These were among several other Robe moving lights in a rig that was specified by Talib Alsouri from end clients, the Abu Dhabi Association for Culture & Heritage (ADACH), who is also the technical manager for the Al Raha Theatre. The Robes were incorporated into a lighting design by Sono AB from V Design.
Prince of Poets - this was the 4th series - has become a phenomenon in the Arab world. It is produced by Pyramedia and aims to promote and enhance classical Arabic poetry, reviving its positive role as a medium of expression, discovering young talent and offering them the chance to develop and grow.
For last year's Prince of Poets event, Sonu worked as the programmer and operator with German LD Harvey Scherer, and this year, Pyramedia brought him in to design the lighting rig.
ADACH also own the lighting equipment that was utilised for the show, and have been investing steadily in Robe over the last 18 months. Talib Alsouri explains, "I first saw the CitySkape 48s that we used on this show at the PALME Dubai show last year and was impressed with the quality and brightness of the light output". The purchase followed a short while later, at the same time buying some ColorBeam 2500E ATs.
As soon as the ROBIN LEDWash 600 was available, Robe's Middle Eastern Regional Sales Manager Elie Battah demonstrated them to Alsouri who thought they were "An amazing fixture". Knowing the reliability of the brand from his previous purchases, Alsouri placed his order for 24 units.
These were all supplied via Robe's Middle East sales office and Alsouri intends to purchase more Robe fixtures each time another large show comes up which is serviced by ADACH, as it is considerably more cost effective than renting.
Sonu's starting point for the Prince of Poets lighting design was Christopher George's elaborate set, which was heavily architectural, featuring multiple arches, columns and staircases, and to ensure that director Mohamed Atef had all his camera shots well lit.
The lighting rig consisted of 48 x Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, 24 x ROBIN LEDWash 600s, 6 x ROBIN 600 Beams, 12 x ColorWash 750 Tungstens and 32 x CitySkape 48 LED fixtures. They were positioned above the stage utilising the theatre's flying system, and on the deck, where they were used to illuminate some of the decorative elements and served as wall washers and back lights.
Lighting the pillars of the set was one of the most important aspects of the design as these detailed and showcased the different heights and multiple layers of the space. They varied between 2 and 7 metres tall, and the CitySkapes proved ideal for this task.
The LEDWash 600s were used on the floor to wash the walls and other set pieces and also to provide nice eye-candy for the cameras.
The main rig contained all the ColorSpot 700E ATs and ColorWash 750 Tungstens, and these were used to provide mood change, movement and for stage specials. The ROBIN 600 Beams were located behind the set, used for blasting powerful shafts of light through for specific cues and specials.
Sonu has used Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 700s before, but it was the first time he'd used CitySkapes, ROBIN 600 Beams and the new LEDWash 600s, all of which impressed him greatly.
He used the LEDWash 600s for different effects including the creation of "funky" colour ripples, and liked their fast on the movement and quick response time.
The CitySkapes he also loved for their small, neat size, superlative brightness and extensive colour range, and he thought the rotating gobos on the ColorBeams were cool.
The Robe lights used for the show are owned by ADACH. A large investment was made last year as a cost effective solution to service their ongoing events, which include several TV productions. The ROBIN LEDWash 600s were recently added to the inventory as a 'must have' LED wash moving light, delivered via Robe Middle East, and arriving just in time to go onto the Prince Of Poets series.
The Prince of Poets Festival is the first project that promotes the cultural and historical value of classical Arabic poetry to a mass audience, connecting poetry to the pulse of the community.
Yemeni poet Abdul Aziz Al Zaraei was crowned the 2011 "Prince of Poets" by Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed, following a thrilling 5 contestant finale.