Vari*Lite’s Assist To Make Michael Jackson Immortal
Posted on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour™ is an electrifying production that combines Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture.
Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael Jackson’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.
Lighting designer Martin Labrecque was required to design a rig that provided a decent amount of front and side light, as sometimes the stage can have forty-nine people on it, and that could also compete with the extensive use of LED video screens.
Another challenge was weight allowance with the space above the performance area already crammed with video walls, scenic elements and acrobatic machinery.
Originally Labrecque planned to use all VL3500 Wash and VL3000 Spot fixtures but was advised that he needed to scale back considerably due to weight restrictions. Rather than cut back the amount of fixtures, he turned to some of Vari-Lite’s newer and lighter fixtures with forty VLX LED Washes and sixty-five VL880 Spots now making up the majority of the overhead rig.
“They decided to go with those Vari-Lite fixtures because they are lighter, the rig was so massive already,” added Eric Belanger, Lighting Board Op and touring Lighting Director. “The VLX’s wash the stage whilst ten of the smaller VLX3 Wash are located on the downstage edge of the band riser where their low angle and close proximity allows them to cut through the stage washes. The VLX has a great zoom and colour mix.”
Cirque du Soleil Scream Cirque du Soleil Thriller
The Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour™ was the first tour ever to use the compact and economical VL880 and so Vari-Lite had an army of technician’s onsite for production rehearsals to ensure all went smoothly and to take onboard feedback from the Cirque lighting department.
“We worked closely with Vari-Lite to end up with the product that we have today,” commented Eric. “The VL880’s are small, have great optics, and amazing punch. They complement the VLX Wash very well.”
Twenty-four VL3500 and twenty-seven VL3000 are retained deployed around the deck and on upstage vertical trusses hung in-between the video walls.
“The 3500 Wash FX on the back helps to create the really big looks as well as some great eye candy,” said Eric. “We love them – they’re big, bright and pretty reliable. The VL3000’s are used mainly for key and side lighting.”
A total of 162 Chroma-Q Color Block 2 are used as shin-busters all around the edges of the floor.