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What a Feeling as White Light Supplies Flashdance
UK – Based on the now iconic Paramount Pictures Film, Flashdance – The Musical tells the story of 18 year-old Alex who dreams of attending the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. Yet when a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses this to drive her dream. The show is currently on a tour across the UK and White Light has provided the lighting equipment.
Flashdance – The Musical is being produced by the award-winning Selladoor Productions and features a lighting design by Mark Howland. He comments: “Having never actually seen the film, this allowed me to approach the piece with a completely fresh perspective as though it were a new piece. The show is very rooted within 80s music so I was keen to push some of the bold 80s colours which are largely associated with the music videos and concerts of that time. We also keep a lot of the lighting rig in view.”
By having the rig in constant view, this meant that it became a part of the aesthetic. Mark comments: “The boom towers worked well with the parcans making a strong feature at the side of the stage. These dance towers provided a powerful crosslight as well as being a strong visual feature in which we could frame the rest of the scenic design.”
Alongside his artistic approach, Mark was also conscious of ensuring that the rig he designed was tourable. He comments: “The rig has to remain manageable due to an extremely busy touring schedule. As a result, a number of moving lights were used to fulfil a range of roles. All of the overheads are moving lights. We used a number of Martin MAC IIIs as their punch and wide zoom range gave me strong gobo and toplight options. The fact that they’re so powerful also meant that we didn’t require a large number of fixtures.”
He adds: “We also draw quite heavily on the Martin MAC 700 range which are small enough to fit in the dance towers yet also quite powerful and work well for general colour washes as well as specials.”
Mark also utilised the Chroma-Q Color Force LED Battens, ADB Fresnels and Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Haze Machines.
The show is currently at the Blackpool Opera House and will tour the rest of the UK until August 2018.
Mark adds: “The beauty of lighting a musical is the variety of different aesthetics that you can apply across one show. Whilst there is always a need to adhere to an overall design style that works with the whole team, there is often such a variety of styles and emotions within the songs that can really push the strong and varied choices in the way each one is lit,something I was able to achieve with Flashdance – The Musical”.
photos: Brian Hartley
26th October 2017
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