|Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2011 Display Reviews —› France - Lacroix-Ruggieri reviews|
|Posted: Jul 28, 2011 02:10:52
Since the thread has not been created... (Trav!) Post here your review on the French display. I will add mine tomorrow, but it was definitively a complex and very creative show presented by the well-known Lacroix-Ruggieri, something never experienced before in the Montreal competition I think.
|Posted: Jul 28, 2011 15:13:39 Edited by: fredbastien
C’est à une grande soirée de spectacle pyromusical que l’équipe française nous conviait cette année, avec plusieurs surprises dans son sac. Lacroix-Ruggieri n’a pas « cassé la baraque » comme l’avait fait Pirotecnia Morsani plus tôt cette année ou Göteborgs en 2010, mais la firme a certainement « cassé le moule » en nous offrant une performance dont le format sortait des sentiers battus, vers le début et la fin du spectacle. Si Montréal est un lieu d’expérimentation et de développement de la pyrotechnie, alors il faut féliciter et récompenser Lacroix-Ruggieri pour son audace. Pour une 14e présence à Montréal (en cumulant les participations de la Société Étienne-Lacroix et Ruggieri, puis de la firme résultant de la fusion des deux entreprises, il s'agit de la firme ayant compétitionné le plus grand nombre de fois dans l'histoire du concours montréalais), avec trois Jupiter d'or, un Jupiter d'argent, un Jupiter de bronze et le titre de finaliste pour le Jupiter platine en 2004, cette firme amenait avec elle un grand bagage d'expérience et cela a paru dans le spectacle.
For our English-language readers, here are details about the very particular setup and format of the show. First, pyrotechnic pieces were located on five firing ramps, the latter made of five floating platforms in the centre of the lake. The third firing ramp was slightly extended by two additionnal platforms located immediately in front of it (the visual impact for viewers was not obvious, but I suspect it was a way to dispatch some fans with low-level angles without any consequence on other firing positions along this narrow ramp). On the centre of the second firing ramp, a small circular device with more than 100 pyrotechnic one-shot comets and mines devices was installed at the top of a small crane (actually, a sort of hydraulics arm), 50 meters above the ground according to the press release.
About one hour before the show, a disco ball has been installed on a small floating platform in front of the audience, on the side of the stage. The theme « Maudits français » was inspired by a song with the same title, performed by the Quebecker signer Lynda Lemay, also well-known in France. Instead of the traditional Vangelis’ music, that song played once the official ceremony ended. It was a subtle way to bring the audience into the theme, since the song evokes many characteristics of the French people and society often criticized by Quebeckers and which were going to be introduced in the display. Then, Vangelis’ soundtrack began and continued as usual until the start of the show. As he described the theme, Michel Lacroix prevented the audience about the particular opening of the display and said that viewers should look in front of the grandstands at the beginning of the extravaganza. The show began about two minutes past 10:00pm, a delay maybe caused by the complex opening which was coming. In contrast with the normal procedure, the spotlights above the grandstands turned off a couple of seconds before the end of Vangelis’ music, then the disco ball became highlighted. As Michel Lacroix pronounced the official countdown, a man dressed with a costume illuminated by many small blue lights appeared in the grandstands, walking toward the disco ball. According to the narrative, it was a Quebecker who finds this object « made in France » and who wonders what it is… He touched it, causing the initial pyrotechnic effect on the firing ramps (strobes, like an electric short-circuit). The performer’s costume and the disco ball went off as the Quebecker was immediately transfered in France and sat in a taxi, afraid by the wild behaviour of the driver, brightly illustrated by a chase sequence of angled mines along the ramps!
Toward the end of the show, following what appeared as a finale made of kamuros and large, overlapping fans of dense comets (actually, a faux finale), the performer appeared once again with his illuminated costume. Back in Montreal from his journey in Paris, he asked people who have a cell phone to exhibit it, in order to fulfill a promise he did to our French pyrofriends about an opportunity to bring back in France a beautiful souvenir from the Montreal audience. He also invited those who have flash photo cameras to make as much light as possible, at the end of his short countdown (3-2-1). As the audience behave with enthusiasm, he pronounced the countdown. The pyrotechnic show then resumed with the actual finale. The whole performance, from the end of the official countdown to the end of the actual finale, had a duration of 34 minutes 35 seconds. The uninterrupted pyromusical show (that is, from the moment when the performer touched the disco ball to his reappearance) had a duration of 30 minutes 15 seconds.
