Dartz go galactic for Celestia in Las Vegas
Wednesday, 4 March 2020
celestia104aThe show recently expanded its programme from five to six days a week
USA - After debuting last year at The Strat in Las Vegas, Celestia, a Cirque du Soleil-type entertainment show, has emerged as one of the city’s top North Strip attractions. With a troupe of performers highlighted by ‘an otherworldly lighting design’ by Tom Sutherland of DX7 Design, the fast-moving circus-style production is a carnival of thrills.
The LD entered the project somewhat late as part of a creative team hired a relatively short time prior to opening night to ‘cast their eyes over the production’ and enhance the show’s look.
“They had brilliant acts and a state-of-the-art theatrical tent but there was no real glue or production value,” Sutherland states, explaining that the new creative team only had a few weeks to implement their ideas, which included an extra build and additional lighting fixtures. “We stripped out some rigging, put in some extra upstage positions and built a big semi-circle truss around the back, which is the centrepiece of the entire set really. I think we put it all together in under a month.”
Created by executive producer Brian Burke and live-production company Intrigue Shows, Celestia is a galactic journey filled with daring acrobatics, athletic dance, and aerial feats, all told through live music and cutting-edge technology that includes Elation Professional lighting effects.
As part of the improvements, DX7 Design purchased Elation Dartz 360 LED moving heads to mount on the semi-circle truss to wrap the stage in 180 degrees of lighting effect. Thirty-two Dartz 360 beam/spot units curve across the back of the set and serve as key visual effects throughout the show.
“I wanted to create a type of light curtain between the back of the set where the artists enter and exit and then coming forward,” Sutherland describes. “The prism and the twinkle effects from the Dartz are just perfect to create a visible wall of light or to fill the air with stars and twinkle. They look really bright and fill the space really well.”
Other moving heads join the Dartz in the rig, including 57 Elation Platinum Spot 35 colour and graphics fixtures that occupy the tent’s four main poster poles, overhead truss and centre truss cupola. Used for floor gobo looks and much of the key lighting, Sutherland says that although not the latest fixture to hit the market, the Platinum Spots have proved to be a good workhorse light.
On a circus-type show like Celestia, where many of the acts are performing risky manoeuvres, Sutherland says he had to be especially mindful of the lighting positions. “We’d create a lighting look then we always sat with the talent to look it through to make sure we weren’t blinding them. It took a while to finesse the lighting as you only get it right by watching performance after performance and taking a lot of notes. [associate lighting designer and programmer] Nick Hansen was my boots on the ground the majority of the time and did a great job as did [assistant lighting designer] Hunter Selby.”
(Jim Evans)

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