Chauvet lights Blackpool Dance Festival
Monday, 12 November 2018
blackpool1The festival is held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool
UK - For the last 93 years, the Blackpool Dance Festival competition - probably the most globally acclaimed international bastion of ballroom dancing - has ensured that the genre continues to have a relevant role in popular culture in the UK and beyond.
This year, 3,000 couples from 60 nations competed in the event. Providing them with a stylish and sophisticated visual background was a lighting design by Oliver Wilkinson of Arranpaul that featured 10 Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Spot and16 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, and 32 Q-Wash 560Z-LED washes.
Wilkinson has been part of the Blackpool Dance Festival for six years, but in 2018 it was his chance to design the event. He strove to bring a new level of smoothness to his efforts. “We have provided equipment to this event since 2012, and each year we set the bar higher for ourselves,” he said. “This year, I wanted to change things up a little and worked with Arranpaul's operation manager, Tom Beattie, to bring that little extra to the party.”
After two weeks of intensive designing and calculations, Wilkinson and Beattie decided upon an extensive collection of Chauvet fixtures in order to create a mixture of classic ballroom dance lighting and architectural lighting to accentuate the prestigious Victorian-era Winter Gardens venue.
For the actual dance performances, Wilkinson specified 10 Rogue R2 Spots, mounted on the balconies, to create various effects using the fixture's built-in gobos and zoom feature.
"The R2 Spots provided great atmosphere during the performances, and I was able to utilize the various gobo effects to provide different atmosphere for the three main types of dance to be seen during the festival - the Waltz, Two Step and Foxtrot," he said. "They also created a sense of grandeur when shining towards the beautiful roof of the venue."
The 32 Q-Wash 560Z-LED fixtures were mounted on 24m -long centre truss and used as full colour floor washes, whilst the 16 R2 Wash fixtures were mounted on two pieces of flown truss either side for key lighting.
"The R2 Wash allowed me to construct various extra special flairs of saturated wash for each dance number," said Wilkinson. "As a result, we had enough versatility to provide something new for each of the 15 days."
To provide the necessary flourishes to accentuate the impressive Victorian architecture, Wilkinson also specified 34 Chauvet DJ Freedom Par Tri-6 fixtures to uplight the beautiful pillars scattered throughout the ballroom. Thanks to the Freedom Par's combination of 18W RGB color mixing and wireless rechargeable battery with built-in D-Fi transceiver, the fixture proved an effective and versatile companion for Wilkinson and his team.
(Jim Evans)

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