Le thème de ce feu était admirable: original et divertissant, clairement exprimé par une narration succincte et efficace. Elle ressemblait à celle utilisée par Féérie il y a quelques années et que j’évoquais dans mon commentaire sur le feu canadien. Quelques mots suffisaient pour situer l’action et bien établir le fil conducteur entre les tableaux dont la diversité des pièces musicales aurait autrement miné toute cohérence de l’ensemble. Parlant de la trame sonore, elle comptait des extraits musicaux d’une vingtaine de pièces. Elle était parfaite pour un spectacle pyromusical, avec d’excellentes transitions et certaines pièces ciselées de façon à ne retenir que les principaux éléments (i.e.: le segment sur « La maladie d’amour » de M. Sardou).
Concernant la conception technique, il est évident que les artisans de Lacroix-Ruggieri ont une excellente connaissance du site de La Ronde et ils ont su l’exploiter de façon brillante. Les méthodes de tir étaient souvent originales ou très bien agencées au scénario, par exemple les tirs en chasse de mines au début du spectacle pour illustrer le déplacement en taxi, et le retour du même effet (cette fois, à l’aide de comètes intégrant un effet de mine au cours de l’ascension) à la fin du spectacle alors que le touriste québécois reprend le (même!) taxi pour se rendre à l’aéroport. La descente de la tour Effel, les effets de flash photo pendant le défilé de mode étaient d’autres séquences ingénieuses. Cependant, ce même segment sur le défilé de mode, apparu vers la 20e minute du spectacle, a été un peu plus faible, de même qu’un autre tableau où de trop peu nombreux « horse tails » ont laissé un arrière-goût de sauce trop étirée… En fait, ce spectacle m’a semblé manquer un peu de consistence au cours du dernier tiers (excluant la fausse finale et la finale), par exemple le tir répétitif des bombes d’anneaux entrelacées. La représentation de la tour Effel elle-même n’était pas évidente, mais Lacroix-Ruggieri l’avait déjà illustrée à l’aide de tours montées en 2004 (voir les photos ici); il était sans doute voulu de ne pas reproduire la même chose cette année, mais deux cordes illuminées de part et d’autre de la grue auraient été très efficaces.
L’expérience de Lacroix-Ruggieri était aussi évidente dans la qualité du matériel pyrotechnique. La firme française a utilisé des produits sophistiqués, de haute qualité et certains dont elle est l’une des seules à utiliser parmi ceux qui font des feux à Montréal (je pense en particulier au cône de fusées [cone of rockets] qui jaillissent de la 4e rampe). La pièce installée au sommet de la grue est entrée en action une première fois lors d’une visite dans un château, évoquant la puissance de Louix XIV, le roi soleil. Je note aussi que Zambelli n’aura pas eu longtemps l’exclusivité des bombes fantômes (ghost shells) puisque Lacroix-Ruggieri en a aussi utilisées; qui plus est, elles changeaient de couleurs. Pendant un segment patriotique, des bombes d’étoiles tricolores, distinguant clairement le bleu (d’un côté), le blanc (au centre) et le rouge (à gauche), ont été lancées. Enfin, vers la fin du spectacle, nous avons aperçu une (?) bombe d’étoiles à quatre couleurs (avec un large pistil au centre), et dont les couleurs formaient clairement quatre quartiers à l’intérieur de la sphère.
Enfin, la synchronisation a été excellente pendant la plus grande partie du spectacle. Le rythme des feux épousait très bien celui de la musique. Le French Can-Can était particulièrement réussi à cet égard. Elle aurait cependant pu être resserrée lors d’autres segments, par exemple sur la musique de Lady Marmelade.
Un remerciement particulier à Lacroix-Ruggieri pour cet excellent spectacle.
