McLaren works with world-famous entertainment company to ensure safety of high-flying Bamboo Aerial Act performers and street crowds
McLaren Engineering Group, a full-service engineering firm with offices throughout North America, including Orlando, adapted Cirque du Soleil La Nouba’s Bamboo Aerial Act for use in a stunning outdoor performance. The Orlando-based show took its new dynamic act to the streets of downtown Orlando for the Creative City Project event last week.
The Bamboo Aerial Act is an acrobatic performance where two artists, Ekaterina and Alexander Abramova, use a ladder-like apparatus to demonstrate a spellbinding mix of acrobatics and romantic storytelling. Originating from China, this moving art form involves fluid choreography and bold tricks performed while dangling in the air.
“McLaren was proud to provide the initial structural review of the act’s equipment, rigging, and supporting structure in the gridiron for La Nouba’s theater, and the follow-up review for the crane, forklift, and rigging components for the Creative City Project,” said Andrew Habel, Florida Regional Director, McLaren Engineering Group.
To bring the show safely to the streets of Orlando, a crane was used to suspend the act. Loft blocks attached to the crane’s boom suspended the rigging. The performer’s apparatus was hung from steel cables at a winch attached to a forklift at ground level, acting as an anchorage point. The winch raised and lowered the acrobat’s prop for the performance.
McLaren reviewed the act’s rigging, the supporting crane’s capacity and the crane boom angle and length — providing 25 feet of clearance below the performance during the act.
“One of the most challenging aspects of this project was determining the dynamic forces on the act’s show components and rigging due to the performer’s acrobatics,” said Habel. “For performer safety, we wanted to minimize any changes to the feel of the equipment during the performance to ensure that performer interaction with modified equipment would be as smooth as possible.”
This fantastic act can also be seen as part of the show at the Cirque du Soleil La Nouba theater (www.lanouba.com) at the Walt Disney World Resort.
McLaren has collaborated with Canadian-based Cirque du Soleil for years, working on various scenery, mechanized effects, and show-action equipment in many theaters and designing entire sets for traveling shows.
“McLaren’s entertainment division has been responsible for some of the biggest shows all over the world. From Broadway to Vegas to Orlando, we’re extremely proud of the creative ideas we’ve helped to become reality,” said Malcolm G. McLaren, CEO of McLaren Engineering Group.
McLaren’s entertainment work includes structural and mechanical design of touring show sets and stages for The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Blake Shelton, Tina Turner and Paul McCartney, as well as structural and mechanical design for scenery and rides in theme parks around the world.
About McLaren Engineering Group
McLaren Engineering Group features eight engineering divisions, staffed with nearly 200 employees in 10 offices. www.mgmclaren.com.