NANTES, FRANCE – “We think of our creations as an invitation to dream,” Jean-Baptiste Duperray, founder and artistic director of La Compagnie des Quidams has said. This invitation was eagerly accepted recently by all who visited the historic Château des ducs de Bretagne on the banks of the Loire to see the talented street art group’s “Fiers à Cheval” performance. There, as the show’s large, self-lit inflatable horses floated in the air, flowing in harmony with metamorphic human artists, the imagination of spectators took flight.
Like all Compagnie des Quidams performances, “Fiers à Cheval” (Proud on Horseback) is an enchanting and colorful open air presentation, where music combines with the swirling, synchronized motions of humans and large (3.5m high by 2.5m wide) self-lit inflatables to transform any public spaces into a dream-like wonderland.
Enhancing the magic of the moment at the group’s Château des ducs de Bretagne performance was artful lighting design by Mathieu Simon and the team at Ecom Events that featured CHAUVET Professional fixtures.
“Our client wanted lighting that could fill a variety of roles,” said Simon. “We created different lighting atmospheres. There was the need for homogenous lighting throughout the event, scenic lighting on the grounds, and architectural lighting, all with a harmonious color scheme. The vision was to highlight the performance without distorting the elemental way it connects to people. To accomplish this required outdoor-ready wash lights with excellent color qualities.”
Among the fixtures chosen for the task were 12 COLORado Panel Q40 rectangular washes. Simon and his team, stage managers Tom and Jérôme, positioned these RGBW fixtures to form the top ark of a semi-circle on one side of the performance area. Connecting to that arc on either side were two perpendicular rows of WELL STX 360 battery-operated freestanding LED tube lights, each row being made up of six individual units.
Together the panel and tube fixtures, provide a richly textured blanket of color over the ground. Adding an element of soft light to the space were four onAir IP Panel 1 units mounted two-each on tripod truss stands.
The wall of the Château des ducs de Bretagne served at the base of his semi-circle and also the backdrop of the area where the outdoor performance took place. Endowing this wall/backdrop with vibrant colors that added to the impact of the performance was a collection of WELL Fit uplighters that ran along the base of the building. This installation was carried out in a very short time frame, thanks to the use of WDMX — all without any weather risks to the fixtures thanks to their IP65 rating.
“We wanted to create a scenic space that framed the space, but at the same time also made it feel like part of its surroundings,” said Simon. “We believed that this would make the visitor experience more engaging.” As daylight faded into dusk, and the players and inflatables entered into a field of colorful light at the iconic castle, his words were proven very true.