Chart-topping, multi-award-winning and massively popular Mexican singer Ana Gabriel hit the road on her “Estamos A Tiempo” (We Are On Time) world tour last year at the National Auditorium in Mexico City, a campaign that continues internationally throughout 2019, with another spectacular lighting and visual design by Felipe Serey, one of Chile’s leading LDs.
Felipe has worked with the artist for six years, and the lighting specification for the current tour has over 150 Robe moving lights – 60 x MegaPointes, 40 x Spiiders, 48 x Spikies, two BMFL Spots and three BMFL WashBeams – on the lighting plot.
Recently Ana Gabriel played a show at the Movistar Arena in Santiago de Chile where the full Robe rig was supplied by a local rental company … and Felipe was extremely proud to be able to deliver the show in his hometown!
The design was based around creating a nice balance of technology to support and reinforce Ana Gabriel’s charisma and her invigorating performances, maintaining the artist’s presence as the focal point.
“Lighting and video should take their appropriate place in the visual equation, remembering that it is the artist who essentially puts the last note of colour and light into each frame of the show,” Felipe commented.
He decided on a diamond-shaped LED screen upstage centre – to have something different and more interesting than the ‘standard’ rectangular slab of video. He evolved an array of lighting looks and texturing for each song of the set … with some input from the artist.
The central screen is 6.5 metres square but rotated 45 degrees to give the diamond shape a top-to-bottom height of 9 metres and a very elegant appearance. With all the motors concealed in the roof above, it appears to be floating in the air, adding a layer of intrigue to the whole stage design.
The main 12 metre runs of overhead trusses were flown at 90 degrees to one another to mirror the architecture of the diamond screen, each one rigged with 10 x MegaPointes and 4 x Spiiders.
Then there were four diagonal trusses - two a side - at the back, framing and following the angle of the upper half of the screen, also rigged with MegaPointes and Spiiders. On the floor were three 2.4 metre structures each side also rigged with Spiiders.
Towards the centre of the stage - overhead - was another 2.4-metre-long run of truss loaded with 3 x BMFL Spots and 12 of the Spikies, and then to the sides, two 6 metre runs of truss each rigged with 6 x Spikies. The ‘frame’ of lighting was completed with Tyler trusses each side each containing another six MegaPointes and four Spiiders.
On the floor for contrasting angles, 12 additional MegaPointes and 12 x Spikies were positioned along the back and sides.
For the show’s high impact opening sequence, two BMFL WashBeams were utilized for precise front gobo projections, and this got the set off to a dramatic start.
The three BMFL Spots Felipe used to close the stage space right down for the intimate and personal moments of the set. He particularly likes the colours on the BMFL range.
The MegaPointes were used extensively throughout the show – they are the main effects fixture and work hard! He uses the prism a lot and really likes the speed at which the various effects can be applied.
The Spiiders are used for the whole show, washing the different stage areas. Felipe likes all aspects of this versatile fixture … he runs them in wide mode taking advantage of the LED ring control and macros, and he also uses the central ’flower’ for some unique scenes.
The tiny Spikies he uses pragmatically to add energy and punch to certain sections of the show, and he enjoys seeing all the different looks created using the zoom, prism and flower.
Felipe – for the last few tours and shows – has always used the Spiider as a ‘base’ fixture. It’s one of his ‘go-to’ units for all the reasons stated above and for fabulously smooth colour mixing and the quality of the colours, and “like the BMFL, for its huge power.”
For this tour, the MegaPointe and Spikie came slightly later to the party. He had used the MegaPointe a few times but admits that before this tour started … he was having “a little romance” with another brand of hard-edged fixture!
However, after the first few gigs, “I realised I had made a mistake, so I promptly made the change back to my beloved MegaPointe!”
It was doing that change where he encountered the little Spikie. “With its small size and great dexterity … the Spikie was exactly what I needed to complete my ‘dream team’ of fixtures,” he confirmed with a big smile.
The overall stage design concept for Ana Gabriel allows him to strip everything right down to just a few lights on the star at certain times, accentuating the power and passion of her performance, while at other times he can ramp right up and blast the performance space with massive epic looks and high energy video content and lighting.
Video equipment – including two side IMAG screens - is being supplied to the tour by Nitro LED.
Felipe created all the video content for this ‘Estamos A Tiempo’ tour – the first time he’s also taken on this role in addition to the lighting and the video systems design. He has found it very satisfying to be in control of both medias, which enables a creative fluidity to run through all visual elements. He certainly intends to do more content work for future stage designs.
About Felipe Serey
Felipe started his professional lighting career in 1996 with a company called Orbita Productions, one of the top Chilean rental and production specialists, and this was his home for 18 years and a fantastic learning environment for all things lighting, technical and creative.
In 2008, he started programming consoles. The late Alicia Lawner, one of the owners of the company, was a great inspiration to him, and when she died, she left him a lighting console which he cherished and still has today.
Since then, his career has blossomed and grown. He’s collaborated in some amazing projects including being lighting director of Lollapalooza Chile for the last five years and as media server programmer for the famous Viña del Mar Festival in Chile 2011 – 2014. He worked as lighting crew chief for the same event 2015 – 2018, and he now has the contract as lighting director for Viña del Mar for the next 3 years. He will continue touring with Ana Gabriel throughout 2019 as well as working on several other lighting and visual projects.
Photos: Lorena Persson