‘Robe Cirque’ was a one off live production which left a memorable stamp for the brand during Prolight+Sound 2018 expo in Frankfurt.
Robe enjoyed an busy Prolight+Sound 2018 expo thanks to the production, which saw their exhibition live show concept taken to new levels with ‘Cirque Robe’, a colourful, hi-energy 6-minute performance spectacle and circus style presentation with a cast of 11, designed to highlight the Czech manufacturer’s latest lighting technologies.
Another highlight was Robe’s new MegaPointe multipurpose moving light winning a 2018 PIPA (Prolight + Sound International Press Award) for ‘Best Light’, a decision reached by a jury of international trade journalists who meet annually in Frankfurt.
The MegaPointe was one of the primary fixtures featured in the stand show, where Robe continued to raise the bar in presenting live exhibition entertainment, raising the bar for entertaining expo visitors.
CEO Josef Valchar commented, “Our goal was to showcase the products in an entertaining, fun and highly visual environment, and in ‘Cirque Robe’ we have realised a very ambitious show that has created a real buzz! This has helped attract people to the stand constantly throughout the four days of the expo, and we are delighted with the results and feedback!”
The show was staged every hour on the hour and pulled record crowds to the Robe stand in Hall 3.0 of Frankfurt’s Music Messe, where attendees could also engage with Robe and receive individual product demos in two dark studio areas.
The Cirque Robe concept was originated by Robe’s own creative team led by Nathan Wan and Andy Webb. Nathan first thought of the Cirque idea after Prolight 2017 which put a live show central to the booth for the first time and was extremely well received. To make it more immersive instead of having a stage, Nathan designed the entire booth into a 8 metre spherical ring stage design with 270 degree seating.
A fine balance was needed to ensure the lighting took centre stage … supported by the other elements, and not the other way around. Two types of Robe luminaires were the primary fixtures of the show … the newly launched MegaPointe and the upcoming Tarrantula wash beam.
Forty-two MegaPointes were distributed between four trusses in a grid on the stage at the back of the spherical cirque arena – revealed by a set of Austrian curtains – and also on two circular trusses above the arena. The thirty-six Tarrantulas – an LED wash powered by 36 x 30W and one 60W high powered LED chips, providing a jaw-dropping 20,000 lumens of output - rigged on the trusses in groups of four, flanking the MegaPointes.
They were arranged to illustrate how they can be utilised as a low resolution video surface, especially during the aerial section of the show, punching through the MegaPointes.
The MegaPointe, launched in September, has been one of Robe’s most successful lighting fixtures thanks to its versatility as a high quality spot, beam or wash light with a versatile array of effects.
The four vertical ‘king pole’ trusses accentuating the shape of the performance space were each rigged with an elegant vertical line of 12 x Robe’s LEDBeam 150s, another new small moving light from the Czech company. Additional LEDBeam 150s were scattered around the rig making up a total of 64. Spikies were positioned along the lip of the stage behind the cirque arena with 16 around the perimeter of the arena itself, used for a variety of specials and to pull everyone’s attention to that part of the stand.
ParFect 150 fixtures fitted with Robe Halo LED rings were deployed around the larger circular truss in the roof in four blocks of six. Also on these circles were 36 x Spiider wash beams used for general booth-wide environmental illumination and for effects onstage with their central flower effect.
Robe’s new remote RoboSpot follow spotting system was an integral part of the show. One BMFL Spot with the on-board motion control camera was used to accurately pick up and follow the show’s MC. This worked in conjunction with one RoboSpot MotionCamera driving six BMFL Blade fixtures, all working together to highlight specific moments in the show. These – the one plus the six BMFLs respectively - were operated via two RoboSpot BaseStations positioned towards the back of the stand.
On the stage grid, Nathan created four bespoke onePATT chandeliers in a three-tier 8-4-1 format which were suspended in the booth roof. The chandeliers were part of the intricately detailed scenic design including a massive amount of bespoke printed draping reinforcing the classic circus theme with a Robe twist.
Essentially the project entailed designing and building a purpose-built venue, compete with a full scale show, all integrated into a busy working exhibition stand. Two days of lighting previsualisation in the UK helped Nathan establish the basic building blocks of the show and booth lighting, followed by around 20 hours of intensive programming on site using an Avolites Arena console running in a multi-session network with a Tiger Touch II Pro, plus a Quartz for system tech’ing.