“K.I.nd of human” live theater show set in scene with ARRI lights

In a video interview, lighting designer Michael Heidinger explains how he used ARRI Orbiters and SkyPanels to illuminate a spectacular live show visualizing artificial intelligence in a completely new way.

Jan. 20, 2023

About the show

Today's world is heavily influenced by advanced technologies far beyond the scope of what mankind has been able to previously imagine. Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), humans are increasing the independence of machines. This new autonomy could potentially lead to machines making their own decisions in the future.

“K.I.nd of human” was a live stage performance at Munich’s Utopia theater in 2022, aiming to highlight the reflection of human life in AI and juxtaposing the traditions of chamber music with contemporary dance. The play was set to music by the well-known Arcis Saxophone Quartet and performed by four dancers.

The piece was divided into four basic parts, starting at birth and ending at death. The use of modern technology in the creation process was essential for lighting designer Michael Heidinger who used the latest LED technology to illuminate this project. He chose 16 ARRI Orbiters with Fresnel lenses and eight SkyPanels which proved to be the right tools for the show.


The Arcis Saxophon Quartett

Watch this video to go behind the scenes with Michael Heidinger

For Michael Heidinger, the use of ARRI Orbiter Fresnel lenses was very important, since he wanted to work with classical ballet alley lighting without having the hard edges. One big advantage he mentions is the Fresnel’s hard core, which enabled him to have gradients also on the body. In “K.I.nd of Human,” Heidinger made use of barn doors to easily soften the gradients.

I think it‘s important that people are open to trying out the ARRI Orbiter. After trying it, you won’t want to be without it anymore for your future productions.

The Orbiter’s high-resolution dimming was essential for lighting cues and fades that were several minutes long. The seamless dimming and color performance meant that there was no “stepping” behavior that could distract from the flowing lighting transitions.

The contrast between human warmth and the coolness of the machines was made clear by the lighting and the use of different color temperatures on stage.


In the show, monotonous human behavior patterns resembling a machine were underpinned with a very cold light at about 8000 Kelvin.


Whenever movements and scenes became more human, the color temperature also became warmer, up to 3000 Kelvin.


The 20-meter-long stage area presented a challenge in terms of the lighting concept for “K.I.nd of human.” By using ARRI Orbiters and Fresnel lenses, lighting designer Michael Heidinger was able to illuminate the entire stage.

The ARRI Orbiter in particular corresponds to halogen in about 2000 watts. It is a tremendous amount of light and therefore you can light well over 20 meters.


What Michael Heidinger appreciated most was the Orbiters extended color control (ECC) and its color sensor. By using these features, he could easily match spotlights to each other so that they have the same white point.

I could just switch super quickly to any other light source without trying around for hours and then being slightly off the mark.

Watch Michael Heidinger explain the advantages of the ARRI Orbiter’s Color Sensor Mode

ARRI Orbiter Color Sensor Mode

About Michael Heidinger

Born in Vienna, the lighting designer has produced more than 120 theater, musical, operetta, opera, and ballet productions, including at the Munich Staatstheater am Gaertnerplatz (“Cabaret,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Circus Princess,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”), at the Musik Theater Schoenbrunn in Vienna (“Die Fledermaus,” “Der Obersteiger,” “Die drei Wuensche,” “Der Vogelhaendler”), for the Thurn und Taxis Castle Festival Regensburg (“West Side Story”) and for the Sankt Margarethen Opera Festival in Burgenland (“Carmen”).