Robe for 2016 Al Burda Awards

Photo: Adrian Permal (Lighthouse Productions)

Terry Miranda and Dubai based Lighthouse Productions designed and supplied another elegant set and lighting design for the 2016 Al Burda Islamic Art Awards staged at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre in the UAE.

Nearly 100 Robe fixtures graced the rig, including 16 Robin 300 Beams, 12 ColorWash 575 ATs, 12 MMX Spots, 24 PARFect 100’s, 12 Pointes and 16 CycFX 8’s. Lighthouse, known throughout the region for its fresh and inventive designs, has invested in Robe since 2004 and currently owns a large inventory of products.

The annual Al Burda Awards is open to artists of calligraphy, poetry and music from across the Middle East and internationally, whose works are judged by a panel of experts, and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and organised by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Knowledge development.

Lighthouse has lit the event several times and was chosen once agin because of its understanding of Islamic design principles and history, elements of which it has actively applied to its eye-catching production designs over the years.

The starting point for designing this year’s set and lighting was Islamic architecture with its geometric curves, arches, complex symmetries and domed structures. The intricate calligraphy associated with individual domes was blended with a modern aesthetic created using multiple dome shapes on the set as projection surfaces (‘receptacles’), which were outlined in LED, and fully mapped to receive detailed custom content. The patterning theme was also continued on the black gloss floor as the design united all elements of the environment.

In the roof, six of the theatre’s house LX bars were utilised for lighting positions, staggered downstage to upstage, with 17 Robe PARfect LED PARs installed inside each of the smaller set arches and seven Robe 300E Beams on the floor at the apex of each projection surface.

The CycFX 8’s were deployed along the front of the stage above the Perspex stage skirting and used in the footlight position for subtle front light as well as for a sweeping curtain of light and chases into the audience and back onto the stage, where they also worked very well for washing the performance area.

The Pointes were rigged on LX bar 2 and used for what they do best; punchy high-impact beam and gobo effects and key lighting for speakers at the central podium.

MMXs are one ofMiranda’s favourite Robe fixture and feature in many of his designs. For this one he used six MMX WashBeams on LX Bar 4 and another six positioned at FOH, ideal for front-of-stage washes and as artist specials.

Miranda liked the brightness, flexibility and light weight of all these fixtures as well as their, “consistent and reliable performance.”

Lighting was controlled using Jands Vista L5 console which also controlled the video content, synergising both the lighting and video content for the show

Low weight loading in the 30 year old theatre represented a major challenge, so using Robe’s range of ‘smaller-brighter-lighter’ luminaires is a great solution for being able to maximise the environment and fit in as many fixtures as possible.

“Having access to more fixtures helps create a diversity of scenes without any compromises in quality,” confirmed Miranda, adding that as an LD, “flexibility, brightness and good functionality plus a decent price point,” is what he looks for in a lighting fixture.

Lighthouse’s client base is extremely varied, and Miranda, the creative principle as well as the company’s founder, needed fixtures that could cover multiple scenarios. “Having Robe on-board has, “allowed myself and the company to expand into many new areas,” he observes.

Lighthouse has been investing in Robe for around 12 years and has seen the company grow and evolve enormously. “We believe Robe is currently the number one lighting manufacturer worldwide. The brand has grown consistently and the quality has always been maintained. Robe has also remained privately owned by the same people and as customers this has enhanced our great relationship – on both personal and professional levels,” said Miranda in conclusion.