November 15th, 2015

Illuminating 45 Degrees at the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony

PixMob technology was launched in 2010 with a collaboration with Cirque du Soleil for the Microsoft Kinect launch. We have partnered up with them several times since. PixMob and the Cirque du Soleil being two companies rooted in creativity and innovation, we are in constant evolution and our ventures are always unique. We recently got the chance to work with their newest subsidiary, 45 Degrees, for the Pan Am Games opening ceremony in Toronto. Anne Séguin-Poirier, guest designer and creator on this project, worked closely with Cirque du Soleil for ten years. She shared some thoughts about the new project with us.
What made you come to PixMob for this new project?

Connecting with PixMob for the Pan Am opening ceremony permitted us to integrate light directly into the variety of accessories involved. We had one hundred and fifty lamps held by children on stage, flowers on the artists’ suits and floating chairs, and pendants worn by the athletes in the ceremony. These were all lit with PixMob LED technology, which allowed us to control the lighting effects from a distance and synchronize them with our music and choreography.

What were your creative inspirations for the conception of this show?

I worked together with the costume designer. The show integrated the portrayal of vastly different universes from once scene to the next, so we really drew inspiration from all kinds of different sources, for example, different periods in history. We worked these ideas into the creation of five hundred accessories. The light was a tool for us to fill the huge space of the arena and to truly reach our audience with the choreography. For example, we portrayed a magical atmosphere when the children entered the arena with their lamps.

What did you like most about the preparation for this show?

We made almost everything from scratch, which was a huge technical challenge. We did a lot of tests and had to modify the objects several times to ensure that it was both esthetically appealing and effective. When we were finally able to practice in the arena, it was really interesting to see what the objects would look like in that space. Then we adapted them to make sure they had the effect we wanted. I really love constantly adapting our objects to cater to the creative process.

Did you run up against any challenges in the preparation for this event?

Our biggest challenge was to successfully integrate PixMob’s technology at the arena. We relied on a team of volunteers to assemble our objects. It was truly amazing to see their fascination and pride when they finally saw the objects in action. They were all really happy to be there working with us. It was really gratifying.

In your opinion, what makes this new partnership with PixMob unique?

45 Degrees offers projects that are created entirely from the ground up. This type of project relies heavily on R&D, which is at the heart of both 45 Degrees’ and PixMob’s mission. The creative vision of the two companies mix really well.

Connecting people is something that is important for both 45 Degrees’ and PixMob’s vision. How was this goal reflected in your work for the Pan Am Opening ceremony?

We established wonderful connections with our spectators. People got to see new possibilities that they will want to see again in the future. They engaged with performance in a new way. At 45 Degrees we are always looking to make our projects newer, more creative, more unique.