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Robe lights Miss Universe

Ian McMurray 22 May 2011
Robe lights Miss Universe

Lighting designer Martin Kubanka specified Robe moving lights for the 2011 Miss Universe Slovak Republic beauty pageant, which was staged at the Sibamac Arena at the National Tennis Centre in Bratislava, and broadcast live on the main national TV channel, RTVS. Slovakian rental company Q-99 supplied lighting, sound and AV production for the event.

The set was designed by Michael Klang and featured 75 square metres of high resolution LED surface, over 70 square metres of medium resolution LED surface and 60 square metres of LED floor as well as the extensive lighting rig. The set was ‘stepped’ on five different levels and the far wings were shaped to resemble speaker horns.

The Robes were a mix of 46 ColorSpot 1200E ATs, 18 ColorWash 1200E ATs, 18 ColorSpot 575E ATs and 16 ColorMixes, most of which were dotted all across a large overhead trussing grid – comprising over 240 metres in total – which was installed above the stage and the audience. The other fixtures were positioned on the stage floor.

The Robes were the work-horses of the rig and had multifunctional roles – for general lighting as well as for specials and set washing. They were also used to create atmosphere, mood and to provide contra-lighting for the TV ‘white lights’. Specific units additionally had their own individual positions to highlight the 12 contestants when they were all standing on their marks onstage for certain sections of the show.

A row of ColorSpot 1200s was rigged in a trough separating the back and front parts of the stage which were interconnected both sides by the steps.

“There are certain basic lighting rules when it comes to beauty shows,” said Kubanka. “Oviously, it has to look glamorous and gorgeous – and it has to be lit so the contestants’ flesh tones are perfect for the camera.” Over and above that, he has the challenge of making the show look new and different each year. "I have to say that I have not yet run out of new things to discover using the Robes and I have never stopped experimenting," he added.

The different sections of the contest were punctuated by a variety of different guest artists and performers, all of whom needed theatrical lighting.

In addition to the moving lights, the rig included a large selection of generics, LED fixtures and a white light package. Lighting was operated by Michael Schmidt using a grandMA full size console, with another one run by Thomas Lecky dealing with sending video content to all the onstage video surfaces and set video elements.

Dagmar Kolesarova was crowned Miss Universe Slovakia 2011, and will represent Slovakia in September at the Miss Universe 2011 final in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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