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EE News: Hydraulics & Cirque Du Soleil

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Published on Nov 12, 2008

http://www.entertainmentengineering.c...
While in Las Vegas a few months ago, we visited with Technical Director Erik Walstad and Operations Production Manager Keith Wright from Cirque du Soleils KA show, which is housed in the citys MGM Grand hotel. They took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the theatre, where we saw many cool applications of technology in and around the interrelated stages that make up KA. They use hydraulics, pneumatics, and electromechanical technologies as well as a lot of computers and software programs for each show. Its probably the most technologically advanced stage show weve ever seen.
The KA stage is actually made up of several individual decks. Each of the decks move independently, but different technologies are employed for different types of motion control and movement.
The Main Stage feature is a 25- x 50-ft Sand Cliff deck. It weighs more than 100 tons and is lifted more than 70 ft in the air.
To lift the main stage, Cirque engineers use hydraulic power. If you are interested in learning more about the specific hydraulic products used in this particular Cirque show, be sure to check out the new episode of EETV we just produced. It is sponsored by Parker-Hannifin, the company that supplied the hydraulic pumps, valves, and other components used to lift the KA stage during performances.
Much of the technology we witnessed was originally created for applications in other industries. Parkers products, for example, were originally developed for aerospace, construction, and many other industries, but then later applied to this and other types of entertainment.
Same thing goes for other technologies employed in the KA show. Look for more of these stories on other technologies and video in upcoming issues of Entertainment Engineering.

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