Staatstheater Nürnberg relies on Robert Juliat SpotMe for dancers to play with the light

Photo credits: Jesus Vallinas

The Staatstheater Nürnberg is one of the largest multi-discipline theatres in Germany. Under the auspices of General Music Director Jens-Daniel Herzog, 600 employees in the opera, drama, ballet and concert divisions currently facilitate more than 750 performances per season for almost 300,000 visitors. For the ballet Sacre directed by Ballet Director, Goyo Montero, the Staatstheater Nürnberg used Robert Juliat SpotMe for the first time, in conjunction with a Robert Juliat Victor followspot and Robert Juliat Maestro server.

Robert Juliat SpotMe is a 3D tracking tool for followspots and the only tracking device for performers on the market that puts the followspot operator in control by enabling ‘slave’ lighting fixtures to follow the movements of a followspot. Because movement is based on the position determined by the followspot, no cameras or sensors are necessary for the stage area or on performers or objects.

Karl Wiedemann, Team Leader Lighting Opera, explains: “The requirement for this special production was to be able to control a ring of 40 moving lights hanging above the stage via a transmitter-receiver solution. We wanted to be able to track a dancer automatically with the moving lights, so that he could be seen to ‘play’ with the light. The truss ring containing the spotlights was suspended from eight-point hoists and could, therefore, tilt in all axes.

In order to use tracking at different positions of the traverse circle, we divided the 40 moving lights into four groups and assigned them several 3D positions.” Wiedemann continues.

“We were able to control these groups via Robert Juliat’s SpotMe device. As an interface to our lighting console, we used the Robert Juliat Maestro Server, which translates the PosiStageNet (PSN) signals”.

Robert Juliat SpotMe consists of a server and special sensors for turning and tilting movements, which are mounted on the followspot or on the tripod. Setting up SpotMe is quick and easy thanks to the sensors on the followspot and the server, which generates and transmits the high-quality position data via PosiStageNet (PSN) to suitable receivers. PSN is an open positioning data output format used for capturing, tracking and relaying position data of moving objects on stages. It was developed in cooperation between the companies VYV and MA Lighting, which means that grandMA2 consoles can also process this PSN data directly.

The Robert Juliat Maestro server played a key role at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, as the lighting console was not PSN compatible. Maestro extends the capabilities of SpotMe by enabling it to operate with any DMX lighting control console, so the complimentary dedicated server allowed real-time calculation of the movements of
all the moving heads which were tracking the movements of the followspot.

SpotMe is suitable for all Robert Juliat Compact, Grand and Touring ranges of
followspots, and can be easily delivered and retrofitted to all existing followspots. Robert Juliat SpotMe was supplied to the Staatstheater Nürnberg by Lightpower, Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for Germany and Austria.