Radio City Music Hall gets projection-mapped for Rockettes

November 14, 2011 by Dave Haynes

It’s hard not to like 3-D projection mapping – the complicated but big-impact process of blasting big visuals on irregular surfaces.

We’ve seen it done on ancient churches and big office towers, and on the iconic roofline of the Sydney opera house.

Now the Rockettes’ Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall – which I would normally only attend if escorted at gun-point – might actually get me interested because of the projection mapping that turns the full interior of the famed theater into a digital canvas.

The press release reports that the project was pulled together, for the past year, by the media and design consultancy Visual Acuity and multimedia designers batwin+robin (can’t help but like that handle).

Visual Acuity provided consulting, design and testing of the new architectural scale projection for the production, which opened Friday, Nov. 11.

The Christmas Spectacular will use architectural scale projection mapped onto Radio City Music Hall’s proscenium arch and art deco interior giving the audience the feeling that they are being immersed in an array of sound, lighting, theatrical and pyrotechnic effects as each scene transforms to the next.

Visual Acuity advised on the development of a number of technological innovations, which included large-scale projection from Digital Projection and media serving, edge blending and warping from 7thSense Design.  

“As the leading company in live entertainment, we are focused on delivering our Christmas Spectacular to audiences with content that has never been presented before in a theatrical setting and utilizing advanced technology features available in today’s market, while still honoring those traditions steeped in our show,” said Larry Sedwick, senior vice president production, MSG Entertainment.  

“Right from the start of our relationship with Visual Acuity, it was clear that not only did they have the skill-set we needed to go where we envisioned the show moving forward through their background of AV technology, but that they also had the artistic sensitivity to ensure that the technology was used in the proper way to share the storyline with our audiences.”

This year’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular will be the most dynamic production to grace the Great Stage featuring this new state-of-the-art technology as well as new scenes, new costumes, and new musical compositions.  The Christmas Spectacular is part of the fabric of New York during the holiday season and is seen by more than 1 million people each year.

Working closely with Radio City and batwin+robin, Magnus Kemp, Lead Consultant at Visual Acuity, says: “By definition, the Christmas Spectacular has to be a spectacle and a feast for all the senses. The teams at Radio City and batwin+robin were not afraid to try out new things, which perfectly dovetail with our company philosophy. This year’s Christmas Spectacular use the grandness of the Radio City Music Hall like never before.  It is aprivilege for us to be involved with such an engaging and innovative project.”

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