Everyone in Russia knows about Doka Media. This dynamic and market-driven company sells and installs professional lighting and audio products as well as suspension systems for theatres, concerts, TV studios, clubs, restaurants and arts and entertainment venues. With the help of its partner Clay Paky, Doka had another exceptional year in 2006, marked by stronger brand positioning and the achievement of sales targets. The “Doka” brand celebrated its 20th anniversary in the best possible way, with one of the highest turnovers among Clay Paky’s distributors at the end of 2006.
DOKA, 20 DAZZLING YEARS
The Science and Technology Creativity Centre for Youths (CNTTM) “DOKA” (a non-governmental company established to develop the creativity of youths and working in the electronics, software and biotechnology sectors) was founded on 6 May 1987 in Zelenograd, just 40 km away from Moscow. Russia was just beginning to open up to the west, so it was a great opportunity for this fledgling company to take its first steps in a completely new market with everything to go for.
In 1989-1990 the Centre reorientated its interests towards the development of professional lighting equipment and this soon became the leading sector for the company (a lighting department was established). DOKA began to implement a long-term plan which involved the manufacturing and distribution of different types of high-performance lighting equipment (lighting systems and light arrays). The innovative design at that time was the repetition work of the DL-80-01 complex, which was conceived and constructed like the universal equipment setups used on show-programs. Central TV was the first client to use this setup. This was followed by the TV programs “A Song of the Year” and ”Program A”.
In 1992 DOKA started to distribute and import equipment.
Doka got together with Clay Paky three years later in 1994. It was a fantastic opportunity on both sides: Doka could finalize its plan to import and sell lighting projector technology from the west, especially Italy, renowned for progress in this field, while Clay Paky could explore a huge market full of opportunities just one year after fall of the Berlin wall.
In 1997, Doka became Doka Media Ltd and began to focus more on specific markets, unlike other companies that tended to take a “safer”, more general route. Doka invested all its human and industrial resources in developing technologies for more professional settings, specializing in the distribution, production and installation of lighting equipment. “We noticed we had made the right move when we kept growing with our clients. Technical and artistic design became one and projects were becoming more and more complex, so we got together with experts in the industry to satisfy the needs of our clients” – says Alexander Fokichev, Director of Lighting Projects.
In tribute to the success of the first series of “moving body” projectors designed by Clay Paky, which revolutionized the concept of theatre lighting in Russia, Doka changed its slogan from “Doka on line of the Light” to “Doka on the Stage Line”.
Twenty years on from its founding, Doka is still an undisputed leader in its field. Not only does it sell high quality products but also offers a comprehensive range of services: design, development, delivery, installation, training and technical support. The company has 60 members of staff and a permanent stock of projectors and spare parts. It guarantees customer service and product warranties either directly or through 60 dealers in 20 regions of the Russian Federation, as well as a number of sales partners. Doka opened a technically and commercially independent branch in St. Petersburg in 2003.
“Our partnership with Clay Paky has been thriving for years. Unlike other local distributors that sell a variety of different brands, we have chosen to distribute only top quality products. Clay Paky is our only contact for moving projector units” – says Alexander Fokichev with pride.
Doka Media decided to expand even further in 2006 by building on its leadership position and entering new markets. Alberico D’Amato, sales manager for Clay Paky and manager of the Russian market, tells us that in 2006 sales in Russia were three times more than the year before. This wasn’t a one-off success but the outcome of several factors: Russia was experiencing an economic boom which led the government to invest considerably in modernizing professional sectors, but what is more important, Doka carried out intensive preliminary work (exhibitions, seminars, etc), while Clay Paky and Doka’s joint sales and marketing policies proved to be invincible.
“We took part in the Music Moscow fair with Doka with a huge Clay Paky stand” – says Alberico D’Amato. “Doka has recently invested most of its resources in our brand, as the quality of our products and the excellence and competitiveness of the Alpha line are unbeatable. We have organized seminars for Lighting Designers, Stage Designers, Production Managers and dealers and demos for the country’s most important rentals. We have also invited groups of “special” clients to visit Clay Paky accompanied by Doka and begun working with a number of theatre and television lighting designers”.
“A first-rate marketing policy is fundamental when working in such a large country and varied market”, adds Fokichev. “The seminars organized by DOKA are special events, (a seminar – is not something special but those organized by DOKA differ quite substantially from the standard events)and we get people coming from all over Russia”.
