Ljubljana Castle Invests in More Robe for Alan Hranitelj costume Expo

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We travel back in time to 2019 for this story, before the pandemic, and to the magical environs of Ljubljana Castle – which features several cool, charismatic converted event spaces elegantly blending historic and nouveaux industrial chic …

The Castle invested in 16 new Robe LEDBeam 150 moving light fixtures, which assisted in lighting a major exhibition of theatrical costumes by famous Slovenian designer, Alan Hranitelj.

Commissioned to light the exhibition was LD Andrej Hajdinjak whose own impressive CV includes working extensively with the National Theatre and various high-profile opera, theatre and ballet companies both in Slovenia and internationally. He’s known Alan Hranitelj for 20 years and during this time the two have worked together on imagining several exacting projects.

As lighting a live show and costumes are so inextricably linked, Andrej was asked to sculpt the lumens for this important retrospective highlighting the vibrant, dramatic and fun creations of the 33rd anniversary of Hranitelj’s creative work and marking 13 years since his last major exhibition in costume design which was 1986-2006 at the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana.

The “Parallel Worlds of Alan Hranitelj” was divided into three sections which occupied two of the Castle’s main event halls, the Palacij and The Stanovska Hall.

The first part was dedicated to theatrical and operatic costumes created between 2006 and 2019; the second area ‘Rest In Peace” featured seven figures representing imaginary creations – inhabiting the otherwise invisible worlds of the subconscious, dreams, the imagination and mythology.

The third section was focussed on the Mad Hatter’s wardrobe, a trippy and colourful glimpse into the world of waistcoats and shirts, all of them unique and fascinating.

The 16 x LEDBeam 150s were added to the Castle’s growing inventory of Robe moving lights. They already had 8 LEDBeam 150s, and for this expo, in addition to the 16 new fixtures, Andrej also utilised 16 existing LEDBeam 100s together with four Robe Spiider LED wash beams and four DL4S Profiles, making it an all-LED installation.

For practicality and safety, the fixtures were rigged in the roof spaces of the two expo halls. The theatre section in particular was deliberately very dark and in keeping with the environment for which the costumes were designed.

As Andrej was working on another project for most of the setup period, the castle’s highly capable technical team led by Tomaz Novak followed his detailed instructions for rigging and programming lighting for the different areas and exhibits which included some 5-metre-high puppets.

Creating a theatrical ambience was a key to presenting this show elucidated Andrej, who wanted to add drama, magic and vibrance to the costumes so they came alive just as if they were onstage and being worn by actors.

His initial lighting design was based on the Castle’s existing lights … which includes various Robe units purchased steadily over the years. He immediately saw the 16 x LEDBeam 100s on the list and thought that – overall – they would need more of these or similar lights to cover all of the expo properly.

At this point, Tomaz and his team decided the sensible route, especially with the expo due to run for 2 months, was to purchase more LEDBeam 150s. “They are such a universally useful and flexible fixture that we could not go wrong!” he says.

Most of the front illumination for the exhibits was achieved utilising the DL4S LED profiles, with the Spiiders for adding volume and discreet side lighting.

The LEDBeam 150s – the additional 16 were supplied at extremely short notice by Robe’s Slovenian distributor MK Light Sound – were used for highlighting and accenting along with the LEDBeam 100s.

The LEDBeam 150s, Andrej comments, “are a very useful fixture – small, bright, light, silent – with an excellent zoom, a great output and nice colour rendering”.

The biggest goal on site was to get the exhibition lit in a very short time window which involved lots of detailed programming.

The lighting – including LED strips in the waistcoat cabinets – were all controlled via a grandMA console – the Castle has a large MA network with consoles in multiple spaces that can control lighting flexibly from throughout the venue.

Andrej has been using Robe products for many years – dating back to the XT days when the brand first launched! In that time, he’s been thrilled to see them grow and develop and expand the company and bring out more and more innovative and interesting products.

He still likes some of the legacy models like the MMX series – in which he is not alone – and he loves BMFLs and Spiiders and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of T1s into some of the Slovenian Theatres, a process which has just started with a delivery of T1s to the Slovenian National Theatre of Drama & Opera in Maribor.

Alan Hranitelj’s “Parallel Worlds” was a massive attraction and success throughout the late summer and has received great critical acclaim.

Photo Credit: Nada Zgank

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