Mexican ballerina Elisa Carrillo, principal dancer at the Staatsballett Berlin and 2019 winner of ballet’s top prize, the Prix Benois de la Danse, travelled to her country of origin to present a series of ballet performances called Gala of Stars, Elisa and Friends. The special shows, which took place last year in some of the most renowned venues in Mexico, including the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, were lit by Rafael Mendoza using Elation Artiste Picasso LED profile luminaires.
Gala of Stars, Elisa and Friends featured performances by renowned figures in classical and contemporary dance from some of the most important ballet companies in the world such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Berlin State Ballet, and the Mikhailovsky Theatre. Mendoza has served as lighting designer for the ballet gala for years, effectively from the beginning of the project, and has years of experience lighting ballet, dance and opera behind him.
He commented: “Mexico, with its different dance expressions and genres, classical dance, Mexican folklore, contemporary dance and many that have been added in the last 40 years, all involve the wonderful human body expressing itself in different ways. I design lighting thinking about the body and movement, adding symbolism or other elements that, for example, in ballet is often defined in the script. Light often defines the space, defines the time, and defines interior or exterior places where you want to take the viewer. Colour is often chosen depending on those spaces or simply highlights the state of mind of the dancers, modelling the body by contrasting it through the beam angle and colour, generating drama and interest for the viewer.”
Mendoza was pleased to be afforded the opportunity to use the Artiste Picasso for the first time. “I was in search of new LED fixtures when I found Elation’s Artiste series and the Artiste Picasso,” he explained. “These luminaries have enchanted me with all the possibilities they offer and, above all, for the applications they can cover in the type of work I do. I studied the fixture, saw it perform and understood that they were the ideal fixtures for me to transition to LED technology. They have given me the possibility to use LED lighting for any dance genre due to its technical possibilities, colour temperature options, high colour saturation and power. They are also very quiet.”
Mendoza believed it has been incredible to compare the light quality and intensity of a fixture with a discharge lamp with a fixture of the same light quality and technical capability but now powered by an LED engine that consumes 30% of the power. “But what impressed me the most about the Picasso was its zoom range and framing system,” he said. “Being able to shape the beam according to my needs, to match the scenery or to hide a scenic element or body was decisive in my choice. I have loved getting to know the Artiste series and the truth is it has left me pleasantly satisfied.”
The Artiste Picasso is a full-featured theatrical-grade luminaire with 620W 6,800K Cool White LED engine and advanced optics that delivers over 23,000 total lumen output. It houses theatrically useful design features like graphics, animation and framing. Combined with a full-spectrum CMY color mixing system and linear CTO color temperature correction, it is an ideal precision tool for productions with a high level of refinement like world-class ballet.