Take A Bow, Madonna

Madonna’s MDNA tour works through themes lighting designer Al Gurdon describes as “gore-spattered Tarantino movie, through Broadway burlesque, torch-song cabaret, to euphoric anthem.” Gurdon worked alongside show director Michel Laprise, set designer Mark Fisher, production manager Jake Berry, video director Stefaan Desmedt, and choreographers Rich + Tone for the tour.

Eight columns of Daktronics 10mm SMD Outdoor Video LED Display, with two flanking WinVision 875 LED screens for stadium dates, feature content via a setup of three d3 Technologies HD media servers and six Barco FLM-HD20 projectors. Creating that content fell largely to Moment Factory, with additional footage from music video director Jonas Akerlund and Dago Gonzalez. Read more about the tour's content creation here.

The main stage surface is actually 36 cubes, motorized and covered with the Daktronics LED modules, that can be raised and lowered to create a constantly evolving visual environment. Tait built and supplied the scenic and stage elements, including 36 high-speed custom lifts for the performance area, custom rigging and automation to track and rotate the screens and drape, three high-capacity track trusses with variable speed chain motors and Tait T-winches, and all other lifts. Read more about Tait's work on the tour.

PRG supplied lighting, including Clay Paky Sharpy units, arranged in clusters to be used individually or grouped, PRG Best Boy 4000 Spot Luminaires, Bad Boy Spot CMYs, Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash and Spot units, Robe Robin 1200 and 600 LEDWash lights, and GLP Impression 120 RZ LEDs. Followspots include Lycian M2s, Strong Lighting Gladiator IIIs, and Brite Box units. Control comprises three PRG V676 consoles, one V476 console, and 11 PRG Virtuoso Node Plus units, as well as three City Theatrical SHoW DMX systems and 11 PRG Series 400 Power and Data Distribution Systems racks.

Effects include Hungaroflash T-Light 88 strobes and Martin Professional Atomic 3000s, Reel EFX DF-50 Diffusion Hazers, Jem ZR33 Hi-Mass units, Le Maitre Stadium Hazers, Jem AF-1 fans, and an Ultratec Special Effects LSX Low Smoke Converter. Use of color—primarily from Lee Filters—ranges from frosts and neutral density graduated filters in the FOH followspots, to more varied colors in the truss spots and the Martin Atomic Colors on the strobes, with additional colors from Rosco.

Check out our full coverage of the MDNA tour, including plots, renderings, interviews, photo galleries, and more in our projects in focus section.

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