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Strictly grandMA2 for Come Dancing Tour

The rig includes over 170 moving light sources plus hundreds of generics and scenic LED sources

The fourth Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour is currently entertaining capacity audiences around the UK arenas with lighting designed by Mark Kenyon and run on a grandMA2 control package.

The rig includes over 170 moving light sources plus hundreds of generics and scenic LED sources. The grandMA2 light console - with another grandMA2 light running in full tracking backup - was specified and programmed for the tour by David Bishop, and is being operated on the road by Mike Rothwell.

Kenyon also designs lighting for the massively popular BBC television series, and Bishop has been involved in programming all the tours to date as have lighting and sound contractors, Sonalyst based in Wales.

The grandMA consoles have been involved from the early days of the Strictly live touring phenomenon, initially with a “Series 1” system replacing the original control set up. This was chosen by Bishop because of its renowned reliability and seamless, rock solid networking capabilities, which he describes as “Awesome”.


Last year for the first time, they migrated to grandMA2, and this year Bishop really underlines this decision as the right one, saying that “It's a really polished product". He adds that he is very impressed with the way the teams at MA UK and in Germany took onboard all their requests and wishes for feature and function development following the 2010 tour.

The 2011 touring show was programmed in a tight timescale before the first show in Nottingham Arena. It’s an effects heavy show, so he’s found the grandMA2's versatile Effects Generator extremely useful and time saving. He points out that it’s currently the only console where a mathematical curve can be applied between two preset libraries, or palettes, which makes creating complex colour effects in particular super fast.

For this style of show, a flexible, powerful control set up is vital, with a large lighting rig, and a plethora of big intricate looks needed to facilitate highlighting the competing dancers, the many different genres of dance and the spectacular production numbers that open and close both parts of the show. Once again, grandMA2 is ideal.

The lighting design brings all the glamour and pizzazz expected from the 'best of ballroom' and the highest of TV production values right out there into the arenas every night. Patrick Doherty's stylish neo-deco semi-circular set is replicated for the tour, and the lighting brief was to merge the aesthetics of TV and live performance lighting into a new and exciting mix of drama, colour and movement for live presentation.

The tour is being produced by Phil McIntyre Entertainments and production managed by Andy Gibbs.

Each show features eight couples - celebrities paired with professional dancers - four judges and a real competition which is voted on 'live' by members of the audience.


About MA Lighting International

MA Lighting International, based in Paderborn, Germany, is the dedicated sales, support and service entity for the renowned grandMA control systems, digital dimming systems, networking tools and media servers of MA Lighting Technology, based near Wuerzburg, Germany. The product range offers cutting-edge solutions for control and dimming, including the award-winning grandMA/grandMA2 consoles, the popular Lightcommander and reliable digital dimmer racks and packs. With its innovative MA Video Processing Unit (VPU) MA bridges the lighting and video worlds.
Today, MA Lighting is respected for its technical knowledge and has achieved a unique international reputation for its operational philosophy. The company offers 25 years experience and strictly follows a professional user-centric approach, getting as close as possible to the market via its own international offices and support centres in the UK, North America, Latin America, the Middle East/India, Asia Pacific and Scandinavia/Eastern Europe/Russia – supported by a world-wide distribution and service network.

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