Danish rental operation Live Company made a massive investment in Robe Esprite and LEDWash 300X moving lights, together with a RoboSpot remote follow spot system, in March 2020 just before the pandemic hit effectively closing the live concert and event industry worldwide.
“We felt it was a bit like some ironic sort of April Fool’s joke,” commented Live Company’s Peter Clausen, one of the owners together with Mikkel Bedsted and two other business partners.
However, they are extremely pleased with their kit, and the Esprites have been busy despite a challenging year working at a fraction of the normal pace as Live Company is lucky enough to have had a steady flow of work throughout the pandemic.
Live Company purchased the 22 x Esprites– with Robe’s Transferable LED Engine light source a great asset for any rental house – for Cirkusrevyen, Denmark’s premier revue show which is staged at a big top venue in Dyrehavsbakken, a northern suburb of Copenhagen. Live Company was appointed lighting vendor for the first time in 2020 having supplied the season’s chief LX and lighting console operator since 2017.
In 2020, due to a couple of important anniversaries, Cirkusrevyen lighting designer Malthe Haugaard, who likes working with Robe products very much, wanted to change up the rig, and was keen to try out the Esprites.
Over the past four years, a variety of Robe fixtures – including Pointes, MegaPointes, DL4S and DL7S Profiles – have been used in the Cirkusrevyen show, and for the 2019 season, LEDBeam 150s and MegaPointes were utilized in numerous imaginative ways.
“This time we wanted a fixture with a wide zoom that could also produce punchy beams for the big dance production numbers,” explained Malthe, recalling how he, Peter and Mikkel had visited Robe at the Prolight+Sound expos in Frankfurt and PLASA London that year (2019), assessed the new products on offer and decided to go with Esprites.
While the 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic – it has currently been rescheduled to run May to August 2021 with a slightly different cast, so the fixtures will still get their chance to shine!
“We often use these trade shows as meeting places and melting pots for discussion and for assessing products being brought to the market,” comments Peter, adding that Robe’s Danish distributor Light Partner is also extremely proactive at demonstrating any new technologies.
“Robe makes very reliable and stable products that have a decent amount of longevity,” stated Peter, “the Esprite is a good example of a luminaire designed to be relevant for a long lifespan and deliver great value”.
Live company’s Robe investments started in 2012 with LEDWash 300s to cover their work in all sectors and particularly for theatre and musical productions, as well as for their value as solid dry hire assets.
Initially, they had three different Robe products in stock – LEDWash 300s, DL4S Profiles and LEDBeam 150s, to which 36 x LEDWash 300Xs were added plus the 22 x Esprites and the two RoboSpot systems for Cirkusrevyen.
The Esprites had some work during 2020, including in performances of “Mit navn er Greta” (My Name Is Greta) a new work scheduled to play at the Aveny-T theatre in Copenhagen directed by Emil Rostrup, starring Karla Løkke and based on the work and achievements of climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Lighting was designed by Jim Falk who used seven Robe Esprites controlled by one RoboSpot BaseStation running in conjunction with a grandMA2 ultra light console.
He needed a fixture that was powerful and flexible as the show design concept is based on digital scenery and a setup whereby one person could control several lights, so RoboSpot was a great solution, positioned in the wings by the fly bar control.
“Esprites are a great fixture,” stated Jim, a freelance LD who is using them for the first time together with a single Robe SilverScan which is rigged mid-stage-center above the main performance area.
He wanted this particular fixture for the wide-angled reach of the mirror movement as the venue’s over-stage trim height is relatively low and observes that he can also see SilverScans being used similarly in much larger spaces.
Working alongside Jim on the production’s creative team is playwright William Lippert, sound designer Viktor Dahl, video designer Adam Ryde Ankarfeldt, set designer Jon Stephensen and costume designer Michael Nøhr.
After a run at Aveny-T, the show is currently scheduled to play for three months and then tour around Jutland, although this might change as everything stays fluid during the continuing pandemic.