A team of talented amateur performers based in Quebec, Groupe Show has been wowing crowds with high-energy shows for years. We discovered how the recent addition of adaptable ADJ moving heads and scanners has only strengthened their already intoxicating blend of music, dance and theater…
It’s hard to imagine being bored at a Groupe Show performance. Based in the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec, the troupe of talented dancers, musicians, singers, choreographers and artists has been bringing its colorful, high-energy variety shows to venues across the province for many years. Of course, the success of these performances comes down partly to the commitment of the team and partly to having lighting solutions versatile enough to match their compelling content (which is where we come in!).
Groupe Show started out in the early-Seventies as a large choir, but later evolved into a musical revue during the Eighties, starting out with 100 people before downsizing to 60 and now just 50. Though heavily involved in Groupe Show from both the lighting and musical side, Ghyslain Champagne is also associated with ADJ’s Canadian distributor SFM. He was in LA for some training, which is where we caught up with him face-to-face to discuss the role ADJ is playing in the revue’s journey.
“It’s a big musical revue,” says Ghyslain. “So we’re playing some blocks of some parts of songs, put together to make
[lots of genres] – let’s say we have Eighties rock, disco, European, old French-European songs… It’s a two-hour show with choreography, dancing, singing, and a group of ten musicians, with five brass players.”
Currently, every Groupe Show performance is themed. For instance, their recent tour had a ‘world’ theme and explored the art and musical heritage of countries including North America, Mexico and France, with the troupe performing songs ranging from Irish to Arabic origin. During these shows, the team dances and sings amidst a whirlwind of color and energy, helped by a constantly evolving lightshow programed by lighting designer Benoit Gosselin, with input from Ghyslain himself.
With Groupe Show’s sound and lighting setup currently fulfilled by Audio Bec and Prisme, respectively, Ghyslain decided to incorporate ADJ lighting into the new 2015 show, to see how our range of flexible fixtures lives up to the show’s entertainment demands! And at the moment he uses four 3 Sixty 2Rs, four Crazy 8s and four Vizi Roller Beam 2Rs, which work in combination with other par cans and moving heads to create a swirling display of eye-catching beams and immersive washes.
Ghyslain and his charismatic team currently perform shows across the province of Quebec, but have too many members – covering everything from costume to choreography, staging to musical arrangement – to carry out an extensive nationwide tour. Though they also play in Montreal, the troupe’s shows are often held in Sherbrooke, where they hold three shows over two days, treating audiences to energetic performances on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. In fact, Groupe Show just announced two more shows – set for November 21 at the Centennial Theatre in Sherbrooke – during which Ghyslain will try out using his ADJ lighting in exciting new ways and introduce the Elation Sniper 2R to the setup, keeping the lightshow fresh for returning audience members.
“All profits are invested into the band, into the group, to prepare the next show,” explains Ghyslain, “and on top of that we offer the show in a smaller version, for companies, festivals, [conferences], [public events] and others like that. Of course, the lighting show changes depending on the venue we are going to – it’s a big hobby,” he adds, laughing.
Helping the team maintain this varied and dynamic service, which sees them tailoring the show to suit the needs of clients and guests, or to better-suit festivals and other public events, is the adaptable ADJ lighting setup, programed by Benoit (who will also use the ArKaos GrandVJ video-mixing software for one of Groupe Show’s upcoming performances).
While the Crazy 8 moving heads deliver intense flashes of strobe lighting, the 3 Sixty 2Rs utilize multi-faceted movement – with a continually rotating base and independent dual-head rotation – and a powerful Philips Platinum 2R lamp (co-engineered with ADJ) to send color beams and GOBO patterns flitting across the stage and into the crowd. Adding even more beam effects to the mix, the four Vizi Roller Beam 2Rs, equipped with fast-moving barrel mirror scanners, create a swirling, spiralling display enhanced by 14 colors and eight GOBO patterns. This combination of movement and color means that Ghyslain can bring pure lighting excitement to any venue, with versatile operational modes allowing him and Benoit to tailor the lightshow to a certain performance space.
We’ve no doubt that Ghyslain will change things up again soon where Groupe Show’s lightshow is concerned, keeping things fresh by utilizing our range of flexible effects in exciting new ways, as well as experimenting with Elation products like the Sniper 2R.
“I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I was using our [upcoming] show to test the lights,” he tells us. “The 3 Sixty 2R, the Crazy 8, the Sniper… they are mostly effects that should be going to a club. I have chance in a big show running in a big venue to test out the lights and go outside the box with them.”
Projects like Groupe Show just go to show that no matter which area of the entertainment you work with – whether music, dance or theater performance (or all three!) – you can achieve your goals with a flexible ADJ setup in your hands. It goes without saying; it was a pleasure to be involved with a team so passionate about the arts and to see our products bring pure lighting excitement to one of the most popular musical revues in Quebec!
One thing’s for sure: thanks to Groupe Show’s wealth of talented performers and a newly formed ADJ lightshow, it isn’t time for curtain call just yet…