When Jussi Kaatrasalo, technical producer at the southern Finnish theater of Kerava-Sali, first saw the new
ETC Source Four® LED Series 2 luminaires
a few months ago, he was so impressed that not only did he want them for his theater, he also wanted to tell his peers about them, too.
"I was astonished at how powerful and versatile they can be," he says. "We'd been looking for new LED fixtures for the theater for a while to upgrade our rig, and with the launch of the Series 2, I realized we'd found a fixture that would be good enough for us to use."
Instead of Kaatrasalo just wanting to add 10 to the rig - along with another 10 of the previous generation Series 1 luminaire - he and Luke Delwiche, ETC field project coordinator for Northern Europe, decided to hold a workshop for lighting professionals. And so in February, some 30 lighting designers, directors, operators and programmers visited Kerava-Sali, where Kaatrasalo and Delwiche were able to introduce their audience to the concept of lighting with LED. Tapio Järvinen from local ETC distributor Studiotec assisted, taking care of a lot of the logistics and providing equipment, such as consoles and power control.
Delwiche comments: "Despite Finland being home to some of the biggest tech giants - Nokia was born there - the lighting community tends to be fairly conservative. So rather than simply giving our audience a sales pitch, we wanted to talk about the fixtures and show them in action, in order for people to see that they're right for their theater or venue. Kuopio City Theatre's technical manager, Juha Westman, presented a case study about the recent renovations at his venue, and I talked about how power control of LED fixtures works."
In a separate session, Janne Auvinen from Logomo spoke about the new Logomo multipurpose hall in southwest Finland, and explained how other multipurpose venues have gone wrong. Kaatrasalo also discussed the use of LEDs for the new show at Kerava-Sali,
), produced by the Keski-Uusimaa Theatre (KUT), a performance that delegates were invited to at the end of the day.
tells the story of a rebellion in a nursing home, and is lit by a rig including 10 ETC Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr® luminaires. "The show has been a lot of fun to work on," says Kaatrasalo, "because many performances have been sold out, having received some great reviews."
In addition to stage productions - including theater shows, dance and concerts - the theater also hosts educational programs, so visiting students are now able to get familiar with LED luminaires. "The teachers have been both interested and surprised," says Kaatrasalo. "The amount of light that we get from the fixtures is excellent, and dimming and color also meet our expectations. The fixtures provide everything we need."
Kaatrasalo concludes by pointing out that everyone at the theater - actors and audiences - have been really happy with the new fixtures. At the beginning of the day, delegates were wondering how LEDs might work for them; by the end of the day, says Delwiche, "many were declaring themselves converts." One lighting professional, who saw the show after visiting the LED workshop, said that if he hadn't already been told that some of the fixtures were LED, he'd never have realized.
To learn more about the show and to see the lighting in action, view the video at
Photos © Tapio Jarvinen