Robe Pointes to Naked Truth on Fey’s Desnuda Tour

Photo: Louise Stickland

Lighting designer Pablo Gutierrez utilized 52 of Robe’s Pointe multi-functional moving lights at the core of his lighting design for the launch of Mexican singer Fey’s new Desnuda (Nude) tour.

As well as being spectacular, the design had to be scalable for an arena tour which follows in 2019 and for potential festival appearances. Gutierrez was recommended independently by three different people for the job of designing Desnuda. He is known for his fresh approach to lighting design and his imagination and flair in harmonizing the disciplines of lighting, video and set.

For the Arena Ciudad de México gig, audio, lighting, staging and all aspects of technical production – including video from La Catrina Films and rigging from TYM Riggers – were managed by Live Entertainment a company Pablo also runs together with Soho Avila, who was this high-profile show’s production manager.

The Pointes were arranged on a series of six trusses above the stage forming a trapezoidal shape – wider at the top. Each of these trusses moved in and out individually on an automation system.

“Fey wanted to reflect a strong sense of female empowerment in the show and the overall production” explained Gutierrez, which gave him the inspiration for the shape. Its geometry contrasted with the rectangular lines of the five large LED video surfaces onstage, and when in the ‘home’ position, the lowest of the six trusses was trimmed just above the top of the central video screen so the shape radiated out downstage from there, adding to the overall depth of the rig.

Gutierrez also had a bunch of other lights on the stage in multiple positions, but his Pointes were the visual centrepiece.

When the Pointe trusses were flown in, they dramatically closed-down the performance space immediately evoking a sense of intimacy.

The video screen design ensured that Fey was right at the heart of the performance, together with the impressive playback footage directed by Antonia Roma and the live camera direction of Jorge Olvera. With that much video on the stage, Gutierrez also knew he would need very bright light sources to ensure a balance.

Once the video screen layout was in place, the lighting positions became relatively obvious. In fact, while the overall stage design underwent some revisions, the lighting elements of it stayed the same as Pablo’s first drawing.

The bank of Pointes also provided essential key and front wash lighting for the acoustic section of the set which was performed on the B stage, located immediately behind the FOH riser at the back of the arena. So they were invaluable in every way, and the beams had no problem projecting right to the back of the arena.

Gutierrez used almost every feature and function of the Pointes – supplied by locally based rental company PRO3 to the production – extensively throughout the show. He created a diversity of cool looks and holographic effects with the prisms as Fey rocked through her pacey power-pop performance, pausing for breath only during a short spell on the B-stage.

Gutierrez stated: “The Pointe is a remarkable fixture – the colors are really rich and vital, and the effects are dynamic and fast. They are perfect for a pop show like this with lots of dancers and action”.

He made the most of the fixture’s capabilities as both a spot and a beam fixture and created some great laser simulation looks that combined beautifully with the real lasers on the show – four brand new Kvant Spectrum 30s.

The challenge with this first Desnuda tour show was the programming time which was tight and under pressure.

While they had the music for some time beforehand and could program a reasonable amount of lighting in pre-vis, the video content – a major element of the show aesthetic – was only received a few days before the gig. Only then was Gutierrez able to finesse and fine-tune the essential detail in all the lighting cues.

The first song alone contained 120 cues, and the rest were similar in complexity however it all paid off in the end as the show took the art of pop presentation and production to new and exciting levels to the delight of Fey’s thousands of enthusiastic fans.