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WI Creations supplies ‘Beauty And The Beast’ in Ghent
WI Creations supplied combined comprehensive automation solutions for the recent new production of Disney's musical ‘Beauty And The Beast,’ staged at the Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium. WI was asked on-board by show producer Marmalade. The project was coordinated for them by Hans Willems.
Directed by Christophe Ameya, with choreography from Ish Ait Hamou and lighting from Luc Peumans (Painting with Light), the producers wanted to present a contemporary version of the classic tale. WI delivered four stage elevators, three with 3 metre diameters and one at 4 metres, which were used to bring various scenic pieces on and off stage throughout the performance.
The 3 metre lifts were available from WI’s standard rental inventory. The 4 metre one was specially constructed for this show, also using WI’s standard TP3 elevator system. Control for each elevator - all concealed below the stage - was local.
Upstage, a 60 metre WI tracking system was installed at the expo to move four LED screens, each measuring 11.24 metres high by 7.68 metres wide and weighing 3.2 tonnes, into different configurations. This movement continued throughout the performance and changed the dynamics of the space as well as creating a variety of openings for props and actors to enter and exit the stage.
The positional information from the WI controller was synchronised to the media server to allow one large video image to remain across all four screens regardless of their positioning. Additionally, 30 x WI vari-speed hoists and winches - a mixture of single and double chain - were used to lift and move a variety of props and scenic pieces which flew in and out. The motors driving the tracking screens and the moving hoists/winches moving the scenery were all controlled from the same custom WI control desk.
Another major ‘Beauty And The Beast’ set piece was a large staircase which split into two 2.5 tonne sections, both required to move into different locations to assist with the narrative and dance sequences. The stairs, fabricated by Fisheye, were automated using four of WI's wireless remote controlled wagons. It was originally planned to move these pieces manually, but in tests this proved impractical, so production asked WI to assist with a solution at short notice. The movement was controlled by a dedicated operator using another custom wagon controller developed by WI.
(Photos: Luk Monsaert)
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