I wanted to write this some time ago but I got really... distracted upon arrival back to Odessa and only now I can have some clarity in my mind.
Despite all of the different opinions heard about SkyDance, in my humble opinion it was a major thing! Not only because of the fact that everyone in the audience could find in the show stuff he liked but also because in overall it looked beautiful. Let's get some summary.
(Don't forget to check out the backstage and afterparty pictures after reading everything ;))
No matter how much a symphony orchestra involved in any show it means that there will be a conductor. It may sound silly enough, especially from the audience's point of view, as it may look not that difficult to lead an orchestra according to the stage action. However, it is.To the luck of the show, Cristoforo Spagnuolo is a conductor of great precision, discipline and flexibility (the qualities which are essential for this kind of live productions). It is an important thing to point out, that despite many modern conductors, showing-off while on stage for C. Spagnuolo is among the last items in his priorities list. He never does any extra movements. Musicians don't need them. During rehearsals Cristoforo does not say too much. Only things that must and can be done are brought up. Four songs of Patricia Kaas accompanied by Symphonisches Orchester Zürich and Cristoforo Spagnuolo probably became a heart of the two Geneva shows.
It sure takes a lot to make a show so diversified that almost anybody would find it interesting. I must admit I don't know much about dance but as far as I'm concerned most of the genres were present. Just look at the names: John Carey and the Celtic Stars, Hip Hop Superstars, Nina Corti, Liz Lira, Swisstricks, Ying Ling... I think nobody left disappointed.
SkyDance turned out to be not only a dance show but also something very... musical. Many times mentioned Patrisia Kaas with Frédéric Helbert and the orchestra were simply magical, singer Freddy Sahin Scholl was quite a special guest, an italian rock band NEK were practically stealing the beginning of every second part of the shows in Zürich and "Mr Boogie Woogie" Errol Dixon was playing more and more soulfully with every show.
Having had a look at the sound system for both Geneva and Zürich shows and observing the work of the sound engineers really impressed me. I had a chance to speak with these essential people really quick. FOH consisted of at least 5 people taking care of the orchestra mix (mixing the orchestra involved getting together over 60 separate channels as every musician had his own mic), backing tracks, NEK mix and the master mix. About five people more were in charge of the stage lightning but that was not the area of my interest. Moreover, in Zürich from both sides of the stage were two monitor engineers: one for NEK and another one for "everything else". Apparently, the "SkyDance song" was the only piece which was successfully played by the orchestra with the support of the backing track. The reason why the second song of Freddy Sahin Scholl was dropped for the further shows right after the premiere was that it just "didn't work like that" as a master-FOH guy told me. Anyway, guys at FOH did a great job!
The show was very colourful! In addition to the excellent work of light engineers there was a giant LED screen which was not only hiding the orchestra when it did not have to play but was used to show different bright images accompanying the songs and dances.
Even though the fact that the beginning of the American rapper Busta Rhymes' performance at the premiere in Zürich spoiled because of the stage crew and a DJ shouting "F**k" (because part of his equipement was still not hooked up at the moment he started playing) might've looked like a joke to the audience, such things may turn out to be a real pain for the artist. An appearance of Busta Rhymes at the shows in Zurich angered a lot of people mostly because of his behaviour, especially being late for the performance at one of four shows in Zürich, however, if we forget about that I personally (as a man who's not really into rap stuff) find his live performances including "Break ya neck" to have been rather good and interesting.
As I mentioned in my previous entry, 1. TC Ludwigsburg's performance of what they called "Bohemian Rhapsody" was really disappointing. I think Freddie Mercury would say something like: "Darlings, you can listen to my songs, dance to them, even sing them (when you're in a shower) but don't f**k with them. Only I can do that!" Some will say that there have been a lot of Queen covers in the past. Well, yes, I would even mention a brilliant "Queen Symphony" by Tolga Kashif, which, in my opinion is one of the greatest tributes to the music of Queen, and also piano transcriptions/improvisations of Thierry Lang from the "Guide Me Home" album. However, I am pretty sure nobody ever mutilated Queen songs like that: The Prophet's song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don't Stop Me Now, Love Of My Life, Another One bites the dust, You're my best friend... If Freddie managed to do a parody on opera, a person who dared to do this mix for 1. TC Ludwigsburg succeeded in doing a parody on music as a phenomenon. It is so bad that it's worth writing a separate article but I just don't want to do this. If you are really wondering what I'm talking about just look for "Bohemian Rhapsody Ludwigsburg" on YouTube, however, if you are a fan of Queen you'd better not do it.
Even though I tried hard, I could not find any information on "Who approved that?", meaning there is no evidence 1. TC Ludwigsburg have a legal right to use the Queen material (even so disfigured) in their performances.
People are used to watch TV shows all right... TV shows are good to produce. People watching the TV mostly don't care whether artists play/sing live or just "play" to a pre-recorded tape. That's the point that was more and more confusing me while watching the SkyDance show from the backstage. It would very much raise a level of the show if more music were performed live. To my surprise a wonderful Irish Folk and Celtic Rock band "Two Generations" were just to pretend to play. Yes, I know this is a huge show but NEK could play live, orchestra could play live... It would not be that hard to give people some more live music. It would really add more class to the show.
Anyway, SkyDance is a great show and with a little effort it can become better and better every year.
P.S. I'm still asking people who were at the afterparty at the Hotel Marriott in Zürich to contact me in case they found that program I lost. Thanks!
Previous Facebook comments
- Moritz Krauteryou have no idea about formation dacing right? bad description of 1. Tanzclub Ludwigsburg
- Daniel Maximilian Marksjo zwuggel .. geh ab .. ;)
- Moritz Krauterdes war ja no gar nix der manu soll mal schreiben was der schreiben wollte
- Daniel Maximilian Marksund woher will des Weber wissen was der schrieben wollte.. is der Weber dem Vogel sein Brain :D