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Tony Milliet Dazzles with Chauvet Professional at The Breakers
USA – In 1926, The Architectural Forum hailed The Breakers as “one of the most magnificent, successful examples of a palatial winter resort.” Almost a century later, this description resonates as brilliantly and true as ever. Nestled on 140 acres of ocean-front property, the breathtaking Renaissance Revival hotel exudes luxury and elegance from every inch of its Italianate marble main hall and each of its 538 rooms.
Small wonder then, that the iconic hotel has been a favourite gathering spot of world leaders and celebrities of every stripe since it opened its grandiose doors in 1896. Recently, a new chapter in this fairytale-like tradition was written when The Breakers hosted a two-day private birthday celebration produced by Todd Events that began with a performance by Grammy Award winner John Legend.
Setting an appropriately glittery mood for the affair was a stylish and sophisticated lighting design by Tony Milliet that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick, Rogue and Ovation fixtures as well as MVP LED panels supplied by See Hear Productions.
Milliet worked close with the See-Hear team: Patrick Theriot production designer, Stephen Barnette LD for the courtyard and Scott Lewis production manager, as well as Austin Breckenridge and Jeff Kurihara. Todd Fiscus, event designer and Kristin Hodges, project manager also played key roles.
Running the lighting rig with his ChamSys MagicQ MQ 80, Milliet created seamlessly flowing looks throughout the celebration, which took place in a courtyard and the Ponce de Leon ballroom. “There was a cocktail hour outside that we lit with Ovation fixtures,” he said Milliet. “We relied on some understated gobo patterns and colour mixes to create a sense of depth in this area. We also uplit all the columns surrounding the courtyard to add the warmth and intimacy.”
Inside the ballroom, there was a satellite stage for the party band and a main stage where John Legend worked his magic on the piano. Milliet front washed the former with Rogue R2 Wash units, while creating a more textured design for the latter with the Maverick MK2 Spot.
“We positioned four of the Mavericks in the air to create a nice, clean, sharp look behind John Legend, which really made him standout in the room without being over the top,” said Milliet. “We also had two Mavericks on the upstage deck to add texture to the ceiling above the artist. Then we had the Rogues wash upstage and down stage. Our intent wasn’t to create a concert look; our vision was to create an elegant, magical setting that underscored the specialness of the occasion.”
A key to evoking this mood was the plush blue curtain behind the stage. Milliet accentuated the flowing, undulating texture of this background by lighting it from various angles and in lush colour combinations.
“One of my favourite looks was a single white spot behind John Legend with a blue wash,” he said. “I chose mostly blues, purple and magenta colours. They seemed to work best with the room and curtains.”
When Legend wasn’t performing, the talented Elan Artists entertained on the satellite stage. Milliet support them with dynamic breakout patterns displayed on seven vertically oriented LED wall strips, supported by front lighting and downstage washes from the Ovation fixtures.
Milliet co-ordinated stage displays with room lighting anchored by four Maverick MK2 Spots positioned throughout the party space. His goal for this part of his design was simple: use light to enhance the aesthetics of the ballroom.
“The ballroom is so beautiful, that it makes sense to accent it with lighting,” he said. In keeping with the tradition of The Breakers, he did just that in very elegant fashion.
28th January 2022
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