The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is based in the Sydney suburb of Kensington adjacent to the University of South Wales (Australia) and is a high profile self-accrediting training institute for students of the performing arts. It has a great reputation and an interesting alumnae of talent who have made their names in the worlds of theatre, stage, film and TV.
Five years ago, the foyer – a huge, airy glass-fronted space that’s also used for art and other exhibitions, public displays and meetings – was architecturally lit with an Anolis ArcSource 48 MC LED installation, supplied via the ULA Group, Robe and Anolis distributor for Australia. This transformed the atmosphere and increased the flexibility of the space.
It was followed by an investment in 16 x Robe DLX Spots, a bright LED spot luminaire that outputs similar to a 1200W discharge light-source, but with an eco-friendly power consumption of 250 Watts!
These - specified by Adrian Wight and Marcus Kelson from the lighting department after careful consideration - are also installed in the foyer on a truss for full flexibility, and have further dramatically increased the functionality of the space. All areas in the environment can be fully used as it’s possible to light them meaningfully.
Energy efficiency was a key to choosing these fixtures explained NIDA’s assistant technical manager Bryte Cameron. So was the low maintenance and low on-going running costs of quality engineered LED products.
“The DLXs have really opened up the space,” says Bryte. “They are perfect for highlighting specific areas and elements of any exhibition or artwork. It has also made the foyer more attractive and accessible and a commercial and event space which can be hired out.”
Bryte comments on the good working relationship that has developed between NIDA and Robe’s Australian distributor, the ULA Group.
NIDA has five principal venues of which the Parade is the largest with a capacity of 706, and the smallest is the Studio with 96 seats. They run both graduate and undergraduate courses which encompass a wide range of topics from prop making to cultural leadership including a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre and Stage Management.
In addition to the success of its acting students, many of those graduating from NIDA’s technical courses have also been high achievers and respected practitioners in the Australian and international production industry.
Photos : Louise Stickland