Craft Lighting mix DARTZ and Fuze moving heads with 470 mirror balls in dazzling design.
Dance Studio Vol. 1 is the latest addition to the nightlife scene in Chicago's River North neighborhood and is one of the most unique clubs you'll find anywhere. Filling the ceiling above its dance floor are an astounding 470 ADJ mirror balls, both static and kinetic, that mix with Elation Professional DARTZ 360 and Fuze Wash Z120 moving heads for a lightshow that is a visual one of a kind.
The new nightclub and event space, a renovation of a previous club that closed in early 2019, is a 350-capacity venue that hosts live music, DJs and other entertainment. Chicago-based AV design and integration company Craft Lighting was tasked with designing, installing and commissioning the space and came up with an immersive and nostalgic yet distinctly modern concept that goes beyond the nightclub's second-floor dance area to include the outer alley, hallway, and stairwell.
Noah Craft, owner and lead designer at Craft Lighting, explains the Elation fixtures' role in the new design. "My colleague and business partner Jason Reberski at JRLX was a huge proponent of the DARTZ / Fuze combo," he says, adding that their companies have been increasingly collaborating on projects over the past few years. "I had seen both fixtures a few times at tradeshows and demos and was very impressed. The previous iteration of this venue (Studio Paris) had a lighting package that mostly consisted of Elation fixtures, which served them well over its 8-year lifespan so the owners were happy that we specified an Elation moving light package."
Craft says the DARTZ fixtures were a no-brainer to specify as the main workhorse for the dance floor lighting system. "Their speed, rich feature set, and astounding output are unparalleled from a fixture of their size and price point. They were a perfect fit for this project." The compact LED beam/spot moving heads with powerful narrow beam output are mounted in a pair of concentric circles above the dance floor, which, with their dual prisms, frost and continuous pan/tilt, enable them to create an endless array of unique looks and effects.
Craft says the Fuze Wash Z120 single-source RGBW moving heads are an excellent complement to the DARTZ fixtures with their excellent output, color and zoom range. "In addition to their use as dance lights, the private events team loves these fixtures for their ability to provide attractive adjustable 'pin-spotting' that their clients may require on food stations or activations," he says.
In addition to the DARTZ and Fuze fixtures, Elation Protron 3K Color™ LED strobes and Cuepix Blinder WW2s™ round out the dance floor lighting package. "We were very familiar with the WW2 blinders from many past projects but this was our first experience with the new strobes," Craft comments. "Our client LOVES the rich colors and their ability to hold on at high intensity - flooding the room with saturated color. We shot them out against their older LED strobes and were astonished at the output." He says the client immediately ordered six to replace the old strobes.
The eye-catching looks the club can get from the fixtures in their own right are spectacular, but when interacting with some 470 mirror balls the multiple beam barrage is simply breathtaking. Craft remarks that when the client requested they fill the dance floor with hundreds of mirror balls as opposed to the originally specified single central mirror ball, it gave them the opportunity to use the moving light package in even more creative and unexpected ways. He concludes, "We have had nothing but positive feedback from our client, operation staff and clients about the visual impact and reliability of the Elation products used on this project."
Elation and ADJ equipment:
12 x Elation Professional DARTZ 360
18 x Elation Professional Fuze Wash Z120
6 x Elation Professional Proton 3K Color LED Strobe
5 x Elation Professional Cuepix Blinder WW2
3 x ADJ M-4040 Mirror Ball
68 x ADJ M-2020 Mirror Ball
76 x ADJ M-1616 Mirror Ball
113 x ADJ M-1212 Mirror Ball
210 x ADJ M-800 Mirror Ball
4 x ADJ HD MB40KG Heavy Duty Mirror Ball Motor
12 x ADJ M-103HD Heavy Duty Mirror Ball Motor
45 x ADJ M-101HD Heavy Duty Mirror Ball Motor
24 x ADJ Pinspot LED Quad DMX
10 x ADJ DP 415R DMX Dimmer/Switch Pack
+ various Accu-Cable DMX cables
Photos: Alicia Fierro