The Aetos hoist is a very nice product, maybe most significant new product for yearsLars Berge Multitechnic AS, Norway
Location: Les Galeries Lafayette
Challenge: Build a multi platform stage for in-store performances
Prolyte Group were commissioned by long-standing customer Rigging Services to supply a dance platform elevated to 6m in height.
The dance platform would be used for an Asian themed event, Asiatique, in Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris. This fusion of performance and fashion would be staged on a three dimensional stage, where 5 shows per day were to be performed, inspired by Asian fashion, culture and music.
Sure to be the highlight would be the massive structure being erected in Galeries Lafayette's world famous cupola, which stood 6m off the ground with an additional 6m tower on top of it. The tower would feature 5 platforms on which the dancers would perform throughout the 5 shows, using bungee and parkour skills to move between the different levels.
The overall programme was designed by Jean-Paul Goude; Abigail Yeates, Artist Director of the Generating Company, designed the choreography; and Jean-Marc Hervier was responsible for the styling of the performers.
But first of all, it had to be designed and installed. Based on a small model, made from playing cards, an impression was created of how the construction should be made. Being such an exceptional structure, the engineers decided to calculate the project first, to confirm it would be feasible.
After thorough structural calculations, to ensure stability and safety of the complete structure, Prolyte used S52SV and H40V truss for the catwalk and multi level platforms. For the truss construction standard lengths were planned, so Rigging Services could use these for their regular rental stock following the show.
The measurements for the stage were also based on standard sizes where possible, so these elements could also be rented out later, an explicit request of the customer to keep the investment as cost effective as possible.
The dance platform however had to be made to measure. The special frames were made first, where the StageDex production fitted the top plates in a later stage. Using two-sided finished wood, so the top would look as good as the bottom side – both visible for the audience.
According to normal practice with complex structures, the construction was trial build at the factory to test the fitting, building procedure and lifting protocol and to instruct the technicians that would build the structure on location.
After the successful test build of the structure, the materials were despatched to Rigging Services in the UK for further decoration and for rehearsals. There, two platforms proved to be too large, causing the catwalk truss to come in at a wrong angle – the one thing we could not test during the trial build. Fortunately, Prolyte was able to resolve this by supplying two smaller platforms just in time for the shipment to Paris.
Following the development from initial design to the final installation in Les Galeries Lafayette, this installation proved to be a fantastic example of cooperation between the creative and technical teams involved.