Doka often finds itself working in other fields: in 2005, for example, it collaborated with Lighting Designers Damir Ismagilov and Elena Drevaleva to create the book “Theatrical Light”, a best-seller in this field.
Fokichev knows the secret to establishing a long-term relationship with a client: “Professionals need an expert and reliable source to turn to. They also need to know the quality of our products and the efficiency of our service. It is the network of professional contacts that wins them over”.
Doka’s core market is undoubtedly the theatre. It has already left its mark in all the most prestigious theatres throughout the country using Clay Paky material: the Bolshoi Theatre, Pushkin Drama theatre, Kazantseva and Roshina Drama Centre, Luna theatre, Sovremennik theatre, Satirikon theatre, in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theatre and Alexandrinsky theatre in St. Petersburg, Norilsk Drama Theatre, the Orenburg Theatre in the Ural region and the Novosibirsk Theatre in Siberia (the largest in Europe!), just to name a few. Theatre is the most important and most traditional form of entertainment in Russian culture, so lighting installations play a very central role.
“Our work in theatre has grown by the year” – explains Fokichev.
Doka’s sales in the theatre industry have doubled compared to last year’s figures. This isn’t something out of the blue but the conclusion of a series of activities that have been going on over the years.
“Clients usually call us for two things: either to know specifically about Clay Paky, as Doka is its distributor, or to ask Doka to create a lighting design. Both companies at the moment are interested in targeting the upper-end of the market, where clients prefer Clay Paky products and are certain of Doka’s professionalism”, says Alberico D’Amato.
Doka works alongside the lighting designers, they provide them with detailed information on the Alpha projectors, giving demonstrations and organizing visits to the factory. When planning specifications we ask for their advice, as they are the end users and they define what they need to have in their hands. This is the key to gaining their confidence and fidelity.
Bolshoi in Russian means “big”, which could describe the fame this theatre has acquired over the centuries. Founded in 1776 by Peter Urussov, the Bolshoi Theatre has been the site of many great operas composed by Mozart, Rossini and Auber, with productions by national and international theatre and ballet companies and orchestras (from La Scala in Milan to Opera in Paris).
The Bolshoi Theatre made a technological breakthrough in 2002. Motorized projectors entered the temple of world theatre for the first time ever when it added Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200 and CP Color 400 to its system of traditional theatre lights. The new products were first used in Khovanshchina by M. Mussorgsky.
After three years of high technology and great tradition, the Bolshoi Theatre closed down in 2005 for major renovation. Lighting Designer Damir Ismagilov was so impressed with Clay Paky’s products that he suggested adopting them exclusively in the lighting system. 60 Alpha Spot HPE 1200 and 140 CP Color models have already been delivered to the theatre and will be installed by Doka when it reopens in 2008. The next delivery will also include 58 Alpha Wash Halo and 50 CP Color 400 SH.
Founded in 1860 in St. Petersburg, the Mariinsky Theatre has also been called the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre (1860-circa 1920), the National Academy of Opera and Ballet (1920-1935) and the Kirov Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. It is one of the most prestigious theatres in Russia and its ballets and plays have had an enormous influence throughout the world.
Clay Paky products firstly appeared in Mariinsky theatre in 2001 at the performance of the ballet “Nutcracker”. In 2004 Mariinsky Theatre presented Richard Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” in three acts (The Valkyries, Siegfried, Twilight of the Gods), which has finally returned to the stage after over one hundred years. For this particular opera, 12Stage Color 1200, 4 Stage Zoom 1200and 2 Stage Profile Plus SV were used
A widescale demanding reconstruction programme is currently being implemented for the Mariinsky:
- The reconstruction of the historic old building. This is the so-called “Mariinka-1” (M1) project.
- The construction of the new building under the project management of Dominique Pierro “Mariinka-2” (M2)
- The construction of the modern multi-functional concert hall “Mariinka-3” (M3)
Alpha Wash 1200 and Alpha Spot HPE 1200 were supplied for the M-3. DOKA set the whole lighting system in this concert hall.
OTHER THEATRES IN RUSSIA
Doka’s success and Clay Paky’s professionalism are renowned not just in Russia’s two biggest cities. Only last year several installations were made in some of the country’s most important theatres.
The Novosibirsk State Academy Theatre of Opera and Ballet is the largest theatre in Europe and stands in the heart of Siberia. Since 2003, Doka has helped rebuild this historical theatre which now has the most advanced computerized stage control system in Russia. A number of Clay Paky fixtures (21 Stage Zoom 1200 SV+ 34 Stage Color 1200 SV +14 CP Color) were installed there to complete this impressive project in November 2005.
The Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, second in fame to the Mariinsky, is a fine example of classical Russian architecture. About forty Alpha Spot HPE 1200 and CP Color 400 projectors were ordered by lighting designer Gleb Filshtinsky and installed by Doka last year.
A decree to discipline an asseveration for this theatre was signed by the empress Elizabeth Petrovna on 30th August, 1756. And on August 30th 2006 in the Russian State Academic Drama Theatre named after A.C. Pushkin (Alexandrinsky theatre) the celebration of its 250 anniversary started. The first very difficult stage of the theatre’s reconstruction and restoration had been completed by that date. Doka Media had responsibility for the design, equipment delivery, assembly, precommissioning and training of the staff. As a specialist said: now we have a new stage for The Alexandrinsky Theatre – one of the best not only in Russia, but also in Europe. A concept for the system production lighting that is unique for Russian theatres was offered by the lighting designer Gleb Filshtinsky. This is a free design, without any sofit space under the stage.The range of lighting equipment is huge.
Gleb Filshtinsky comments: “I have always used Clay Paky projectors, as they are definitely the best on the market. We were most impressed by Clay Paky’s first generation of moving body projectors, so we have just installed the new Alphas, which open up a whole new world of design possibilities. Much of the merit goes to Doka, which provided some invaluable technical support during design”.
The Orenburg Drama Theatre is one of the oldest and most beautiful theatres in Ural. Orenburg, is a city founded in the 18th century as a fortress town that protected the southeast border of Russia, and is now a large industrial centre with a population of half a million. The theatre was recently totally reconstructed.The complex reconstruction work involving the stage equipment – lighting and sound, television broadcasting, translation and communications facilities, the machinery and equipment was implemented by DOKA.
The lighting solution is progressive, with CP Colors and Alphas forming the basic arrangement.The initiative to install the series of intelligent lighting devices was based on a production lighting theatre system, conceived by an outstanding lighting designer – Damir Ismagilov. A soffit system that he proposed and is a combination of guided and controllable features.
The foundations of the ‘Smolniy Cathedral in Saint-Petersburg were laid following a command by the Empress Elisabeth Petrovna on the 30th October 1748. The construction work continued for about a century. The cathedral has unique acoustics. And very successful symphonic and chorus orchestra performances have been held inside the cathedral.
The honoured Russian artist Vitaliy Gordienko and the curator of the reconstruction work for ‘Smolniy’ Cathedral became a head director of the concert – showroom “the ‘Smolniy cathedral”. Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1200 and Alpha Wash 1200 have been used to provide the lighting decoration of the staging in ‘Smolniy Cathedral. ‘Smolniy Cathedral opened its doors to audiences on 17th February 2007after the restoration and reconstruction work. In the nearest future the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg assumes to purchase a number of Alphas.
The Academic Theatre of Comedy named after Akimov. On 9th September another Saint-Petersburg theatre began its 77th season after reconstruction work on the lighting system.The theatre’s range of floodlights increased due to large number of colour changer devices designed by Clay Paky CP Color..
DOKA ILLUMINATES “STARS ON ICE”
Over the last few years, Doka has branched into new markets other than theatre, where it reigns supreme. One of these is television, which in Russia has five networks, including a public one (with two channels) and four private ones.
“Our plan is to bring our products and professionalism into this industry, which requires expertise and relatively similar products to those used in the theatre. The distribution channels are obviously different though”, says Fokichev. “We have already seen some good results following demos organized for TV photography directors and interest in the renting business”.
The first sign of success was Stars on Ice. It is one of the most popular programs in Russia and has kept millions of viewers glued to their TV screens every Saturday night. Fun, lively and modern, the show hosts many stars from Russian show business and sport and is rated the most watched TV program in Russia in 2006.
Doka provided a lot of Alpha Spot HPE 1200 projectors to illuminate the program’s recording studios and ice rink. The show grasped the attention of specialized Russian magazines, like Light Design, one of the field’s best-sellers, which published a long feature about the program.
The show’s lighting designer, Mr Yuri Krasilnikov says: “We had changed the lights around a lot but weren’t satisfied.
Just as we were completing the project, we tried out Clay Paky’s projectors. They turned out to be ideal, as the HPE has lots of beautiful effects and an incredible light output. Because the performance of these products is so exceptional, we were able to revolutionize the concept of light design on ice”.
