Claypaky Provides Heavenly Theatrical Lighting to Wroclaw’s Closing Capital of Culture Production “Niebo”

Nearly 100 Claypaky fixtures illuminated the interior of UNESCO world heritage site, the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland, for its live production of large-scale theatrical performance ‘Niebo’ as part of the closing celebrations of the city’s yearlong status as European Capital of Culture 2016.

Creative producer and multimedia lighting designer for Niebo was Pawal ‘Spider’ Pająk, founder of Polish production design company Fish Eye. Spider specified a number of Claypkay Mythos, Sharpy and A.leda B-EYE K20 fixtures from Polish rental outfit TRANSCOLOR to craft the production’s vast spot, beam and wash effects.

“The Centennial Hall is an extremely high venue,” said Spider. “For the Niebo production I needed to rig all my fixtures at around 23/24 metres above stage level. This meant I had to look for fixtures with brightness and quality that would not be compromised over long distances.”

To provide the scenic lighting for Niebo, Spider arranged for 20 Mythos, the Italian manufacturer’s hybrid spot and beam fixture, to be flown in four groups of five above the stage. The fixture’s advanced effects engine and two interchangeable and variable rotating gobo wheels crafted the projection that contextualized each of Niebo’s scenes.

“I found the Mythos to be excellent at projecting parts of the stage with sharp, mixed patterns to give me the dramatic looks I wanted,” said Spider.

In addition to using the Mythos as an effects light Spider also utilised the fixture in ‘Spot’ mode to focus on key set pieces and performers during the show. Spider looked to the fixture’s precision electronic focusing to ensure the beam was sharp along its entire length.

“Alongside the Mythos I used the 32 Sharpys to visually extend the 32 concrete pillars of the Centennial Hall’s dome shape roof,” said Spider. “They worked to provide 360° lighting of the venue’s architecture.

“For Niebo’s final scene I used the Sharpys to create a circular ‘light curtain’. The beams of the fixtures illuminated the four large metal sculptures that were connected together with a fifth in the final scene. The Sharpy produced a defined, parallel beam that I used to interweave with the form and shape of the completed metal structure.”

Providing the foundations for the aerial effects were the productions sweeping washes produced by the 40-strong A.leda B-EYE K20 floor package. Claypaky’s pioneering wash, beam and FX light was strategically placed around the stage in clusters of five. The fixture’s rotating front lens of 32 individually operable LEDs provided Spider with the option to create dense washes and a dynamic colour pallet, all from the same projection points.

“The B-EYE K20s are brilliant to light the floor with,” said Spider. “I used them in ‘wash’ mode to create vast colour washes and then, using a lens shift and controlling the individual LEDs, I created a painted effect of light and shade across the stage.

Niebo was the fourth and final instalment of the ‘The Flow Quartet’, a yearlong theatrical project by director and curator Chris Baldwin detailing the history and multiculturalism of Wroclaw. The production took place on the 17th December 2016.