Light Ballet was held June 13-20, 2021, as part of Brightening Air Coiscéim Coiligh, a ten-day national season of arts experiences offered by the Arts Council of Ireland. Produced by Culture Works, Light Ballet transformed the skies and surrounding landscape of eight counties, with a light installation that floated down the River Shannon for eight days, traveling almost 200 kilometers. Thanks to the pioneering lighting technology of the luminaires Claypaky Sharpy Plus Aqua, the Light Ballet was prepared to face the natural elements of the River Shannon and was visible up to seven kilometers away.
Created by Irish light artist Mick Murray and lighting designer Matthew Cregan of Light Sculptors, the installation was accompanied by a soundscape composed by David Kitt. The light show and soundscape were synchronized in real time, allowing audiences to experience sound at home, in the surrounding lands or in the places in between via their phones, tablets or computers. The soundscape was accessible to the public through the Culture Works and Brightening Air website beginning June 13. The works of art ran on a seven-minute cycle for four hours each night, starting at sunset, and the full cycle of the show could be seen at any point along the route.
Artist Mick explains that: “In the design process we had to make the light installation work and be visible from all points of view. When we did the test programming with the luminaires, we were very impressed with the result. Once we brought the luminaires to the ship, the slightly humid air from the lakes and rivers turned the beams of light into beautiful columns of light. We were pleasantly surprised by the presence of all the views and compositions, and that the light beams could be seen from all directions, even if they were tilted the other way. That made us change things in programming and design to encompass more of the total on-air presence. "
The luminaire Claypaky SHARPY PLUS AQUA is a weather resistant moving head (IP66 rated), perfect for outdoor events, tours, permanent installations, cruises, and many other applications. The Sharpy Plus Aqua luminaire set for the Light Ballet installation was provided by a British rental company.
As part of the design process, Mick and Matthew engaged with the schools and gave them a worksheet so they could help create the looks. Mick and Matthew included these looks in the programming and final design. They also gave them a color palette to work with, which they knew would be strong in any light. "We have been very surprised by the rich colors of the lights and the beautiful pastels" - says Mick. "Even with the color, the beams were still visible from many miles away as the Light Ballet cruised the river at night."
«The beam of light is beautiful. We use it with a tight focus and the central hot spot together with the sharp and clear edge, make the beams very present in outdoor conditions. Having used super sharpys in the past, we were not disappointed by the smaller size of the lamp. They are fantastic luminaires for outdoor work. I really like the wdmx built into the Sharpy Plus Aqua, it's one less thing to worry about in a humid environment. So you just need energy and that's it.
Mick is really satisfied with the reliability of the equipment: “We traveled with the moving heads as a crew on the ship for 8 days. We had a pretty tight schedule to perform operational tasks related to navigating the ship in the dark on the river, as well as live streaming from the ship and sending the content back to base. It was very good and important that we could trust these devices to work. They are sturdy devices, with an aluminum body and head, without flimsy plastic parts. I think they are true workhorses for rental companies, as they can be outside at a concert and then join an indoor team when needed.
The Sharpy Plus Acqua by Clay Paky, of which Stonex is a distributor in Spain together with other premium brands of stage lighting and professional control, is a robust and reliable luminaire, with excellent performance in all indoor and outdoor conditions, and with a beam of light and high-quality colors like those offered by the rest of the luminaires in the Sharpy family.