When England’s oldest contemporary dance company was looking for a new lighting control desk, they spent time looking around at different control systems before settling on the multi-award winning Eos by ETC.
Rambert Dance Company’s technical director Malcolm Glanville explains, “We’d had an ETC Obsession console for 10 years, and with the introduction of moving lights, programming became quite a time-consuming process. The Rambert Company’s presentation is primarily based on its lighting, and when we had a lunch break, the programmer would have to stay behind to continue working.
“So as soon as I had my first look at ETC’s new Eos, I decided that was the way we wanted to go. We’ve also always had a very good relationship with ETC, and I really feel that I can pick up the phone at any time if I have a question.”
The Rambert Dance Company holds regular dance workshops and shows across the country, returning twice a year to London’s Sadler’s Wells, but the first outing for Eos was at Truro’s Hall for Cornwall in July, when the Company performed several pieces created by some of its own dancers.
As part of an eight-year project to review the Company’s entire range of lighting and controls, Glanville has, he says, spent a lot of time and money putting together the best system. He has had a cabinet built for the Eos, complete with spaces for the screens to be permanently mounted, along with a pullout shelf to make the Eos more comfortable to use from its position in the wings. Although Glanville had been using a beta version of the desk and software, his feedback to Eos product manager Anne Valentino proved invaluable in making sure the final version worked well. Software updates for Eos, as with all ETC desks, are released regularly, and can be downloaded free from the company’s website, www.etcconnect.com.
“A lot of the syntax is the same as with other ETC products,” Glanville continues. “Eos gives you the opportunity to be more sophisticated in the way that you handle and manipulate the data. The desk is very logical and intuitive. Generally speaking, we were able to perform basic cue functions within about 60 seconds of the desk coming out of the box.”
Rambert also has an Eos remote processor unit for backup and rehearsal use and is set to take delivery of the new advanced Radio Focus Remote unit (RFR) for Eos within the next few weeks.
In addition to the Eos, Rambert has in the past invested in many other items from the ETC range: Source Four® luminaires and their moving light sister, Source Four Revolution; and Sensor®+ dimming. The Revolutions were acquired when Malcolm received a specific request for them from a lighting designer, so they paid for themselves in one outing. They’re now part of the regular rig. “It’s surprising the number of times where a lighting designer says, ‘no, I won’t need them,’” he explains. “But suddenly in the lighting session they need a bit of light somewhere. It’s great to be able to fire up a Revolution and point it in the right direction.” Meanwhile, ETC’s Sensor+ dimming is, he says, “the epitome of plug and play. We just stick the power in the back, plug everything else in and it just works.”
Rambert’s Eos will have its first full outing at The Lowry in Salford at the end of September at which point, not only will it be running all the shows, it will also be lighting the Company’s first new major production for the autumn.