of light and shadows are the ingredients for the tour of Shadowland - a performance piece from the Connecticut-based dance company Piobolus. With their bodies, the performers create shadow silhouettes including those of elephants, faces, buildings and cars. Assisting with this shadow play are several ETC Source Four incandescent fixtures, as well as Gio and Ion lighting control systems.

In Germany, the spectacular show became famous through appearances on popular television shows such as the long-running German-language programme Wetten, dass . . . ?, and have been selling out performances across the country ever since. Shadowland production manager Jorge Delgadillo and his team have trusted ETC equipment for a long time. For four years, they have been touring the world with their own Gio console.

Shadowland operator Kyle Gavell says: "The Gio is the best console ETC makes for touring. All I need to do is to connect my switch. It is so compact that I can carry the console to the stage by myself in order to do my settings." He is also convinced of the console's handling, as he explains: "I can intuitively implement everything I want to do."

Among its many capabilities, it is the Gio's networking abilities that play an especially big role according to the show's technical staff. Jorge Delgadillo says, "The networking capabilities of ETC products are really great. We have one Net3 DMX/RDM Four-Port Gateway and two DMX/RDM Two-Port Gateways with us. With them, we can simply add sACN universes over DMX and thereby adapt to the local venue conditions."

Due to a tight tour schedule and changing venues, the set-up and focusing of the fixtures also needs to be fast and easy, which is why Delgadillo and Gavell swear by the iRFR app. "When we walk into a new theatre, the only thing we need to do is to plug our desk into the network," explains Delgadillo, "and with WiFi, we can instantly use the remote control for example to turn on and reset the moving lights. Thanks to the Gio's different macros, we can do everything with the remote control."

As Gavell explains, this offers many practical advantages: "With the iRFR, I can do the focusing on my own and don't have to give instructions from the ground to someone who doesn't speak my language and maybe has never focused a fixture before. This not only saves time, but is also easier on the nerves."

During a stay in Munich, another advantage of ETC's consoles became apparent. The local venue, the Prinzregententheater, owns an Eos Ti, which meant the Shadowland team could transfer the show files from the show's Gio desk directly to the theatre's own lighting desk. Gavell says: "That saved space in the control room. In the past, we used to place our own desk on the side. But since the consoles belong to the same family, we could simple add our show file to their Eos Ti."

For the current German tour, Shadowland rented over 100 conventional Source Four luminaires, which Delgadillo says have proven themselves to him over the years. "Source Four lights are very important and helpful for us, because with them we always get the same colours. Wherever in the world we are, we always request Source Four because we know exactly what kind of light we will get."

(Jim Evans)

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