When Mexico recently marked the 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo - the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla, which halted an invasion by the French - 44 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures were on hand to illuminate the nighttime gala broadcast nationwide by Televisa.
The Cinco de Mayo celebrations included an array of festivities and special events culminating in the Cinco de Mayo Spectacular, orchestrated by Five Currents, the production company for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Featuring star-studded tributes, an appearance by the president of Mexico and massive display of fireworks, it was staged at the Guadalupe Fort in Puebla; the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Lighting designer David Grill, of David Grill Associates, Inc., in Mahwah, New Jersey, deployed 44 Sharpy moving heads, which were mounted on the H truss at stage right for the headline talent and behind the main stage as backlights. Although he had previously used Sharpys on shows he directed, the Cinco de Mayo Spectacular was his first implementation as a designer.
"I love Sharpy to death," he says. "They're incredibly bright, come in a small package and don't chew up a lot of power. You cannot possibly get anything else at 189W that has a beam that bright."
Grill was not only charged with lighting the talent onstage but also illuminating the fort in the background and the hill between the two, which also served as a performance area. "Everything in the environment was really part of the shot," he notes.
Lighting director and programmer Paul Sonnleitner calls Sharpy "an incredible instrument. It's magnificently bright at such low wattage - you can get so much light out of the rig."
Sonnleitner found the Sharpys "fun to use outdoors. We had a huge canvas with the stage, the fort and the hill, and we could paint that canvas with Sharpys. It was fun to put in a prism and various gobos; when you have so many you can do a lot of different tricks with them - and very quickly."
A.C.T Lighting is the distributor for Clay Paky in North America.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, "What a great event to be a part of! We're proud to have our lights be a part of this celebration. Both Paul and David are great collaborators and we look forward to working with them again."
About Clay Paky
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.
For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:
Francesco Romagnoli [email protected]
Davide Barbetta [email protected]