Philips Selecon delivers ultimate flexibility to dance-theatre piece
Monday, December 1, 2014
by Philips Selecon

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Australian dance-theatre piece "Intimacy" by Michelle Ryan and Torque Show recently traversed the globe to take up residence at the Southbank Centre in London. Part of the 'Unlimited' disability arts festival, the piece was lit with eight Philips Selecon LED PLprofile1 luminaires, chosen for their crucial colorizing flexibility by lighting designer John Ford.

Ford, of lighting design consultancy Relume, specified the Selecon luminaires when it came to lighting the piece during its previous run at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne.

"I chose the PLprofile1 luminaires as I knew I needed something flexible to get as many lighting options as possible into a small space, and a conventional rig can be limiting in that sense," says Ford. "I used the PLprofile1 luminaires in dance booms, because I wanted a wide range of color, and they gave me the variety that made the design work. The white to pastels gamut is particularly good, they look like real whites rather than RGB trying to mix to white, and I'm a fan of the saturated blues. Whilst I think it will be a long time before we get a Lee Congo Blue out of an LED, the Selecon PLprofile1 engine comes very close."

Ford employed the Selecon fixtures to wash the tight performance space with clean, shifting hues to perfectly accent the progression of dancer Michelle Ryan's story.

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"The color accuracy between units was impressive, with good consistency, and even live shifts were clean and behaved well," continues Ford. "The Selecon fixtures are also great in terms of optical performance. The color is fully mixed before it leaves the lens tube, so you don't get RGB dots on the frost in the gel holder or RGB streaks in the haze in the first part of the beam. If they're visible from the audience (as they were in this show) and you just bring them up in the first cue with a warm white, most lighting people in the audience are going to think they're conventional profiles with gel. It's not until you change color for the first time that you know they're something different.

"They also do very clean shutter cuts and while I didn't use them with gobos in this show, I've seen them with gobos in and they project as cleanly as the halogen version. I'd say I have fairly limited experience in using LEDs in theatre applications, mostly because I haven't been convinced until now that there's a fixture available that can do what I want. However, the PLprofile1 allows optical and color control to a degree that makes it more than useable for theatre."

Michelle Ryan started dancing when she was four years old and went on to be one of Australia's most celebrated performers. Intimacy is her response to questions about her 10-year break from dancing after being diagnosed with MS. Torque Show are Vincent Crowley, Ross Ganf and Ingrid Weisfelt.

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Photo Copyright: Rachel Roberts

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