Other TV projects by Doka include VGTRK and TVTS (Moscow), TV studio Efir (Kazan) and “Surgut-Inform TV”.
Doka sells Clay Paky products to a number of rentals. One of the top ones, LightMaster in Moscow, has a hundred or so products including the new Alpha 1200. They intend to expand their equipment range and recently placed a new order for 30 Alpha Spot HPE 1200 with flight cases for a TV project.
“We offer rentals at least one demo a year. They govern the live show industry and much of the TV, so they are privileged clients for us. We are delighted to see so many people at our demos and proud that our products are so popular. The Alpha line also adapts perfectly to broadcasting requirements”, says Fokichev.
All leading rental companies have CP Colorprojectors among their top-rank equipment.
HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND CLUBS
The entertainment industry in Russia is flourishing at the moment. You can see new hotels, restaurants, cinemas, multi-media centres, bars and even nightclubs popping up all over the country. Unlike elsewhere in the world, business is booming here.
Many reputable venues have asked Doka to provide quality lights, Clay Paky being the first choice without a doubt.
The “Bear’s nook” Club – is part of a magnificent hotel complex in Surgut town. It is located on the bank of the large Siberian River – Ob. Surgut – the oil and gas development centre for the Northern Territory, and a major river port, with a large railway junction, and a modern and well equipped airport complex.
Doka was responsible for the design and technology.
12 Clay Paky Mini Scan HP3 and 6 12 Stage Color 300 AE lighting equipment create a unique daily holiday atmosphere.One of the owners of the complex – Ryabov Sergey said: “I am very pleased with the work implemented by Doka.We don’t have another similar club in our town. This is the best. In many respects this is because of the Clay Paky lighting fixtures. Their light creates a special mood. It’s very reliable. We have a particular climate: a severe winter and a short warm summer.These floodlights create a brighter and warmer atmosphere for us to live in.”
Restaurant SFERA is part of the Tower-2000 project in Moscow’s City Business Center. The interior features an offbeat design consisting of a complex intersection of shiny stainless steel, thick sheets of glass and luminous columns.
Top designers and lighting designers from all over the world lent their talent to the lighting design and replanned many aspects of the original project. Sixteen 1200 Watt Clay Paky moving body projectors were used for the project.
16 Clay Paky projectors (Alpha Spot 1200-4, Alpha Wash 1200-2, Miniscan HP3 – 8, were installed in the Impreza Club in Stavropol, in the south-west region of the Russian Republic. The club’s owner was looking for a top quality lighting system that could give the club a fresh new look compared to other entertainment venues in the area. Doka found the ideal solution in Clay Paky projectors and hung all the lighting fixtures on a model of the Eiffel Tower attached to the ceiling. The complex lighting system included 575W Spot and Alpha Wash, MiniScan HP3, Point MH, POINT IN, CP Color 400, V.I.P. 300 DIAandAtlas 575. The installation was achieved by the joint effort between DOKA Media and its dealer company in Stavropol -“Showtechnika”.
Doka has done other important designs for the “Most” clubs in the “Kristall” centre,“ Metelitsa”, “Moscow time”, B-2” (Moscow), “Hollywood Nights” (St Petersburg), the night club “Crazy” (Vladivistok), Djumandji (Saratov) and Zvezda (Samara).
Doka has maintained its lead in the Russian market by offering a reliable sales network, financial stability, renowned professionalism and high quality products.
Its extraordinary success over the last few years, especially in 2006, has motivated it to promote Clay Paky even more. Fokichev tells us that they are working on six new projects at the moment – in theatres and concert halls – and are using Clay Paky products in all of them. Deliveries are expected for mid 2007 and others for 2008.
“Doka is a solid and reliable partner and we look forward to aiming for even greater targets together in the near future. Our partnership is based not only on a professional relationship but also profound respect and friendship”, confides Alberico D’Amato. “I have always been welcomed with open arms on my trips to Russia. I always feel at home there. That’s also the secret to our success”.
You can see Doka’s latest installations on the Russian website (www.dokalight.ru)
DOKA Media: international licences
1) designing of structures /buildings and constructions,
2) building of structures including installation of manufacturing equipment, commissioning, functioning as general subcontractor,
3) reconstruction of cultural heritage objects
DOKA Media is the member of the Association of Lighting Designers.
In 2004 DOKA was the laureate of the 4th All-Russian contest “The best 1000 Russian companies and organizations – 2003” (Diploma #B-0044).
-from the governor of the Nobosibirskaya oblast
-from the governor of St Petersubrg