Girl power at Battle of the Bands
Monday, 11 June 2018
prime-circles-marco-gomes-the-parlotones-neil-pauw-and-dwrs-duncan-rileyPrime Circle’s Marco Gomes, The Parlotone’s Neil Pauw and DWR’s Duncan Riley
South Africa - Three all-female teams of young lighting designers scooped the top accolades at this year’s St Mary’s Battle of the Bands. The annual competition was hosted on 17 May at The Edge Theatre at Saint Mary’s, Johannesburg and featured two celebrity judges attending the finale - Prime Circle’s Marco Gomes and The Parlotone’s Neil Pauw.
In the lighting design category, first place went to Saint Mary’s Zaneli Steeneveldt, who was assisted by Ghita Economakis and Sanam Soni. In second place, St Mary’s Erin Kersten was assisted by Ella Roseveare, Amy Leishman, Jordan Dart and Caitlin Bloom. Third place was awarded to Parktown Girls, a joint effort by Leia Singh, Lailah Naidoo and Roxana van Weely.
DWR Distribution was a sponsor for the fourth consecutive year, supplying lighting gear and audio for the event along with prizes for the best young lighting designers. The rig included two Robe MegaPointes, six Robe Robin LEDBeam 100s, eight Robe Spikies, four Robe CycFX8 and two Robe DL4 S Profiles all controlled on a dot2 XL-F.
For the sound requirements, a DiGiCo S31 was in control along with two Quest HPI18LP band-pass 18" sub bass, 2 HPI12S powered full range speakers and one Quest QA3004 Stereo Power Amplifier 1100W.
Jannie de Jager from DWR played an active role in the event with assistance on the technical side, and also judged the lighting design category. “Every year I see so much passion in the students,” he says. “The amount of energy they put into their Lighting Designs really puts a smile on my face.”
DWR presented each of the 13 up-and-coming lighting designers with a DMXKing dongle. The winning group also received tickets to attend one of Australia’s most successful theatrical export, Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs, which will make its way to the Teatro at Montecasino in August. Thanks to Alistair Kilbee from Gearhouse Splitbeam, this will include a backstage tour of the production.
“Eight bands entered this year, and while I have never been involved in Battle of the Bands before, I was impressed with the variety of genre and song,” comments Sasha Ehlers, the Edge Manager, who for the first time headed the competition from technical to project management.
Usually each band competing in the competition is lit by their own operator. This year, small groups of three or more students lit each band instead of an individual. Ehlers explains that the lighting designer girls were grouped together as many of them were new to lighting and the dot2 and they are mostly very young. “They were tentative to go on their own but really wanted to be a part of it. We felt that as an educational institution, rather than prevent them from participating we would let them all learn together. It worked out extremely well as many of the girls are stepping up to assist with school lighting projects and are so driven and passionate.”
(Jim Evans)

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