In order to continue the suspense for Cynthia (Paul’s wife) who unsuccessfully interrogated me last night to know my final ranking, I will continue to think about it and post it in the prediction thread!
|Posted: Jul 28, 2011 15:51:18
That was an excellent show by Lacroix-Ruggieri! From the video, i could tell that everyone in the place understood the storyline that they were trying to tell. I think that theme is definitely the strongest point for Lacroix. Their theme was easy to follow and it was also quite fun to watch. I specially liked how they portrayed driving in france. Other than their theme, synchronization was also a strong point of their show as both their shells and one shot effects had a good balance of synchronization. Most often, it's just one or the other that is synchronized. I'm really a big fan of comet and mine chases and therefore i enjoyed these parts of their show. This said, some of the design of their segments remains questionable. One segment that comes to my mind is during the daft punk song where the photoflashes kept stopping, it would have been better if they were continous.
Their effects, as expected were mostly of high quality materials. I specially liked the v. caballer mines they used throughout the show and ofcourse the igual willows! Shame that they still used a few average looking chinese materials although the pattern shells were pretty good It seems that rockets are their trademark effects in the competition.
The faux-finale was quite convincing specially for someone who did not understand the narration i was ready to close the window but i saw that there was 4-5 minutes left! The start of the finale was quite disappointing as after the countdown there were just one W cake firing i was expecting more! fortunately the finale got bigger and bigger and the song i found very enjoyable Overall Lacroix's show is definitely a contender for a jupiter. I think that their crystal clear theme will give them an edge over howards and sons and morsani who are the only 2 other jupiter contenders.
The 3 contenders are really close with each other that i will be happy in any order that they come in. I think that it will all boil down to music choice which i think lacroix has and edge.
Here's my grading for Lacroix-Ruggieri:
Technical Design: 9.5/10
Pyrotechnical/pyromusical Design: 10/10
Overall: 48.5/50 (97%)
1. Australia - Howards and Sons (98%)
2. France - Lacroix Ruggieri (97%)
3. Italy - Pirotecnia Morsani (94%)
4. Czech Republic - Flash Barrandov
5. Canada - BEM Artifice
6. China - Panda Fireworks
7. England - Pyro 2000
8. U.S.A - Zambelli Fireworks
|Posted: Jul 28, 2011 22:46:45 Edited by: Smoke
Ideal weather conditions were the backdrop for our final competitor (team France) for the 2011 season, with pleasant late-evening temperatures. I was pleased to see that winds did, in fact, shift to the potential light SSW tendencies that I had specified in the weather thread, pushing the smoke very slowly (due to very light wind speeds) to the right of the audience at La Ronde, but, fortunately, the smoke build up was not extreme. Skies also remained mainly clear with a few clouds, and the increased cloud cover arrived after midnight.
First, let me say that the experience in viewing a fireworks display from La Ronde was totally different than from what I am commonly used to seeing on De Lorimier/Notre-Dame. I have not viewed a display from La Ronde since 1994 (the first time being in 1990), so I was positive that a show from the park would feel ever more grand after all of these years. The French team also put on a spectacular display, which really added so much more excitement and depth to the overall experience. Paul, Fred and STL - I was given very little time to inform you of my visit, as the decision from my family was a last-minute one - we had arrived at the park during the afternoon hours but quickly lost track of time once we were enmeshed in rides, and it appeared that the park was jam-packed with people. Before we knew it, it was already 9:18 p.m. We headed towards the entrance to the grandstands (bronze and silver sections), near the Pirate ride, by 9:18 p.m, and I thought that I would still have some time to at least drop by and say a quick hello, but I realized that there was already a line-up for admission into the grandstands, so I feared that it was too late. That said, I am privileged that I was able to appreciate the splendors of a display on site at La Ronde! I was also fortunate that a gentleman was nice enough to show us a good vantage point from outside the grandstands, which was located just behind the fence near the entry way (near a Coca-Cola stand adjacent to the silver section) - he also helped us navigate our way through the big crowd and assured that we would be able to see the display very well from where we stood - it turns out that he was very much correct! I did not, unfortunately, record the finale, as I had not equipped myself with my camera lest I lose it or get it damaged while riding. Fred, my visit to La Ronde is primarily why I had not created this thread previously, as I was pressed for time - thank you for substituting!
