“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people,” wrote Mahatma Gandhi. Although Gandhi’s India lies 6,000 kilometres away from this small Baltic republic, his words aptly describe the guiding spirit behind the Sakiai Culture House, an institution dedicated to preserving the rich and unique heritage of Lithuania.
Located in the southwestern region of the country, Sakiai Culture House pays homage to the revolving tapestry of Lithuanian music and theatrical productions, which have helped earn the country recognition by UNESCO as an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” Bringing this tradition to life is a new lighting system designed and installed by Scenos Techninis Servisas (STS) of Vilnius, Lithuania, that features a collection of CHAUVET Professional LED fixtures.
Installed as part of a comprehensive renovation of the 60-year old building, the new system features six Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidal fixtures, four Ovation B-195FC batten units, 10 Maverick MK2 Spots and 15 Maverick MK2 Washes. In addition to delivering even key lighting, the new system opens up a range of creative options for designers thanks to its high output moving fixtures.
To support the rich and varied entertainment program taking place at the Sakiai Cultural House, which ranges from classic theatrical productions to live folk and rock music concerts, multi-functionality and versatility were key objectives of the renovation project. This is very evident in the venue’s retractable stage, which can change heights to accommodate different productions, as well as in its removable seating, which allows it to be transformed into a reception and event area.
Versatility was also of paramount importance during the lighting fixture selection process. Ensuring a number of classic and focused looks for the theatre productions, STS positioned the Ovation fixtures from the stage’s lattice of trussing towers above and to the side of the stage. Thanks to its high CRI index and a wide spectrum of warm white to cool white output, the Ovation fixtures provide a foundation of textures upon which various moods and atmospheres can be supported.
Although it was vital for the venue to retain the classic look and feel of their old tungsten par cans, its management was nevertheless keen to utilize LED technology in order to minimize energy costs and improve reliability. With their tungsten emulating dimming curve, the Ovation fixtures guaranteed an element of visual consistency for audiences and performers alike, while also providing the theatre with a modern technological solution.
Among the many flexible features of the venue is its adjustable trussing system, which gives technicians the ability to raise and lower all four rows of truss for a number of production requirements. The Ovation fixtures’ impressive flat field of projection and adjustable zoom feature, ensure that they work effectively from any height.
With colour traditionally playing an important role in Lithuanian fashion and architecture, it was necessary to provide the venue with the means to reproduce saturated colour for all manner of productions. The ability of the Maverick fixtures to create saturated wash effects and concentrated throws of light provide the theatre with a wide range of colourizing options.
While technological developments typically point to an increase in the homogenization of culture in the face of relentless globalization, the Sakiai Culture House serves as a celebration of the preservation and promulgation of a unique and long-standing local cultural tradition.