Robe Enjoys a Golden Weekend in TaiZhou

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Approximately 40,000 people packed into the TaiZhou Sports Centre Stadium to see a star-studded line up of the biggest music and comedy superstars from China and Hong Kong perform in the acclaimed “Golden Autumn” concert. This was recorded for broadcast by the local TV station, TaiZhou TV.

Over 100 Robe moving lights – a mix of ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E ATs - were used for the show in a fabulous design by Bovey Xie, with all the equipment supplied by Beijing based rental company Wen Jing Xuan's Shanghai office, along with 30 lighting crew.

Xie's creative starting points for the design included making it look big, bold, bright and lively with an appropriate sense of spectacle, lots of WOW factors for the audience and eye candy for the cameras. He also needed to make each of the 12 performances – which included Kelly Chen, Alan Tam, SunNan, JiangKun, A-Mei and many more – look different and individual, matching each of their styles with the right lighting.

The 15 metre wide by 14 metre deep stage contained a set designed by students of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (from which Bovey Xie is also a lighting design graduate), which featured three staircases, different levels of ramps plus scenic elements, as well as a large thrust stage going out into the audience used extensively by all artists.

“It was a big space to fill and I needed really bright lightsources that would cut through,” explains Xie when asked about his choice of Robes, which also had to hold their own against large areas of scenic LED surface integrated into the set.

He's used Robes on many previous shows and it's been his moving light of choice since 2006!

In addition to the brightness, he likes the fast and smooth colour mixing, the range of colours and the variety of gobos, and used all these elements plus other effects throughout the show. On the practical side, he thinks that Robe's reliability is very impressive.

Sixty of the Robes were hung directly above the stage on a series of trusses flown below the stage roof. They were arranged in 11 upstage/downstage lines for maximum coverage. To the offstage sides of the back wall, facing forwards, were 7 ColorWash fixtures a side rigged on the scaffolding, used as cross stage fill lighting.

The other 40 units were deployed on the deck and stage floor – along the top of the staircases and ramps, in a straight line across the bottom of the set, and around the edges of the thrust.

These floor-based fixtures added another spatial dimension to the space with their low and mid level positioning, which made an ideal contrast to the beams and projections of the overhead units. The layout of the Robe's combined with a large generic rig primarily rigged down the sides of the scaffolding stage structure provided good even coverage for the TV shoot and plenty of drama and glitz for the live audience.

The light coloured stage surface was great for gobo projections, and Xie took full advantage of this, specially for the more subtle and moody songs. He had to light over 20 large production numbers for the show, many with dancers, along with 4 side-splitting comedy acts!

The get in commenced 5 days before the show, and included the full stage needing built from the ground up. This left Xie just 2 intense nights for programming – a task he completed using an Avolites Pearl console. He further comments that the Robes are very “quick and easy” to programme, and again states that their reliability is absolutely crucial when time is tight and he needs all the lights working constantly and consistently.

The event was an enormous success bringing glitter, glamour and excitement to TaiZhou for the weekend to celebrate the official start of the autumn season.

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