Over 100 axes of Kinesys automation were utilised to move a host of spectacular scenic and visual elements for Dutch megastar Marco Borsato's recent all-action 3Dimensies (3Dimensions) shows. He played to over 210,000 people during a 2 week period across multiple nights at the Gelredome stadium in Arnhem, The Netherlands, and the Sportpalais in Antwerp, Belgium.
The total count of 107 Kinesys motion controlled elements on this production beats the previously held record of 80 by the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest final in Oslo!
Borsato's set and lighting was designed by Ignace D'haese from Arf & Yes who worked closely with show producers John Mulder and Flip Van Ommeren from Mojo Concerts who also did the production management. Together, they evolved the idea of having lots of moving WOW factors throughout the show to keep up a relentless high-energy pace and collective adrenaline buzz. This also brought a series of large and ever shifting looks and strong, distinctive visual statements to the performance.
WImotion - part of the Belgium based WIcreations Group - were asked onboard to co-ordinate and engineer all the automation design and specify the system. Movement specialist Hans Willems of WImotion says, "This was a real collaboration with Kinesys (from the UK). When you take on an ambitious special project like this with a large automation system, excellent service and support from the manufacturer/designers is vital, and, as always from Kinesys, this was thorough, detailed and very fast".
They used two Kinesys top-of-the-range K2 control systems for the show, one positioned at front-of-house controlling elements above the audience, and one at side stage, dealing with all the over-stage elements including moving video pods and tracking screens. The operators were Erik Gielen and Cedric Berkmans from WImotion.
A major show 'gag' was an 18 x 10 metre box truss with an LED video wall rigged on its front side, which tilted backwards, turned, moved up and down and at some stages formed a ceiling above the forestage area. This weighed 8 tonnes and was moved by 4 x 5 tonne Liftket motors all running Kinesys Elevation 1+ vari speed controllers.
Three active tracking dollies with 3Kw WI-Drives were used to move parts of a massive video wall behind the lifting screen, and a WI-Nch 100-40 with a 7.5Kw WI-drive was used to do the Bulb effect. A 2Kw lighting bulb came down out the ceiling to start the show and to light up Marco at his start.
A further 8 x half tonne Liftkets with Kinesys Elevation 1+s were used to move a series of lighting pods around the stage while four CM JJ half tonne high speed Lodestar hoists lifted the onstage follow spot trusses - which were also rigged with additional lighting - into different positions throughout the performance.
The vast majority of the Kinesys hoists - 72 in total - were used to fly and move three massive jointed horizontal scenic structures - dubbed "flying carpets" - above the audience.
These covered an area of 80 by 60 metres in Arnhem, and 44 x 26 metres in Antwerp, and were clad with LED tubes. Using the fabulously fast and seamless simultaneous control offered by K2 over the 72 individual hoists, these were moved 'organically' in a series of elaborate eye-catching effects, including rippling in time to the music, which delighted the crowd, drawing them in the performance.
Another 3 Kinesys fixed speed hoists running on a Kinesys Elevation Smart 8 controller were used to fly a truss rigged with 3 video projectors in and out into the roof when the projection section was finished. This manoeuvre had to be repeated absolutely perfectly each time to retain the projector line-up!
Another 6 x fixed speed hoists on a separate Elevation Smart 8 controller were used to fly the FOH follow spot bridge above the auditorium.
The production design meant a demanding and busy show for the automation department, however this was the challenge enjoyed by Willems and his team. They have been using Kinesys as a solution to movement requirements of all types for some time and have a close working relationship with Dave Weatherhead and everyone at Kinesys' UK HQ.
Willems comments that any network has to be perfect for a show like this to run properly, and he feels Kinesys/K2 is the only system to offer the flexibility, extreme smoothness and accuracy to deliver these great visual and live engineering concepts that everyone worked so hard to produce. "I am really proud of the system we built. Once it was all rigged and up and running, the control and implementation of the movement was very straightforward."
He adds that as they are now familiar with the Kinesys system and having 30 of the brand new zero-speed hoists, they can try new effects and experiment or manipulate a system very easily and with great confidence. "It's absolutely the BEST system," he concludes, adding, "We're ready for new adventures".
For more press info on Kinesys or WIcreations/WImotion, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. To contact Kinesys direct, please call +44 (0)20 8481 9850 or check www.kinesys.co.uk.
To contact WIcreations or WImotion direct, please call +32 (0) 16 85 21 60 or check www.wicreations.com or www.wimotion.eu