Mandylights lights Dubai for New Year’s Eve
Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013
Mandylights lighting designers Richard Neville and Alex Grierson spent a month in Dubai as lighting designers for Dubai’s amazing New Year’s Eve celebrations. The twenty five minute show took place around the centre of Dubai in front of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. Using some three hundred and fifty intelligent fixtures, the pair illuminated the Burj, lake and surrounding precinct which played host to fifteen individual performer stages and a massive two hundred and ten metre long seamless projection screen.
The show’s narrative was based on the important natural and cultural elements of the world and how they all come together. The energy of the elements travel across the world to finally reach their destination at Dubai – the place where people come together in celebration of friendship and cultural understanding. As the energy arrives it erupts in a show of water, fire, light and sound. The show was first performed on New Year’s Eve preceeding the midnight fireworks for a site wide audience of 1.7 million people and accompanied live by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The show then played twice nightly throughout January for the tens of thousands of daily visitors to the new heart of Dubai.
Working on the project for almost six months, Mandylights was thrilled to be a part of the international creative team that put the immersive show together. With only four dress rehearsals before the New Year’s Eve show, the hundreds of lights, flame projectors, seventy nine performers and thousands of programmed water fountains all came together perfectly for a broadcast audience estimated at over 2 billion people. The show was also broadcast live on YouTube around the world.
Lighting was fully visualised and programmed in Australia at Mandylights’ Sydney studio and in a temporary facility in the United Arab Emirates before the two week long installation of fixtures spread around the site. Unique challenges faced by the team included lighting the Burj Khalifa in its entirety from the ground with the team turning to Clay Paky Sharpys and Falcon Beams to wash the building with colour and create a range of special effects that had not been seen before on the 826m high tower. With fixtures located so close to the spectacular Dubai Fountain, custom made waterproof housings were constructed for the Auras and Alpha Beam fixtures, and wireless DMX was utilised extensively around the site to reach the various lake stages spread around the enormous man-made lake.
Mandylights is a dedicated lighting and technical design firm based in Sydney, Australia while operating around the world. The company’s diverse portfolio of events range from the most watched online event ever – the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, to international touring designs for the musical Cats and installation artwork that has appeared around Australia and overseas. In Mandylights’ six year history, projects in some twenty countries have been successfully executed that include design, lighting direction, programming, pre-visualisation, technical direction and crewing.
Lighting Equipment: Clay Paky Sharpy, Martin Aura Wash, Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1500 HPE, Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1500, Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500, Martin Atomic Strobe, Martin Mac301 Wash, Falcon Beam 7kW CMY, Chauvet Color Battens, Chauvet Outdoor LED Pars, GrandMA2 Full Size Console, GrandMA2 Light Console, GrandMA2 NPU, GrandMA1 NSP
Lighting Designer / Programmer: Richard Neville
Associate Lighting Designer / Programmer: Alex Grierson
Equipment Provider: Eclipse Lighting
Eclipse Project Manager: Tom Ralston
You can read more about this production in the next issue of AV magazine due in mailboxes this week.