September 20, 2009

Real Class Acts

It's been a busy couple o' weeks for me, working on shows for John Legend, a Hula competition and a dance show featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Laguna, who are probably the most famous dancers in the world.

But one of the funnest shows I've ever had the pleasure of working on was Slava's Snow Show which occurred at the end of August.
I had worked with them many years ago and was blown away by the simplicity of the show that comes over so big. Piles of paper snow gets blown into the faces of the audience with the help of a plane prop. That scene is followed by huge balloons rolling out into the audience from the stage. Both of these scenes are visually stunning.

I watched from the back of the theater as the snowy walls of the set begin to move in response to the cold wind being heard. The blue stage lights flicker and Slava the Clown raps himself in a piece of the quilted wall. Then there's a sudden blackout , the music swells, your pupils dilate in the
dark and then as the music reaches a crescendo a bank of intense white lights blind the audience and a mass of snow particles propelled by a rush of wind and billowing smoke explode like a bomb from the stage and slowly envelop the audience row by row. Really trippy effects that will make you say WOW!

The "Ball of Balls" follows with huge balloons being battered around by the audience members for at least a half hour until all they have enough and filter out of the theater. I had to personally take steps to make sure there were no sharp objects within the theater that might puncture the balls.

Slava Pulonin is the creator and performs as the main clown. The Russian tech crew worked in a completely different way than we were used to. Snow machines had to be hung over the stage and over the audience. These were no hi-tech gadgets. Basically, it was a motor hooked up to a 5-gallon water jug with holes cut in it. The jug turns and the snow falls through the holes.

All I can say is, THIS IS THEE SHOW you should go see if you ever get the chance. You can take this from someone who has seen thousands of shows. This is something completely unique.

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