SPARKED: Dancing Drone Lamps

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dancing drones

Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios have partnered to develop a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance. The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync. Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future.

A lamp technician solders a plug, polishes his lamp for testing, and goes to turn on his latest project. It’s unclear if this is a fixer lamp or not, but when the circuit blows all of that is quickly forgotten and replaced by the need for light. A fitting metaphor for an entertainment company whose name translates to “Circus of the Sun.”

Cirque du Soleil recently partnered with the university ETC Zurich and Verity Studios to produce SPARKED, “a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance.” That dance was choreographed and then executed with “precise computer control” to turn otherwise inanimate lampshades into anthropomorphic beings with their own personalities.

Cirque du Soleil have been working with this art for some time, as shown inthis making-of video that includes some rich behind-the-scenes footage of SPARKED and additional documentary segments. You can see how their idea of “autonomous flying machines” has already undergone several iterations, the DJI Phantom is a preferred testing drone, and how a mere comment eventually turned into a beautiful video.



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