France had a very energetic performance, full of various enjoyable segments. For a show that used multiple narratives, it flowed reasonably good and kept things in a context that is easily understood. I thought that, because of the nature of the theme and its representation, the show was very, very unique and enticing - the type of approach taken, then, was something that was very different in the history of this competition. The theme was well represented, and I personally enjoyed the ideas used to describe it through the fireworks - the product was superbe, showing its quality through the vivid colors and color mixtures, and the apparent vibrancy of the diverse selection of effects at all levels of sky, amplifying the complexity of the display. One aspect to marvel at was the low-level sequences, especially the angular mines (such as at the opening, with the mines of green stars traveling quickly from left to right and back), comets, mines of whistling comets, and candles, as these all flowed often precisely with most of the soundtrack and made for good symmetry at low to mid levels. The combinations of gerb and mine sequences were also quite memorable. Other effects to mention were the angled cakes, farfalles, triple ring shells, and the red photoflashes. The nautical devices were also quite captivating, such as the fountains, and the arrangement of flares at one point. Finally, the ring structure that was a part of the 40 m (or 50 m?) tower was added a great dimension to this display, having some mesmerizing sequences when it was utilized!
Choreography was excellent and certainly ranks as one of the best attempts this season, along side both Italy and Australia. This made the show so much more lively, and I found that the essence of each soundtrack was portrayed magnificently, using the best suited effects to identify shifts in rhythm and pace and similarly employing the right low level effects (most notably the mines and candles) to effectively show off fast sequences. The excellent synchronization also made for a great design, as the structure of the show was well balanced at all levels of sky, despite how wide it was at times, and symmetry was maintained. I also loved the rainbow patterns that often emerged along the center of the site, as the sequencing involved was very good and filled up space nicely.
When first learning about the theme, quite honestly, I didn’t think that the performance would be successful due to the theme being somewhat vague. However, I was silenced when I quickly saw that the storyline behind the thematic premise fulfilled its meaning, and though the display had several points for narration, I found that they were not as distracting as compared to other displays that incorporated narration in the past. Here, the narration was useful and allowed the audience to grasp the key changes that would unfold as the story progressed. Still, to me, the theme, though it made sense, was a little strange in nature (seemed a little hyper somehow), but it did work mostly well with the show, and the person dressed in the illuminating outfit made the performance, as mentioned previously, engaging, especially just before the finale, when he encouraged those with a cellphone to have them handy, just before proceeding with his five-second countdown. For the finale itself, I did not expect it to be as spectacular as it was, especially considering that we already had arrived beyond 10:30 p.m. This finale is probably the best that I’ve seen this season, as it was enduring, colorful, and built perfectly with the music! Certainly a finale to remember, and one to add to my list of memorable finales! Very nice conclusion from team France! As Vander had expressed previously, I, too, thought the faux finale was convincing, given the time - I was also beginning to become disappointed when I was seeing a monochromatic tendency!
My criticisms are few and minor. Although I did not really care for a fair number of the selected soundtrack, there were some that didn’t seem to really make sense to me in relation to the theme, such as the Simpsons theme song. Also, during periods of calmer activity, I felt that there could have been a little more to represent those sections - the transitions from segment to segment, however, were excellent, a few of which evoked an emotional feel. Also, I would have liked to see perhaps one more section in the display where the ring would be used, such as during the finale. Lastly, I am wondering if the display extending to as far as 10:35 (about a minute longer than Canada’s show) is a major setback. All that said, this was a fantastic display which was full of memorable sequences, great creativity and design, and being highly original. France is certainly in good shape to pick up an award this year. Bravo!
|Posted: Jul 29, 2011 14:13:06
I thought the French show was stunningly good. I could not follow the narration, but did know the general “story” outline from the web. Some of the quieter middle sequences seemed just a bit too quiet for my taste, but the faux finale was magnificent, with those “willow chrysanthemums” ( did I get that right?) filling the sky with dazzling fans leaping up to meet them. I am very partial to that kind of “cosmic” display motif. Since I missed the Italian show (bummer!), I can’t predict rankings, but if the French show does not get a Jupiter I will be very surprised (and disappointed).
A question (for anyone who knows the answer). I will attend the Beatles tribute this year. When does the awards ceremony take place? Is it in the half-hour preceding the show?
|Posted: Jul 29, 2011 14:53:48
I will attend the Beatles tribute this year. When does the awards ceremony take place? Is it in the half-hour preceding the show?
