One of the bonuses of working with innovative and influential artists like dance music Producer and DJ Hardwell is that you get to work on some unique and interesting shows. Symphony: The Global Revolution of Dance was one of those moments for Lighting and Visuals Designer, Andre Beekmans of The Art of Light and Operator Jaap Kamps.
The event was a live performance and collaboration between the Electro DJ and Metropole Orkest at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, celebrating 30 years of dance music. It was staged to coincide with the renowned Amsterdam Dance Event conference.
The Art of Light – who have designed and co-ordinated Hardwell’s lighting for some years – was approached by organisers Fourmation Events and MOJO and asked to create a memorable and appropriate lighting environment. For which he specified over 200 Robe moving lights – Pointes, Spiiders, BMFL WashBeams and BMFL Blades. The show presented many challenges to Beekmans and his team including, Kamps, who is Hardwell’s regular Lighting Director on the road.
A key starting point was the main set elements, designed by Freek Cornelissen of 250K, including a large pyramid shape upstage comprising four equilateral triangles each filled with LED screens. Flown just in front of this was a skeletal trapezoidal shaped lighting sculpture made up from multiple triangles outlined with pixel-mapped LED battens which were under the control of the lighting department, fed content via a Hippotizer media server. The orchestra platform on the deck involved several layers and was also outlined by LED strips arranged in triangular sections.
The Symphony performance was divided into three parts – and the primary need was to produce a hugely dynamic range of looks – to cover all the musical genres featured in the history section, giving each one and the overall whole performance an epic edge. On top of that, the lighting generally had to deal with practicalities like ensuring the orchestra could see the conductor at all times and had sufficient light to read their music.
The 63 Robe Spiiders were all rigged on the over-stage triangular trusses where they were ideal for top and backlight on the orchestra. There were a substantial 18 metres of trim on these, but the Robe Spiiders provided plenty of power and intensity to light the stage and the orchestra effectively and bring fabulous colouring, immersion and depth to the picture.
In addition to these Robes, Beekmans positioned eight Robe BMFL WashBeams each side of the stage on the Ziggo Dome balcony ring to augment the options on orchestra cross lighting. These are positions regularly utilised for getting a good layer of light onto the stage. The high lumen punch of the Robe BMFL WashBeam made it ideal. Topping off the Robe line-up for this show was 16 Robe BMFL Blades, used to key light Hardwell, the conductor and the orchestra itself.
Hardwell and Orkest spent time together rehearsing in the studio, so while the lighting team had constantly updated versions of the music for their programming, they only had one full live rehearsal at the venue on the afternoon prior to the show.
So, it was down to everyone’s expertise and talents to pull off this amazing show which ran for two hours and highlighted the creativity and great music of influencers, innovators, and rhythm warriors.
Video equipment was supplied by Faber, with content and control by Eyesupply, and the event’s technical production was delivered by Backbone international. Lighting equipment was all supplied by rental company Phlippo, with Virtue Projects.