As part of the House of Dancing Water production, TAIT built custom controls for the show’s 11 automated stage lifts which emerged elegantly out of water.
Transforming an 8m deep and 50m diameter pool into a dry, solid floor in less than a minute, 11 automated stage lifts slotted together seamlessly to make a perfectly flat performance surface.
TAIT’s Navigator used position encoders and load cells to keep the cylinders balanced and to coordinate the vertical movement and positioning of the lifts. The 2000-seat House of Dancing Water was custom built to accommodate the new Dragone aquaacrobatic spectacular that is conducted in and around a liquid stage. TAIT Stage Technologies was brought on board to design, supply and install a 141-axis automation system, controlled by a powerful combination of 2 fixed Acrobat∙G6 desks, 2 portable Nomad desks, and 4 handheld Solo controllers. The system includes 20 heavyweight BigTow2-490s and a 40-unit track and trolley system, which can power fly or performer fly up to 250kg at 3.5m/sec. Lineset winches are rated to 2,000kg at 2½m/s allowing ultra-fast changeovers of Dragone’s characteristically complex and load-heavy sets and the 100m x 60m grid mirrors the entire theatre and pool areas. The TAIT Stage Technologies system also controls 11 pool stage lifts.
In addition, equipment was provided for Dragone’s rehearsals at Alfacam studios in Lint, Belgium. The rehearsal studio contains tracks and trolleys and point hoists, mimicking the main system’s functionality and allowing the automation programmers to rehearse and programme the show act by act, both with real world movements and also in an offline, virtual, 3-D configuration. The studio control system also used six local control joysticks.
The eight main stage lifts were controlled independently using 32 hydraulic cylinders.