Robe Creates Ocean Fantasy

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China's leading lighting designer Mr. Sha XiaoLan of Beijing-based practice Feng Shang Shiji specified 159 Robe moving lights for the colourful and energetic “Ocean Fantasy” musical show, a central feature of the new Olympic Sailing Centre Theatre in Qingdao, China.

The 700 capacity new build theatre is right on the new waterfront development at the seaside city of Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province, which hosted the 2008 Olympic sailing competitions.

The nightly “Ocean Fantasy” is a fast paced, humourous 5-chapter performance created by Mr Wang XiaoLe, relating a series of stories from the sea and capturing some of the culture and history of the local area which is also famous for its beer! The show has already become a big hit with tourists and the locals.

Lighting is a key imaginative tool for the narrative, helping to create a diversity of environments and locations for the various anecdotes including the beach, the sea, beneath the ocean, the mountains and aboard various ships and vessels sailing on the sea.

Mr Sha worked closely with set designer Mr. Sheng QingPing to develop the aesthetic to accompany the cast and soloists. He chose to use moving lights as the best and most cost effective way to evoke the variety and breadth of moods and locations in the 70 minute show .

The Robes – a mix of the flagship ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E AT fixtures – are rigged all above the stage, on side booms and on 2 advanced bars in the dome shaped theatre. Their positioning had to be very precise to deal with the unusual egg shape of the stage and set.

The Robes are used extensively throughout the show to produce large bold colour washes encapsulating the whole stage, for intense beamwork and patterns as well as for gobo projections onto the floor and the scenic pieces. They are also used to key-light the principles – and every lighting and special effect you see on the stage is produced by a Robe.

Mr Sha has specified Robe products on many other shows, events and installations – he likes them for their brightness and dynamic colour mixing as well as the reliability and excellent features set. Another factor swinging it Robe's way is the great backup and after-sales support offered by Robe's Chinese distributor, Leifull, whose HQ is in GuangZhou, with offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

Leifull supplied the fixtures to Feng Shang Shiji who oversaw their installation and commissioning on site.

The show was programmed by the theatre's Head of Lighting, Mr Fan AnWei and Mr Sha on a Hog 3 console. Fan and his team also run and maintain the lighting equipment day to day. “The Robe's have been brilliant,” he states, “They are totally robust and work exactly as they should with no breakdowns”. He adds that he also likes the range of colours, which is excellent at both the rich saturate and the subtler end of the scale – for delicate pastels.

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