The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is Canada's oldest ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America—celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. As part of the year-long celebration, the RWB embarked on a production of "Moulin Rouge, The Ballet", the most famous cabaret in history. Pierre Lavoie, a 25-year lighting design veteran for ballet, dance, music, and opera production companies around the globe, created the show's lighting design. But before the he could get the go-ahead to spec in 16 Elektralite PaintCan 2.0's (with barn doors) as he wanted, the fixtures would have to be put to the test to appease the show's skeptical technical director.
"As soon as I started working on the new ballet, "Moulin Rouge, The Ballet", I was certain I would need a way to introduce to the company's repertory plot using some color changing fixtures," explained Lavoie. "The moving light route was too expensive, using a scroller was also a possibility we investigated but a bit fragile in a touring situation, and then I read an article on the Elektralite PaintCan 2.0. What appealed to me first was the very affordable price tag, the fact that they use regular bulbs, and the ease of integration of the unit within the ballet rig. The electrician and technical director were still not convinced that the PaintCan could be used as a replacement for their 1kw Fresnels, but after putting one Fresnel next to a PaintCan they were sold. The PaintCan had more humpff!"
That A/B comparison was spearheaded by Epic Production Technologies—a rentals, production, sales and integration company with offices in the U.S. and Canada. "Monsieur Lavoie introduced me to the PaintCan 2.0 in a phone conversation," recalled Brian Cloutier, sales manager for Epic in British Columbia. "When he mentioned the price I became skeptical because it was so attractive, but had to check it out. I called Vinny at Group One and arranged a pair of demo units to be sent to sales manager/design consultant Gary Sywake in our Winnipeg office as it made sense to have the demo for the Ballet arranged there. We brought it to the annual CITT conference at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton Alberta. Gary Douglas of Horizon Control patched the PaintCan 2.0 into the Strand LightPalette VL desk and we just pointed it at the cyc. Several LD's laughed when I asked if they wanted to see a $1,200 500W Fresnel. I had the pleasure of watching their expression drastically change and questions fly when Gary Douglas ran through a few cues. Within a month, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet had 16 PaintCan 2.0's in their inventory."â€¨â€¨
"The PaintCan 2.0 definitely played a crucial roll at the RWB," adds Sywake, "helping them achieve a flood and spot on the fly that in the past could only be achieved by between scenes or by using expensive moving lights. The advantage was their size and ability to fit inside a truss, plus their capability to be equal in color in matching gel. The combination of mixing CMY and fairly quiet zooming made it a favorable choice in their decision. They have used the 16 fixtures now on tour for the past 2 months and I have only heard positive feed back from RWB.