Avolites Diamond 4 Elite goes Bollywood!

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

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An Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console is currently touring Australia with the theatrical dance spectacular, The Merchants of Bollywood. Hitting Australian shores after its sell out international tour in London, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Geneva, The Merchants of Bollywood have landed at the Gold Coast’s Jupiters Casino for a 16 week run.

The Merchants of Bollywood extravaganza charts the history of the world’s largest and most prolific film industry, and a dynasty of stars that have lit its way over generations. This fictional story, based on real life, reveals to Western audiences the workings of cinema and the part it plays in the heart and soul of Indian society in an extraordinary evening of music and dance. 

UK based lighting designer, Benedick Miller, has worked on The Merchants of Bollywood since December, taking over from original LD Liz Berry, and has completely reworked the programming on the road. Miller has been in the industry for over 25 years and has used a variety of Avo control throughout his career, from the Pearl Sapphire way back to the QM500 – which he wishes they still made!

He operates The Merchants mix of theatre elements and pure Bollywood Rock’n’Roll very much hands on, with 500 button presses per show – not including all the preloaded chases! Miller states “The Diamond 4 is a workhorse” and claims that the desk is especially suited to creating the big, bold, and colorful looks which are essential for The Merchants musical numbers. 

The D4 is controlling a combination of fixtures from Martin, High End, Robe, and Le Maitre. The gear for the Gold Coast production is a combination of items from Jupiters Casino’s inventory and also items supplied from Chameleon Touring Systems Brisbane, including the Diamond 4.

From a design perspective, Miller has two distinct elements within the production that he must program for. The first is the standard theatre sections of the show, which involve direct delivery of dialogue to the audience. During these sections the emphasis of the lighting is on the actors, and the look is clean and simple.

The more dynamic parts of the show are during the musical numbers which involve a lot of movement and color. Miller has spent considerable time studying traditional Bollywood movies, to create authentic looks and has come up with a combination of big bold patterns and strong powerful colors. He also paid particular attention to the costuming, taking costume changes as cues for the lighting, so as to enhance and compliment this essential element of the production.