In autumn 2018, the French theater collective Compagnie Des Cinq Roues has been invited to Théâtre du Soleil to perform the two plays “Le Dernier Jour du jeûne” and “L’Envol des cigognes” by Simon Abkarian in Paris. The stage was illuminated by twelve SkyPanels S60-C from ARRI.
Jean-Michel Bauer has been working as a lighting designer in the fields of theater, dance, opera, and events since the 1980s. His first creation at the Théâtre du Soleil was “Les Atrides” in 1989. From 1990 to 1995, he continued with the lighting of the play “Tartuffe.” The use of ARRI’s SkyPanels in Simon Abkarian’s “Le Dernier Jour du jeûne” and “L’Envol des cigognes” was a premiere for him. “They served as the flood lights for every scene,” he explained. A challenge here: “The Théâtre du Soleil is very unusual, because there is no rigging over the stage. With Simon, we decided to leave the area over the stage without any spots; we wanted it to look more like a movie set.” Therefore, the ARRI’s LED lights were placed behind the scenes. “The light sources were invisible to the audience. The magic could work,” says Jean-Michel Bauer and adds: “All actors were pleasantly surprised to find themselves in cinema lighting while performing at a theater.” And—even more important—the audience was very enthusiastic: “All the reviews and feedback were unanimous in their praise of the beauty of the lights.”