The inauguration of Wroclaw’s term as European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2016 saw a truly spectacular live street performance and light show with over 400 Clay Paky fixtures directed by ECoC performance curator Chris Baldwin.
Announced as the winner in 2015 following eight years of preparation, Wroclaw has an ambitious programme of 400 projects and 1000 cultural events planned for the rest of the year.
Kicking off the proceedings was the opening ceremony ‘Awakening’. Baldwin’s complex and cleverly crafted design saw four different parade routes, around 5km each, simultaneously occurring throughout the city before meeting in its heart.
These represented awakening the four different elements of Wroclaw’s history – the Spirit of the Flood of 1997, the Spirit of Rebuilding following World War II, the Spirit of Many Faiths celebrating diversity and the Spirit of Innovation representing the city’s universities.
Lighting designers Sebastian Pachciarek and Bogumił Palewicz worked alongside Baldwin to specify the extensive Clay Paky package, which comprised 132 x A.leda B-EYE K20, 118 x Mythos, 108 x Alpha Spot 1500, 64 x SuperSharpy, 60 x Sharpy and 24 x Alpha Profile 1500, supplied by TRANSCOLOR, ATM and TSE. Prolight is the official Clay Paky distributor for Poland.
“I knew Clay Paky fixtures would be ideal for an event of this size with a lot of ground to cover,” says Pachciarek.
“The products are of a high quality and are packed with innovative features to help us create a plethora of different looks and environments.”
Pachciarek and Palewicz placed the Clay Paky fixtures at each stop along each route and in the city square which hosted the grand finale.
“We used the Clay Paky fixtures’ effects to add to the look and feel of each spirit’s theme along the route,” explains Pachciarek.
“The gobo ranges of the Alpha Spot 1500 in particular allowed us to project textures and graphics onto the buildings to create a backdrop to each show, whilst the sharp beams of the Mythos and SuperSharpy in a range of colours evoked fire and water and illuminated the entire length of the buildings.”
The designers also used the award-winning effects functionality of the B-EYE K20s to add to the drama and immersive environment of each stop.
“We were particularly impressed with the B-EYE as it had so many options,” says Pachciarek.
“This really helped as we were trying to squeeze numerous ideas and scenes into the short amount of time we had to set up in the city streets.
“The Clay Paky fixtures were also ideal for this event as they are low power consumption, meaning we could use more fixtures to create bigger looks and effects.”
‘Awakening’ was the second movement of the ‘Flow Quartet’ project created by Chris Baldwin. Preceded by ‘Mosty’ in June 2015, the ceremony will be followed by ‘Flow’ and the finale ‘Sky Web’ – the closing ceremony for the European Capital of Culture 2016.