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A Passion for Astera

A Passion for Astera

UK – “Dance Passion” returns to the BBC in early 2022, celebrating all forms and genres of the UK’s vibrant dance sector, in a special collaboration between BBC Arts and One Dance UK, supported by Arts Council England.

Nick Jevons was brought onboard by technical production supplier JHAV to light and production manage one of the competition’s regional rounds, staged over two days at TR2 (the Theatre Royal Production Centre) in Plymouth. Nick lost no time in specifying Astera Titan Tubes as a core element of the lighting rig.

The Titan Tubes were rigged on their floor mount stands around the dance floor, running wirelessly. “The performances all had to look great on multiple cameras,” explained Nick, “and the Titan Tube was a perfect solution that was completely versatile and very easy to re-position which ensured that all the performers had distinctive and different lighting looks.”

In fact, the Titans were first on Nick’s kit list once the lighting rig was designed for the room in the stunning TR2 building which is a complete production workshop / prep / rehearsal / learning space, occupying a prominent waterfront location along the River Plym estuary.

Nick frequently uses Astera products in his work, and he was an early adopter of the Titan technology when the first Tubes were launched in 2018.

The colours “look good” and the range and accuracy of colour temperature whites is “amazing” he stated. For this recording session, he also used them as elegantly de-focused foreground shot ‘soft objects’, as well as sharply defined architectural lines in the wider shots where they doubled as parts of the set.

For this event, all the lighting including the Tubes was controlled via Nick’s Avolites Tiger Touch console.

“They ticked all the boxes and gave me plenty of creative latitude,” he confirmed, adding that it was the first time he had lit this type of dance performance for television.

He also used multi-functional moving lights on top of vertical truss sections for keying, breakup effects and adding drama.

The challenge with lighting this session was the time-frame and turnaround. Nick had not seen any of the artists before the shoot day, so during the short rehearsal time, he had to think on his feet and produce a succession of appropriate lighting looks and styling almost on the fly for director Martyn Stevens.

This complete spontaneity combined with his own extensive experience made this “a hugely exciting way to work.”

Filming took place during the day, through dusk and into the night, with the blinds open during the daylight hours revealing the fantastic backdrop through large glass windows onto the water.

“The Titans looked fantastic in all the different natural light conditions,” commented Nick, adding that all the production team were “delighted” with the aesthetics of the lighting treatment and the resulting footage.

All production activities including set, costume and prop manufacture are centralised and integrated with rehearsal, education, and communal spaces.

photos: Nick Jevons

A Passion for AsteraA Passion for Astera

25th February 2022

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