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All That Jazz
UK – An acclaimed British lighting designer with many years of theatrical experience, Richard Lambert has enjoyed a fulfilling relationship with the Jazz Dance Company and its artistic director Robbie O’Reilly over the last three years. This summer, the company’s latest UK tour, ‘Unexpected Tales’ explored the light and shade of classic fairy tales and folk stories, as told through the exciting vocabulary of jazz dance styles, such as ballet and tap, choreographed by leading names including Kevan Allen and Nikki Trow.
This was the third consecutive tour for which Lambert secured the support of Entec, as he explained: “The Jazz Dance Company don’t have a huge touring budget, so I help to contain costs by using my own kit but the bulk of the equipment comes from Entec who are so incredibly helpful.”
While Lambert provided his Zero 88 ORB XF control desk and a few fixtures including Chauvet Intimidator LED spots and GLP Atoms through his own business, Lambco, Entec supplied the power and data distribution, 11 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 300s, ten Martin MAC 700 Wash lights and eight overhead scaff bars.
“No matter what you want at the last minute, it’s never a problem for Entec and you can trust that everything will be fully prepped, clean and ready for your show,” said Lambert. “It’s the level of support you get from a supplier that makes it so much better than having a relationship with a company that ends as soon as they give you the equipment. Entec’s staff are always available at weekends if ever you need to call. I can’t think of a more professional and caring rental company out there.
“In situations like the ‘Unexpected Tales’ tour, where you’re playing one day at each venue, it is very important that the lights are reliable. The excellent maintenance you get with Entec's lights reduces any need for troubleshooting and lets you concentrate on sorting out the local venue's in-house rig, spiking the floor and updating focus palettes. When time is so critical you benefit from a robust moving light system.”
How did Lambert first become involved with the Jazz Dance Company? “I had worked with Robbie O’Reilly on a number of productions where she was the choreographer and I was the lighting designer. We always got on very well and admired each other’s work, so when asked me to come on board with Jazz Dance, I didn’t hesitate.
“‘Unexpected Tales’ was like a book in the sense that for each chapter there was a different story that provided the theme for each of the dance pieces. Each number had a different choreographer and so it’s no surprise that they each had their own feel. Robbie took these individual pieces and weaved them all together into an holistic dance spectacle, with segue scenes between them to give fluidity, and I observed all of this in rehearsals.
“At the outset of each project, I always talk to Robbie about the concept and once I form the mental images of what I want to do with it, I start getting a list together of the lights that I think will achieve my ideas. With ‘Circus Of Dreams’, for example, I wanted the lights to look like a big top tent so we placed them high up at the sides and fashioned a canopy out of the way the lights pointed through haze.”
Lambert added: “I love the power of collaboration and I’m particularly happy with the partnership between Robbie and her vision, the choreographers, the music and what I bring to these shows, and I’m extremely thankful for Entec’s vital contributions.”
12th August 2016
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