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Elation’s Proteus Excalibur creates finale look at Expo 2020 Dubai Closing Ceremony
Lighting designers Travis Hagenbuch and Bob Dickinson turned to Elation Professional’s Proteus Excalibur beam moving head to light the Expo 2020 Dubai Closing Ceremony. The designers, who also lit Expo’s Opening Ceremony back in September 2021, used the IP-rated fixtures to project a ring of light out of the Al Wasl Dome.
The Expo story began during the Opening Ceremony when a young Emirate girl was given a ring, which unlocked a world of discovery and connection. The ring - a gold ring found years ago on an archeological dig outside of Dubai - came to symbolize connection, unity and strength, and inspired both the logo and theme of Expo 2020 - ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’.
For the March 31, 2022, Closing Ceremony, the same girl, who had just spent six months at the Expo gathering information about the world, reunites with the ring, which had transformed into a large scenic piece that was lowered from the top of Al Wasl Dome and returned to the desert. The energy that the ring had absorbed during the Expo then emanated out from the earth and out through the center of the Al Wasl Dome as a huge shaft of light.
Hagenbuch and Dickinson began their initial spec designs in 2019 when producers FiveCurrents were awarded production of the Expo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, then developed it further over the next 24 months, a period that included a year of pandemic delays.
Twenty-four Proteus Excaliburs were supplied by vendor Agora, the lighting supplier for Al Wasl Plaza, and used for the concluding moment. Recessed in a deck that rode on a stage lift that raised and lowered for different staging moments, the Excaliburs’ 0.8-degree beams shot out through the opening hole of the Al Wasl Dome in the finale. The fixtures were also employed briefly on a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Also used on the ceremonies were Proteus Maximus LED moving heads, specified by Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD) for the myriad of performances in Al Wasl Plaza. “Our team worked with WBD as the ring was being developed to make sure it would work for their shows and the ceremonies”, says Hagenbuch.
(Photos: Elation Professional)
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