MegaPointes go vertical for KVIFF ceremony
Friday, 18 October 2019
robeThe opening ceremony
Czech Republic - The opening ceremony of the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) featured a gravity-defying vertical dance performance with large-format projection and eight aerialists from Jednotka Rychlého Nasazení (Rapid Action Unit) who were creatively directed by brothers Michal Caban & Simon Caban, universally known as ‘Cabani’.
To light this choreography, they chose 24 x Robe MegaPointes, which were installed, together with custom trusses, motors and a bespoke people flying system into the Great Cinema Hall at the Thermal Hotel in the Czech spa city.
The MegaPointes were delivered by Prague-based rental / production company, AudioLight Service and operated by LD Ladislav Horak.
Cabani is an innovative boundary-challenging dance and physical theatre group founded by the brothers whilst they were at college 25 years ago. Since then, they have been thrilling audiences worldwide with their unique blend of adrenaline-fuelled acrobatics and imaginative expression, working on a diversity of theatre, film, video and multimedia projects.
This year was the 24th time that Cabani has designed and produced the opening and closing ceremony shows for KVIFF. While they keep coming up with multiple fresh performance ideas and concepts, the pressure is always on as audience expectations are now super-high that something visually outstanding will be revealed.
For this year’s OC event, they decided to create the vertical – and suspended – dance piece after being inspired by the graphics artwork for this festival event, and the show was given the working title Black & White.
It involved eight aerialists – who were trained in Tomas Pinter’s AirGym Art Company for the event. They were attached to eight specially adapted harnesses, each flown on a Cyberhoist motor.
The piece ran to a special soundtrack comprising eight different versions of the song Sweet Dreams which Cabani remixed for the show.
Cabani also created and edited the projected video content that provided distinctive backgrounds and textured and shaped light for the performance in conjunction with Studio Najbrt and XLAB, and they consulted closely throughout the process with Ladislav Horak, who is their long-term lighting designer.
In addition to all the lighting, AudioLight Service also delivered sound, rigging and video equipment. The special projection screen flown upstage of the acrobats was supplied by décor company Stary & Stary.
All agreed that accurate and very specific illumination was needed, and therefore chose 24 x MegaPointes for the task.
Each performer’s harness was attached to a Cyberhoist, with three MegaPointes assigned to each one.
In charge of designing the trusses and rigging needed to get the motors, acrobat harnesses, and MegaPointes and motors in the right place was Petr Znamenacek from AudioLight. Ladislav controlled the MegaPointes via a grandMA2 console.
(Jim Evans)

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