NEW YORK – Getting into Mamajuana isn’t always easy. On week nights the upscale club is packed with New Yorkers dancing to the hottest Hip-Hop, Top 40, Bachata and Salsa music. On weekends it may be an international Latin star like acclaimed Bachata artist Raulin Rodriguez who’s packing them in. Still, the owners of the popular club did not want to rest on their laurels, so they revamped Mamajuana’s look recently, giving the chic nightspot a new color palette, not with paint, but with the Legend 412 LED moving head from CHAUVET Professional.
“Essentially, we have ‘re-colorized’ the club,” said LD Jason Ayala of Jason Blends (New York). “We went away from the traditional heavy club colors that were used before, to more elegant purples, cyans and blues. These more rounded colors better complemented the carved wood architectural elements that a very talented designer, Andre Rodriguez, added to the club to create an upscale look. The idea was to use color to foster an environment that makes people feel like they’re someplace special when they enter Mamajuana.”
The color creating capabilities of the Legend 412 were essential to helping Ayala accomplish his design vision for the club. A compact, but high output moving head fixture with 12 10-watt RGBW LEDs that can be controlled in quadrants, the Legend 412 features white emitters for enhanced color rendering.
“Without a doubt, the Legend is my go-to light for color washing, because the quality of its colors is so spot-on,” said Ayala. “When you want something like Congo Blue, not all lights in this price range – or even in higher ranges — will get it right, but the Legend does; its colors are very rich.”
Ayala positioned 12 Legend 412 fixtures along two 20-foot I-Beams (six on each) that run along either side of the Mamajuana dance floor. On nights when there isn’t a concert, six additional Legend 412 fixtures will also flood the dance floor. “We like to bathe the floor with very rich colors using a GrandMA to program some dynamic shows. We rely on the intensity of our color beams to touch the crowd without using patterns or gobos. The dance floor is so packed, no one will see any of the patterns you create, so it’s all about the colors and intensity of the beams.”
On nights when there is a concert performance at Mamajuana, the six Legend fixtures on the back set take on a new role as stage washes. Ayala breaks up these fixtures with four CHAUVET Professional Q-Spot LED moving head spots. “We use the Legends for wash and the Q-Spots for movement and texture,” he explained. “Since the floor is so packed with people, we shoot the gobos in the air and rely on haze from the CHAUVET Arena Hazer 2 to create a lot of textured effects above eye level.”
Although Ayala gave Mamajuana a new color palette and new look, there were some fixtures that he was able to carry over from the previous lighting design. “The DJ booth had COLORtube 3.0 EQ fixtures (from CHAUVET Professional) that the owners really liked, and were sorry to see go in the new design,” he recalled. “However, we were able to re-use them in a very innovative way, which not only saved the owners money, but gave the DJ booth a very unique look.”
Ayala had the club designer create a customized wood frame for the DJ booth with inlays to hold the COLORtube 3.0 EQ fixtures. He created two horizontal center rows of 10 tubes each and two side rows each holding six tubes. Using the COLORtube 3.0 EQ’s linear chase and real-time music visualizer effects, he’s able to create stunning scenes that match the DJs’ performances.
“We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the DJ booth, which just goes to show how you can reach people when you use lights in new ways,” he said. Indeed, his entire Mamajuana project is a colorful testament to the wisdom behind that observation.
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