Luc Peumans from Genk, Belgium based creative visual design practice, Painting With Light (PWL), designed lighting and set for the recent Dutch and Belgian touring version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, working for producers Albert Verlinde Entertainment.
Peumans worked closely on the lighting design with PWL’s Dimi Theuwissen, who was Executive Lighting Designer for this project.
They referenced the basic lighting and set design to the hit TV programme, recorded at the Crown Business Studios (CBS) in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands and noted for being a little bit different from the average glitzy ballroom replica setting.
Keeping some essential elements of dancehall like staircases and double decking stage set, this design adds a flourish of proto industrialism with the incorporation of two large factory style fans, lots of metalwork and some innovative lighting ‘practicals’.
The format of the show was similar to other ‘live’ variations of the programme – featuring a cast of the best and most popular dance teams from the previous season’s series.
It’s the fourth successive year that Painting With Light has been involved in lighting and set design for the Belgian / Dutch tour, adding its own touches of individuality and style.
“Winding bodies, uplifting beats and swirling dance moves” were among the inspirational triggers for the lighting, which was developed to be flexible and work whether the rig was flown or ground supported – depending on the venue.
The principal lighting kit comprised 26 x Martin MAC Auras, 18 x MAC Vipers and 18 x Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s for the moving lights, all located on overhead trusses.
There were also 18 x ETC Source Four profiles for key lighting and specials, plus some 2K fresnels, with 24 LEDPARs dotted around, used for lighting the stage, set and the main fan at the back.
Twenty-five Active Sunstrips were incorporated into the stair fronts, and five striking large industrial pendant lights were flown from above.
Two Robert Juliat Aramis 2.5K followspots were positioned out front.
The music was played by a DJ, with the front of the DJ booth clad by two 65 inch plasma screens on which each couples’ names were displayed as they took to the stage.
The graphics for this were stored on a Coolux Pandora’s Box media server supplied to the production by Painting With Light, which was triggered from the grandMA2 light lighting console.
The grandMA2 was programmed and operated by PWL’s Niels Huybrechts during production rehearsals and for the tour.
Due to the short time available for this process – one day of tech, a single run through and then the first show – Theuwissen filmed the tour choreography rehearsals in December and then undertook extensive pre-programming in PWL’s WYSIWYG visualisation suite.
This ensured that they were approaching show-ready mode by the time they were loading in to the Utrecht Music Theatre, ‘Vredenburg’.
With 45 different acts involved in the two hour show, most with their own choreographers and all needing to look unique and special, this was time well spent!
Delivering stunning looking shows in a short timescale is also something for which Painting With Light is renowned.
The tour’s production manager was Lykle Hemminga and it was produced by Brenda Vant Veer. The lighting equipment was delivered by Bemmell Netherlands based Rent-All.