Elation LED upgrade for Russia’s Aistenok Puppet Theater

In a land of theater excellence, Aistenok Irkutsk Regional Puppet Theater occupies a prominent place among Russian puppet theaters. The marionette masters in the Siberian city of Irkutsk recently worked with Light Power Design (LPD) to upgrade its stage lighting and chose low noise, low heat Elation Professional LED luminaires along with Magmatic atmospheric effects.

Despite its relative solitude, Irkutsk is a thriving seat of culture that embodies all the best of Russia’s storied theater tradition. Puppetry is a unique form of the art yet it applies the same lighting techniques as a regular stage. Despite the compact space, all types of lighting instruments are used and just like a regular theater show, fixture choice depends on the effects desired and mood required.

Arc-source replacement
Founded in 1935 as the first professional puppet theater in Eastern Siberia, the Aistenok Puppet Theater has operated from an elegant building in the heart of Irkutsk since 1986. The Theater creates performances for its audience that span a wide variety of genres and forms, shows performed on a nearly daily basis that can be extremely complex or very simple. Continually searching for new forms of expression, theater staff follow closely both the creative and technical trends of modern theatrical art. To that end, the Theater sought replacement lights for its 750W profiles, arc-source fixtures that, although fine on functionality, generated an excessive amount of heat.

WW Profile HP™ / Rayzor 360Z™
Lighting designer at Aistenok Puppet Theater, Lev Sagaidak, visited Elation’s European facility in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, in early 2020 to look more closely at appropriate choices. Working with Elation Key Account Manager Eldar Khashimbaev, Sagaidak previewed and the Theater eventually selected 12 WW Profile HP™ LED ellipsoidals (36-degree lens) as the 750W profile replacement. The warm-white, high-CRI WW Profiles include a 4-blade framing system for a highly controlled field of light, which is key in lighting puppet theater where shuttering and precise direction of the light is essential.

Sagaidak chose the WW Profile HP “because of its high quality, brightness, even beam projection, silence and price. And because they are LED they generate much less heat than our previous lights.” Used to light scenery, puppets and puppeteers, the LED WW Profiles put out very little heat, which is important when working above the puppets in the confines of a traditional marionette stage. As replacements for arc-source fixtures, the venue also saves on energy.

In 2021, the Theater added 4 compact Rayzor 360Z™ LED moving heads to the rig, fast yet quiet beam effects that are used mostly for backlighting where they take advantage of its wide 8° to 77° zoom. The low noise level along with the dimmer function (incl. theater mode) of both products were key in their choice.

Magmatic atmospherics
The Theater also wanted new, complementary atmospheric effects they could use to create special effects, for example, to create the right atmosphere during the process of magical transformation in fairy tales. The Theater turned to Elation’s new brand of dependable atmospheric effects products, Magmatic, in the form of a Magma Prime™ hazer and Javelin™ CO2 simulation fogger. The water-based Magma Prime produces a dry haze effect while the Javelin produces dense white clouds of fog that engulf an area in just a few seconds then dissipates instantly. Sagaidak says the decision to go with Magmatic was based on the quality and compactness of the products along with the high-quality Atmosity™ fluid used in each.

LPD, with managing director Mikhail Morozov at the helm, supplied the Elation and Magmatic products to Aistenok Puppet Theater. LPD focuses on sales and installation of professional lighting and sound equipment and has served as Elation’s Russian distributor for several years, enjoying exclusive distributorship since 2019.

LD Sagaidak sums up with a statement of appreciation. “Many thanks for the invitation to the Elation European office, which was a great influence in our choice, and a special thanks to Key Account Manager Eldar Khashimbaev. Also, many thanks to Andrey Sergeevich Steltsov, Director of the Aistenok Theater, for his trust in the Elation products.”