Nouvelles Pièces Courtes is a collection of short contemporary dance pieces, created in May 2017 by world-renowned French choreographer Philippe Decouflé and his Compagnie DCA.
Each piece tells a different story, which in turn calls for a very separate visual identity to each work. “My interest in the short form comes to me via rock’n roll: short, efficient tracks gaining in power what they lose in duration,” says Philippe Decouflé. “For me this system works well for dance, where the composition is often more poetic than narrative, where the format needs to be adapted to its subject, to go through different worlds in the same programme and take the pleasure to get lost.”
Lighting designer Begoña Garcia-Navas used Robert Juliat fixtures to complement each different dance piece through her use of lighting, choosing 20 Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Cyclight LED batten fixtures to light the massive cyclorama backdrop, and Robert Juliat profiles, including 613SX, 614SX, 713SX and 714SX fixtures, as conventional lighting. Garcia-Navas also specified three RJ followspots, with the models changing according to which venues the company visits. “In France, we use Robert Juliat equipment enormously,” she says. “They are so reliable, ergonomic and practical, and the light rendering is of good quality.”
For Nouvelles Pièces Courtes, Begoña Garcia-Navas positioned ten Dalis 860 Cyclight LED battens in the grid and a further ten at stage level, with a minimum distance from the back wall of 40/50cm depending on available space at each venue. From these positions, the Dalis were able to cover the 6.5m tall drop with smooth, even colour.
Begoña Garcia-Navas says her inspiration for the cyclorama ambience came from the paintings of Mark Rothko, from which she developed a theme based on two-coloured backgrounds. Using the Dalis fixtures, she created a series of dramatic imagery with the dancers’ bodies framed as stunning silhouettes, formed by the use of strong backlight, against perfectly smooth colours that range from pastel to saturated, solid or graduated.
She selected her Dalis fixtures carefully after trying out several options. “Initially we used some architectural LED fixtures, and then tried around 60 tungsten fixtures with colour gel filters, but I was not satisfied with the result,” says Begoña. “I decided to compare some LED battens and, over several tests, was finally convinced that the Robert Juliat Dalis was the one I wanted.
“Everything about Dalis – the colour quality, smoothing, gradation and colour blends – was by far the best on the list of fixtures we compared. But while the colour possibilities are a great advantage, the determining factor for me in making my final choice was Dalis’s power and brightness.”
Lahlou Benamirouche, technical director for Compagnie DCA, is also very enthusiastic about Dalis: “All the operators are convinced by Dalis and recognise the extreme quality of these luminaires,” he confirms. “Dalis are totally trustworthy and reliable. I’ve been using them for the past two years, and I recommend Dalis to every other Technical Manager I meet – I am probably the perfect flagship for it as I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
Nouvelles Pièces Courtes toured France throughout 2017 before returning to the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Paris in April 2018. The production is currently in Japan, where the Robert Juliat equipment has been supplied by Robert Juliat’s distributor, Sogo Butai, overseen by Kohei Nishida. The tour started at the Saitama Arts Theater before moving to the Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center and Biwako Hall, from where Nouvelles Pièces Courtes will travel to Brazil and Russia later this year.
For more information on the Robert Juliat Dalis family (Cyclight, Footlight and Washlight), visit the Robert Juliat website: www.robertjuliat.com