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Robe equips Jeddah’s very own Cirque du Soleil

Robe equips Jeddah’s very own Cirque du Soleil

Robe equips Jeddah’s very own Cirque du Soleil

Saudi Arabia:

King Abdallah Sports City (KASC) stadium in Jeddah has put on a specially commissioned Cirque du Soleil production titled Fuzion for the 2022 Jeddah Season Festival. The show is a tribute to the company’s creative legacy and celebrates its theatrical achievements.

The show narrative was based on the adventures of two friends, Antonio and Sebastian, who, with the world in need of more creativity, friendship and love, embarked on a quest to create magical universes in which these can flourish.

Directed by Mukhtar Omar Sharif Mukhtar with creative direction by Stefan Miljevic, the lighting and set was designed by Mikki Kunttu who used 186 Robe BMFL moving lights – making up half of the lighting rig.

The lighting brief included making an “elegant, theatrical, and vivid” impact, with the goal of recreating the splendour and atmosphere of a classic big-top while ensuring that each guest experienced a similar sense of intimacy as experienced in a classic big top setting. Kunttu selected 127 BMFL Blades and 59 BMFL WashBeams as the primary lighting fixtures, supplied by lighting vendor, PRG Middle Eas“The BMFL is a fantastic multipurpose fixture and I think it was a game-changer in so many ways. It’s still a great workhorse, widely recognised worldwide and you know what to expect in terms of quality and excellence.”

The set and lighting design took big-top shows as a starting point, working with a similar shaped stage as classic Cirque productions with stage and lighting rigs shaped to accommodate acts like the Wheel of Death, combined with the close proximity of a 270° audience. Unlike a traditional big-top venue where the rigging, flying and access is restricted by the nature of the construction, the Jeddah venue gave flexibility.

Where safety is concerned, there must be sufficient light for the aerial and other artists to see each other and their various grab-points and props safely, with all the simultaneous crowd-pleasing lighting effects expected of a nail-biting, high octane Cirque extravaganza.

“Safety and making it look awesome are both critical elements naturally and I always try to deliver both within the same solution. The safety factor is not an add-on, but an integral part of the design from the outset,” noted Kunttu.

Fuzion was the first time he had used Robe BMFLs to light this style of show – although he’s used them on several other productions – and he was said to be “extremely satisfied” with the results.

Kunttu worked alongside two programmers, Matti Leinonen on lighting and Alex Hautamäki mainly on video and some lighting, all three using grandMA2 light consoles. Video content was designed by Olivier Goulet, and Leinonen remained in Jeddah to run lighting and video for the duration of the Season Festival.

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