The series about our first big foreign light show tour is almost at its end. In the last article, we got to the point where we boarded successfully. Today we start from the same point. (Perhaps it is worth mentioning that until now, the two teams were together. From now on, this story will be told from the perspective of Mariella’s ship, where Terezka, Majký, Maťo, and Monika were.)
When arranging the show tour itself, we placed great importance on the dimensions of the stage necessary for the show to take place. Height, length, width, light park, and other technical aspects seemed perfect according to the documentation. We were all the more surprised when we first came on stage.
Although the client stated that the ceiling height is 4 meters, he forgot to mention that there are brand new lights (worth half a million Czech korunas). So the real height was 2.3 m. When the tallest of us raised his hands while not holding any equipment under the lights, he could almost reach them. Rehearsing or performing the choreography there seemed like a recipe for disaster. Well, where there is will power there is always a way.
The first thing to do was to find gaps between the lights in which we could raise our hands. We had to remember the location of the lights and adjust the choreography to avoid the lights. You could have knocked us down with a feather on the first show. While moving our equipment worth more than 100k we were avoiding lights worth 500k by centimeters. If we missed the spaces, the damage could be devastating. We all showed the best radiant smiles towards the audience, but in our minds, we were praying to the light technician so that he wouldn’t start spontaneously moving the rotating effect lights. What seemed unrealistic in the beginning turned out to be beyond all expectations. The only piece of equipment that experienced a heavy collision with the lights over the whole show tour, was one visual poi from Lighttoys. We must say, that the sturdiness and quality of this product took our breath away. The impact at full speed only caused a crack on the protecting glass.
At the general rehearsal, we discussed the length of the light show with the client again. The manager stood behind the opinion that 20 minutes is the ideal length of the show. We thought that it would be better to split the show into two shorter shows. However, after the first show in front of the audience, he changed his mind and approved our original idea.
Another challenge ahead. Remake the whole concept into two different smaller shows, completely reprogram all the equipment and learn new changes to the choreography in a day on two ships. The only contact between the teams was a rather slow internet, which only worked in the morning because there was no signal at sea. Big challenge. We didn’t get much sleep but were hoping to persuade him to split the show from the beginning, so we counted on it a bit. We managed to learn everything in time and at the next show, we were perfectly ready.
One of the things a person who has never been on an ocean liner does not realize is that he is constantly rocking. Every small child knows that the boat is rocking. We “knew” it too, until it started swaying with us during the show.
Imagine you’re dancing, you put all your energy into the performance, you make a dramatic pose, and suddenly the boat swings on the wave and you sit on your ass from that super cool pose and your expression doesn’t look like a confident queen at all. (Right Ester? :D).
Or as part of the choreography, you jump grand-jeté, and before your feet touch the ground, the stage drops by about 30 – 40 cm. A moving stage is for sure a great way to train your stability and balance.
Overall, we were surprised that even such a large floating house is not completely stable on the water. Monika felt it the most, only after we boarded the ship she told us, that she is frightened of large masses of water. And later it turned out she gets seasick as well. Eventually, we all got used to it and even enjoyed what new exciting moments the movements of the ship brought us.
After our premiere, which we did not forget to celebrate properly, we threw ourselves into discovering the ship. We could use a map. 7 floors, exactly the same hallways, several differently connected elevators, and a maze in the crew section. It brought us more adventures than we expected. For example, the walk to the gym ended by mistake in a private sauna club. No one, including us, knew what we were doing there and how we got there. This was followed by a trip from the gym, which ended a bit unexpectedly at the engine room. We shouldn’t even be able to get there.
But what we discovered very quickly was the upper deck. Imagine you are standing on the bow, the north wind in your hair and you are looking at the endless sea. About 50 meters below you, the water is pierced by a huge mass of iron. An unbelievable feeling.
We built a snowman at the top deck, played a snowball fight at night, philosophically debated about the meaning of life, and also once almost froze to death when we didn’t believe the threats and curfew. (There was a hailstorm raging outside and strong wind.) Still, we went outside at two in the morning. Immediately after we got outside, we understood that the regulations were justified. The wind played with our bodies like a toy and the thick layer of ice under our feet did not help to gain control. We only managed to get inside by dragging ourselves along the railing.
The Northerners are a nation of saunas. It is said that in Finland, there are more saunas than inhabitants. Also, the sauna is probably the only place where they are talkative. Following the example of the Northerners, we also spent a lot of time in saunas. Team meetings, resting after training in the gym… luckily they were open 24/7.
On the ship, there was a sauna on the lowest floor. Majčíííček once sat there alone at three in the morning in absolute silence only sounds of the ship breaking the ice floes. Scary but great memories. The other team even enjoyed dinner in a sauna.
The local chefs liked to cook sausages right on the sauna heater. At last, the mystery of the two weird bottles in front of the sauna was resolved. It was ketchup and mustard.
The longer we write about these experiences, the more we can think of. But the article is already too long and we thank everyone who read it. We will keep other stories until the last article, where we will describe the beauty of Nordic nature and say goodbye to the boat.
Thank you very much for reading our articles. We want to share everything we experience with you. Our fans, spectators at the performances, and all supporters are an extremely important part of the team for us.