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Water and Light at H2Hombre: Brave the Elements

Posted on October 1, 2014

Ordinarily visitors enter the Ziff Ballet Opera House at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center through an elegant lobby where they mingle and enjoy cocktails before taking their seats in the well-appointed theater. However, nothing about H2Hombre: Brave The Elements is ordinary. Guests who come to enjoy this unique show enter through the center’s loading dock, hang out in a utilitarian “Bubble Lounge,” and then go to an area that’s been transformed into an aquatic performance space. Here, they’ll lose themselves in an immersive experience of booming sounds and electronic music, stunning aerial effects and 6,000 gallons of water being sprayed from all sorts of places, even the bodies of performers – all accompanied by a brilliant and intense lightshow created with fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.

To say that nothing anywhere is quite like the H2Hombre: Brave The Elements show is as obvious as stating that New Year’s Eve at Times Square is not just another night in the city.  A mind-tingling fusion of sights and sounds, the event is part theater, part water park and part music festival with state of the art projection screens, 3D video mapping, monstrous inflatables and epic battles between heroes and mythical beasts that actively engage the audience.

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H2 Hombre: Brave The Elements is, in the words of its co-creator Argentinean director Pichón Baldinu, a “360 degree” experience that causes audiences to  “lose the sense of a horizon.” Or as Scott Shiller, executive vice president of the Adrienne Arsht Center described it: the show “takes place in front of you, behind you, and over your head.”

An intense and vivid lightshow is essential to pulling off the sensational illusion of H2 Hombre: Brave The Elements. This is precisely what Everlast Productions of Dania Beach, FL provided, using 70 COLORado 4 IP quad-color LED linear bars and a collection of 16 Q-Wash moving yoke LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional, controlled with a grandMA2 console and linked via DMX.

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“Lighting was obviously an important part of this show,” said David McCranie, technical director of Everlast Productions. “The creators of the program wanted the lighting to enhance the architectural aspect of the show and to unify all of the movements taking place on stage, as well as provide naturalistic colors to create the right setting for the storyline. The Chauvet fixtures did everything we asked of them and more in helping us accomplish this goal.”

The Everlast team arranged 26 COLORado 4 IP fixtures on the sides of the stage to bathe the area in a rich array of natural-looking colors.  A group of 24 of the COLORado fixtures was positioned beneath the stage to serve as intensely bright footlights. The remaining 20 COLORados were used as stage side lights and for special effects, while the Q-Wash moving fixtures were placed over the stage and linked with 5 pin DMX and PowerCON jumpers. (The COLORado units were linked using the supplied IP-rated connectors on the units and additional jumpers of the same type when needed.)

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Michael Matthews, lead lighting technician for the production, noted that the Chauvet fixtures performed reliably under the demanding (and very wet) conditions of H2 Hombre: Brave The Elements. “The fixtures have held up great,” he said. “Some of the COLORados were subjected to jets of water–jets coming from 15hp pumps — but they were rock solid along with the cabling.”

However, as McCranie points out, the Chauvet units were far more than simply reliable. “Obviously the IP66 rating of the COLORados was important,” he said. “But what really stood out for the creators of the show was the intensity of the light over long distances and the color. I know the LD really liked the narrow spread of the light over long distances.”

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For his part, Matthews praised the easy installation features of the Chauvet products. “The Q-Washes were absolutely fantastic to install,” he said. “Their weight made it easy for one person lift and maneuver them. This was a real benefit, given some of the challenges we had in lift access to the positions.  The COLORado 4’s were all easily mounted with supplied bracket and c-clamp on pipe.”

Apparently, the creators of H2 Hombre: Brave The Elements shared this enthusiasm for the Chauvet fixtures. “There are very exacting needs when you have an event of this nature with so many different elements coming together,” said McCranie. “Everyone associated with H2 Hombre was impressed with the fixtures’ performance. The lights came together with everything else to create a memorable experience for everyone who attended the event.”

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For more information on Everlast Productions visit www.everlastproductions.com.