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Clay Paky at the National Grand Theatre in Beijing
ACE (Advanced Communication Equipment)
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The National Centre for the Performing Art in Beijing, more commonly known as the National Grand Theatre, is one of the more futuristic theatres in the world; the icon and symbol of the new China and its outstanding economic growth.

The theatre was designed by the French architect Paul Andreu and was officially inaugurated in December 2007; it cost a remarkable $357,000,000, it covers an area of 200,000 square meters and can seat up to 6,500 spectators. Its most distinctive feature is the imposing titanium and glass structure, shaped like an egg (which has led to its nick-name “The Egg”), which is entirely surrounded by an artificial lake that reflects the whole magnificent facility.

The only entrance to the structure is through a tunnel that runs below water level. The interior has been divided into 3 main sectors: the Opera Hall, the Music Hall and the Theatre Hall, which will be called upon to entertain the most important theatrical, opera and musical shows from all over the world.

But the National Theatre is also evidence of to what extent European culture is admired and respected in the most populated country in the world: the architect is French, and the lighting system is Italian. Clay Paky is in fact present with over 200 products in the three main Halls, and with all types of fixtures: 98 Alpha Profile 1200, 90 Alpha Wash 1200 and 18 Alpha Spot 700. This wide range of fixtures reflects their choice to entrust the entire intelligent lighting system to the Italian firm, from the “spot” effects to the wash colours, and the endless applications provided by the patented professional framing system of the Alpha Profile 1200.

ACE (Advanced Communication Equipment) was appointed to install the Clay Paky products at the National Grand Theatre as, for many years now, it has been successfully distributing Clay Paky products on the Chinese market.  Bingo Tso, the owner of the firm comments: “It is a great honour for us to distribute the Clay Paky products in China: on a market where hundreds of small firms, which lack in experience and use low quality products, are cropping up from nowhere, we are delighted to be able to count on the experience and proven professional standards of our Italian partner.”

Originally, only the Theatre Hall was equipped with the Clay Paky ALPHA range. During a period of over two months’ rehearsals, many Lighting Designers were greatly impressed by the ALPHA products due to their excellent performances and high brightness output. In particular, the ALPHA products can be completely adjusted and perfectly combined with traditional lighting systems; something most important for some more conservative lighting designers.

The lighting designers were adamant in their demands and they insisted on using only top quality specialised lights like the ALPHA range for professional stage performances. The National Grand Theatre also installed ALPHA lights in the other halls after testing the ALPHA range in the Theatre Hall.

A world concerned Opening Ceremony was held for the National Grand Theatre on Dec.22, 2007. The National Grand Theatre had the Alpha 1200 lights along the entire entryway and main hall, which illuminated the whole Grand Theatre Hall, making the theatre extremely resplendent, magnificent and colorful. The opening ceremony broadcast live to the world declared the grand opening of this extraordinary venue.

The National Theatre is not the only theatre in China which has installed Clay Paky products: among the most important we can mention: TianQiao Theatre in Beijing, SongCheng Grand Theatre in Hangzhou, Dalian Theatre in Dairen, the Opera House and Oriental Art Center, both in Shanghai; all these building were either recently built or restructured, and emphasise the remarkable level of growth in the country.