I cannot be sure about this year, but I believe that the awards ceremony traditionally commences at 9:15 p.m., and the winners are announced starting, I think, at 9:30 p.m.
|Posted: Jul 29, 2011 15:00:01
When does the awards ceremony take place? Is it in the half-hour preceding the show?
Best to be in your seat just after 9pm - it varies from year to year, but the awards are often announced between 9:15 and 9:30.
|Posted: Jul 29, 2011 18:48:20
My report is here: http://montreal-fireworks.com/ReportBlog/?p=513
|Posted: Jul 30, 2011 01:04:36
Wow! What a great performance by the French team, one that will for sure offered them a place on the podium.
I was very excited for their show and they offered a spectacle that is quite unlike a traditional performance; using a master of ceremony (wearing a great luminescent jacket) and using the participation of the audience during the show. They were very creative in the choice of display. From my own perspective, they have achieved one of the (if not) best creative pyrotechnical acrobatics this year.
I really enjoyed the section with the ring of fire at 20 feet in the air along with The King musical theme. The following scene of the Death Sentence of the King was well orchestrated; short and sweet, although the musical transition with the next tableau was a bit rough. At that moment, it seemed to me that it was their start of filling the time with displays that had less quality and efficiency to stay on top of their game.
For a moment (for the first 11 minutes), I really thought they would win this year’s competition if they could that great momentum of music and firework artistry. Unfortunately, they had a section where some technical problems appeared and the fireworks were repetitive and seemed to be filling the time. This created a gap that made them lose their magic touch, and diminished their fabulous display into a low quality show.
Every time the music of the Simpson’s came, I felt it was a ridiculous section, with no seriousness. The Restaurant tableau was too light, too simplistic thus a bit irrelevant.
The fashion show had bad synchronicity and poor musical choices. Daft Punk’s music deserved to be better accommodated with proper fireworks. Here, it lacked the energy and strength of the music.
Afterwards, France started to climb back to where they had brought us at the beginning of the show. Unfortunately, bad musical transitions would again hurt their performance and made us wondering if they really were going to finish with a powerful and solid final.
The tableau about the Airport made the French comeback in to the game of podium contention. They finally brought back the beautiful energy and creativity of the beginning.
The finale was Amazing; great song, powerful display… Breathtaking.
Thanks France for your great performance.
|Posted: Jul 30, 2011 14:15:04
Ouf...le jury a vraiment +++ de travail sur les bras. Là je me suis laissé penser un peu plus afin de tenter le mieux possible de rendre justice aux firmes en compétition.
J'ai été TRES impressionné par la prestation de Lacroix Ruggieri...Quel délice pour les yeux de voir ces belles pièces dont certaines originales illuminer le ciel de Montréal et le lac des Dauphins. J'ai embarqué dans leur histoire dès le début et j'en suis ressorti juste après le salut des artificiers.
Je n'ai jamais été friand des narrations pendant un spectacle pyromusical mais là j'ai beaucoup aimé leur facon de raconter une histoire toute simple que celle de ce jeune québécois en visite à Paris .. Un choix de concept vraiment original brillamment illustré dans une mise en scène à la fois dynamique, très imaginative, progressive dans chacun des segments et dans l'ensemble ,des transitions harmonieuses le tout avec le soin constant d'illustrer le thème choisi dans le ciel.
Lacroix Ruggieri a fait preuve de créativité innovatrice cette année dans tous les aspects de son spectacle et a sur brillamment utiliser toutes les possibilités du site de la ronde.
Je revois en mémoire la prestation des coeurs, ces merveilleuses poursuites illustrant le taxi qui file à toute allure vers l'aéroport etc..
Les pièces musicales ont été choisies avec soin et bien ordonnée dans la présentation du spectacle.
Tout cela nous a donné un feu équilibré, bien rythmé, un intensité réglée au quart de tour ,de belles surprises comme les effets de la tour et un ensemble qui a su garder l'intérêt des spectateurs et créer l'émotion.
J'ai été un peu déchiré à choisir entre les Francais et les Italiens mais en raison du choix du thème et de la qualité de son illustration de facon originale et très créative, je donne le Jupiter d'or à ces artistes de cet art éphémère qu'est la pyrotechnie .
Chapeau à cette équipe......
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