HSL supplied lighting design, equipment and crew for 4 live stages at the 2011 Move It exhibition in Olympia, London – the UK’s largest live dancing experience – working for Upperstreet Events – who organised and co-ordinated the exhibition.

The stages – Main, Freestyle, Arena & Flawless – were dotted all around Olympia, and a production lighting design for all of them was created by HSL’s project manager Dave Singleton. Singleton has designed this show before but this was his first time working for HSL who have been lighting equipment suppliers for the last 2 years.

One of the challenges they had to content with was the high daylight factor due to the venue’s arched glass roof, and the other was the very tight get in/rigging time.

For the load in HSL supplied 16 lighting techs, crew chief Simon “Piggy” Lynch and rigger Ian Stevens, plus 4 students from technical courses at the Brit School of Performing Arts who were on work experience. For the out they were joined by 14 local crew and rigger Steve Belfield.

Main Stage

Main stage was a 13.5 diameter circular construction, with a catwalk emanating from backstage area.

HSL installed a 20 metre square mother grid in the roof, below which were flown 3 circular trusses, decreasing in diameter and all at staggered heights – in a reverse wedding cake effect – which was the basis of the lighting rig.

Across all the circles were a selection of moving lights –  22 x Vari*Lite 3500 washes, 12 x V*L3500 Spots and 12 x Robe ColorBeam 700E ATs. Lining the edge of each circle were a total of 184 Chroma-Q ColorBlock DB4s. Twenty four ETC Source Four profiles were utilised for key light and 4 x drop bars spanned between each of the circles, each rigged with 3 x PixelLine LED battens and 3 x 2-lite moles.

On the floor 6 x lighting positions were used to cover the dancers in the round. Each position featured 2 x Robe ColorWash 750AT Tungstens and a Robe ColorBeam 700E AT.

For rear light upstage of the catwalk were 3 x Robe ROBIN 600 Washes on a truss that was ground supported on genie towers.

Lighting was programmed and operated by Simon Horn using a Chamsys MagicQ MQ100 Pro console with 2 x fader wings.

Each day saw different showcase performance every 30 minutes, amounting to about 200 different artists across the 3 days. The rig had to be very flexible to be able to cover the range of styles and genres of dance and to keep each show looking different and a bit unique. Two days pre-programming in HSL’s WYSIWYG suite in Blackburn proved invaluable due to the restricted get in and technical time available on site.

Arena Stage

This was used for the auditions and heats for Channel 4’s next series of Street Dance XXL Championships on the Saturday and Sunday of Move It, which were filmed during the exhibition for the forthcoming TV show.

The ‘Arena’ was a 12 x 6 metre stage over which HSL rigged a 15 metre wide by 10 metre deep ground support structure on 8 metre legs, complete with 2 x 10 metre drape wings to the stage right and left sides.

The lighting fixtures were all Robe ROBIN 600 Spots & Washes – which were the ideal size for the environment and well bright enough to contend with the high ambient light levels.

Twelve ROBIN 600 Washes and 8 x 600 ROBIN Spots were joined by 12 of the amazing new ROBIN LEDWash 600s. The LEDWash 600s were specifically requested due to their ability to make pure whites in a range of colour temperatures from 2700 – 8000°K, which makes them an ideal fixture for anything being filmed. On the floor were 6 x ROBIN 600 Spots.

All the lighting on the Arena stage was used highly effectively to create plenty of zappy, pulsey and beamy TV ‘eye candy’ looks.

Mark Jones was the operator using an Avolites D4 console.

Freestyle stage

Right in the centre of the action, this 6 x 6 metre stage was sponsored by Moaom sweets. The whole idea was that aspiring dance performers could show up with their mobile music device/soundtrack and sign up to perform as part of a competition – so freestyle in every sense of the word.

Lighting was run by Iain Keightley using another MagicQ MQ100, and on the rig were 8 x Robe ROBIN 600 Spots and 8 x ROBIN 600 Washes, together with a pair of Robe DigitalSpot 7000DTs, used for sponsor branding and logos as well as very eye-catching patterning and texturing over the dancefloor. They again needed a powerful lightsource to cut through the daylight, and the DigitalSpots were an ideal solution.

Flawless ‘Chase the Dream’ Stage

The ‘Chase the Dream’ stage saw Britain’s Got Talent and StreetDance 3D stars Flawless and their management team become the judges of potential new dance talent, who signed up to perform their 1 minute pieces.

HSL built a scaffolding frame structure behind the stage that held 8 PixelLines and 6 x GLP Impression 120 RZ Zooms. Across the floor, they positioned 5 x Robe REDWash 3●192s used for creating fabulous low level colour streaks and patterns on the deck.

Mark Jones programmed the Avolites Pearl Tiger console, which was then operated by one of the stage’s organisational team.

Also …

In addition to lighting the 4 stages, HSL supplied Robe ROBIN 300 Spots for corporate sponsor branding in 2 of the classrooms, and 4 of the larger classrooms were jazzed up, each with the addition of 6 GDS wireless LED up-lighters for a bit of pizzazz.

The first load in day was Wednesday, during which HSL – with some tight coordination – installed everything except for Arena stage ground support. On the Thursday afternoon the exhibition had a trade day, so this window was used to build the ground support and rig the Arena Stage lighting.

HSL supplied the 79 points of rigging to facilitate their 4 stages, including motors and rigging for the audio systems on all stages.

For another section of the show, Dave Singleton designed a 50 m semi circular drape to cover the window above the main stage, which was suspended on 4 additional points.

The load out was truly spectacular – with the whole lot was out in 5 hours – and packed into 4 trucks heading back to Blackburn! That’s what’s called Moving It in Style!


Date of issue : 19th March 2011.


For more press info on the HSL Group, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email louise@loosplat.com.

Contact HSL direct on +44 (0)1254 698808, ‘info@hslgroup.com’ or check www.hslproductions.com

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