COLOGNE, GERMANY – The television program Let’s Dance has been a perennial fan favourite throughout Germany. Now in its 11th year, the show, which features 14 celebrities and their professional dance partners competing for a coveted trophy, has added even more colour and glamour to its presentation by expanding its lighting rig to include 12 CHAUVET Professional Maverick MK1 Hybrid fixtures.
Lighting designer David Kreileman explained why he specified the 440W moving fixtures for the program: “For one thing, the price-performance ratio is remarkable, and that’s no exaggeration. A further factor is that the Maverick MK1 Hybrid that we are using on this set is unique and unbelievably versatile. Above all, I would single out the CMY colour mixing system, which is superior to fixed colour images.”
As a hybrid fixture with advanced optics, overlapping 8-facet and 4-facet prisms, a versatile gobo package, and wide zoom range in Spot or Wash mode, the Maverick MK1 Hybrid offers the versatility needed to keep up with the show’s diverse repertoire of dances.
“From the pure set design, we have to create a rather complex lighting design, as we have to provide lighting rich in variety for 13 episodes, each with up to 16 songs. To do this, we need a relatively large variety of lamps and functions to ensure the set always looks different,” said Tim Franken, the program’s Technical Director. “You cannot just copy the lighting programs of alternate songs. The hybrids, which unite multiple functions in a single fixture, are opening interesting new vistas for us. We are no longer tied to a classic spot, a classic wash and a classic beam in separate lamps, and therefore also separate positions, for each function.”
The versatility of the Maverick MK1 Hybrid makes it easier to reflect different emotions in light during the show. “We have what is called a ‘mood board’ showing what the various props – including the costumes – will look like,” said Udo Rath, the program’s Lighting Operator. “Here, the wishes of the director, such as ‘keep the lighting dark,’ are also expressed, along, perhaps, with preferences as to the colours to be used. Within these parameters we can act freely.”
Aside from its versatility, the Maverick MK1 Hybrid has the light quality that the show’s production demands. “Since we are producing for television, what is most important is that the lamps look good on camera,” said Franken. “The colours, colour values and the white have to look right. Furthermore, the image has to be right: that means the gobos have to be sharp and the beams in general create a good visual effect. And, of course, functionality, quality and reliability must be guaranteed. The lamps have to hold up for the full 15 weeks of the program.
“In practice, this means that the lamps on the set stay put,” he continued. “Somewhere in the middle of the season, we do a spot of maintenance in which all the fixtures are tested and cleaned, but apart from that they must function flawlessly all season long. It is for this reason that we had to discard certain lamps in the past. Then we have manufacturers, or, in our example, the new German distributors of CHAUVET Professional, coming to us and demonstrating their products.”
From the looks of the lighting designs created this season, the Maverick MK1 Hybrid is making all the right moves on Germany’s most popular dance program.