Driving up from Paris on A4, one of the first things the visitor sees upon entering this ancient city is the Manège de Reims with its distinctive 16-sided polygon circus. Completed in 1867, the beautifully balanced stone building is more than a captivating national landmark, it is also a bustling hub of cultural activity, serving the community by hosting theatrical performances, dance recitals, concerts and other events, including circuses, for which it was originally built.
Supporting the diverse mix of productions at the popular facility is a versatile lighting rig that features a collection of CHAUVET Professional projectors supplied and installed by Avant-Scènes. Working with Cédric Barbillat, lighting director of the Manège de Reims, who decided upon the specific fixtures, the Avant-Scènes team outfitted the 1,000-seat facility with 16 COLORado 2 Quad Zoom, six Maverick MK1 Spot, and 10 Maverick MK2 Wash units.
Although these projectors are intended to be moved around to meet the very varied needs of Manège de Reims, they are most often positioned on the circus’ grill to provide maximum coverage and flexibility.
“Now it is possible to create lighting plans with many more possibilities than traditional halogen projectors, with almost no constraints,” said Benjamin Labourot, Director of Avant-Scènes. “The interesting part of this project was to find a product that could correspond to almost every possible configuration of a Circus installation, and yet be able to host all kinds of shows, such as music, theatre, modern and dance. Finding such an ‘all-purpose’ projector with fairly precise criteria was not easy, but we did!”
The combination of compact size and powerful make the Maverick units particularly well-suited to meet the challenge of lighting the myriad productions at Manège de Reims.
“We wanted a projector with a luminous flux powerful enough to illuminate at a height of 14m, while at the same time being able to have a tight enough beam,” said Labourot. “The Mavericks meet these criteria in general. Also, they are compact enough to be moved around the facility regularly and rugged enough to stand up to this use.”
When lockdown restrictions are lifted, Manège de Reims will again be hosting a vast array of performances to suit virtually every taste. Fans who come to the enchanting landmark will marvel at its distinct beauty. They’ll also enjoy shows that are made all the more engrossing by a lighting system that’s as versatile as this building itself.