Robe at the Top of the Games

Photo: Santiago Galeano Muñoz

Nearly 200 Robe moving lights were used for the lighting scheme devised for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Central Americana & Caribbean Games, staged in the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, in the Colombian port city of Barranquilla.

LD John J Orduña Sarmiento was part of a highly talented team involved in the show’s technical production, for which lighting equipment – including all the Robe fixtures – was supplied by leading Colombian rental company, Línea Estratégica based in Medellin.

The vibrant and highly visual Opening Ceremony included projection mapping onto the field-of-play with the images also appearing on a large video wall at the back of a large stage built at one end of the stadium.

For Sarmiento, the challenges in lighting the show were making it big, bold and dazzling to meet everyone’s expectations. He also had to ensure that there was minimal lighting spillage onto the pitch that might interfere with the projections whilst crafting dynamic lighting environments for all the various individual artists plus the show cast on the pitch.

It had to look as good on TV as well as for everyone in the stadium. He specified 40 Robe MegaPointes, 80 Robe Spiiders and 56 Robe BMFL WashBeams to assist in this ambitious task, and these became the core element of his show.

All 40 Robe MegaPointes and 38 of theRobe Spiiders were deployed on the stage. 42 Robe Spiiders were positioned all around the soccer pitch and used for low level washes and to pick out the cast / dancers, joined by 24 Robe BMFL WashBeams as this was an ideal position for providing precisely shuttered lighting on the performers whilst keeping the light off the pitch. The other 36 Robe BMFL WashBeams were rigged around the stadium roof where they had great impact piercing the night sky and throwing high definition gobos and texturing down onto the pitch.

“I was absolutely really blown away by the MegaPointe – super impressed by its power, the zoom and the lovely bright colours. The versatility of the fixture is incredible – it really is equally good in quality and functionality as a spot, beam or wash fixture” Sarmiento enthused.

He’s used Robe BMFL WashBeams on several previous shows including the 2017 Bolivarian Games in Santa Marta, Colombia, and the great results he achieved with them were why they appeared on the spec for this event.

For this show, it was essential to have a very bright fixture with a framing system. With many lighting positions 80 – 100 ft away from the stage and the cast action in the centre of the field-of-play, they needed both serious lumens on one hand, and accuracy on the other.

“Locating the BMFL WashBeams around the soccer field like this and having that controllability, we could easily achieve the all-important light levels needed for it to look great on TV” he confirmed.

Sarmiento adds that when he was confirmed as LD for the Games ceremonies, “there was only one option for a project like this … to use Robe” Already knowing the Robe BMFL WashBeam already was reassuring, “I was confident I had the right basic tools to do the job”, he confirms, and now, having seen the potential of the MegaPointe in action … he will also be using these on future shows!

Sarmiento worked alongside his lighting assistant Edwin Estepa on the Games Ceremonies. The OC’s technical director was Fernando Albanes and the stage director was Miguel Carrilo Foro both from Mexico. They together with production director Victor Ariza and video director Maurico “Tito” Caicedo, both from Colombia, are all part of technical show production specialists, Team Performa SAS.

Rental company Línea Estratégica purchased 36 Robe BMFL WashBeams and 48 Robe MegaPointes especially for this event, following up an initial Robe investment which started in 2016 with 84 Robe Spiiders.