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Claypaky Sharpy Plus Fixtures Exude Glamour on  Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese’s Australian Tour
Lighting Designer
Alex Goldberg
Photo Credits
header pic: Claire Alexander
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The ever-dazzling International Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese, returned to Australia with her most lavish touring show ever, “Glamonatrix.”  It was the first outing for Phaseshift Productions’ Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures, which are capable of being both a perfect beam light and a perfect spotlight. Dita’s Production Manager and Lighting Designer, Alex Goldberg, was thrilled to have the new fixtures at the beginning of her world tour.

In “Glamonatrix” fans were treated to a full evening of comedy and sophisticated striptease that celebrated diverse beauty.  Far from being a typical burlesque show, “Glamonatrix” elevates and modernizes the classic 1940’s variety show with both male and female forms glorified in a body-positive way that inspires and uplifts.

“This is the type of show that provides a lighting designer with the opportunity to be an active element in the presentation itself,” says Goldberg.  “Often, when you have one performer on stage the lighting becomes an essential part of the show that interacts with the dancers’ performances, keeps everyone looking glamorous, and transforms the entire atmosphere to create beautiful moments.  It’s important for me to help the audience focus clearly on the performer while sculpting a beautiful stage picture.”

Nine Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures helped Goldberg sculpt the stage and create a stunning environment, which impressed the lighting designer.

Sharpy Plus is a full-fledged hybrid light, with two independent operating modes, that weighs only 23 Kg. In Beam mode, its aerial effects stand out thanks to the unit’s extraordinary light output.  In Spot mode, its light is diffused more evenly allowing the projection of wonderfully uniform visual effects.

“Considering their form factor, their output is really remarkable,” Goldberg says.  “I think the gobo selection has been really well manicured and provides a variety of opportunities for lighting designers, whether they’re focused on air-light or a more conventional theatrical production. There are plenty of options for a variety of situations.”

Goldberg calls the two-prism selection “really cool – who doesn’t love to have more tools to play with?” He adds that, “the fact that you can combine them allows you to create some spectacular effects, not only as air-light but also projected onto a surface.”

He utilized that option when Dita performed her iconic martini glass routine, where he combined the animation wheel with the prism to create an incredible rainfall effect.

“I put in the animation wheel and radial prism wheel on a slow rotation combined with a rotating gobo, just off sharp, to get a really beautiful effect,” he explains.  “The Sharpy Plus delivers a beautiful, crisp parallel beam of white light that projects through absolutely everything and provides beautiful sculpting for a space.  The Beam Reducer on the static gobo wheel helps me achieve an intense, hot spot but with the exact diameter beam required to create the desired effect.”

Goldberg pushed the Beam mode during Dita’s Lipteese number, where she straddles a giant lipstick. “The Sharpy Plus really impressed me in Beam mode.  I used this effect in Lipteese to provide a hypnotic, pulsating field of tight, white beams that perfectly complemented the high energy of Dita’s performance.”

The compact size of the Sharpy Plus also helped Goldberg make the most of the tour’s limited truck space where every centimeter had to be considered.

“I hadn’t used Sharpy Plus before, but I am pleased with their performance and what they can pull off for the size of the fixture,” he reports.  “The amount of features that Claypaky has packed into a fixture this size is phenomenal: impressive zoom range, two animation wheels, a rotating gobo wheel, an indexing gobo wheel, and two prisms!  It’s an incredible feature set.”