Strictly Creative

Strictly Come Dancing, London, October - December 2010

The glitz and glamour of the 2010 Strictly Come Dancing season waltzed onto the UK’s televisions in October with a host of new celebrity students, professional dancers and guest stars in anticipation of an exciting 14 weeks of dance entertainment. Coupled with a brand new and critically acclaimed set, courtesy of set designer Patrick Doherty, this year’s Strictly was sure to be a guaranteed success.

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Creative Technology was proud to support the new set design, providing a wide range of visual solutions for both the Saturday competition dance show and the Sunday results programme. In keeping with the art deco inspired theme, this year’s design called for two curved proscenium arches, realised with CT’s MiTrix LED display to provide the show’s stunning art deco inspired theme. Utilising the new Flyer 18 display for the main set backdrop, the entire effect delivers an outstanding and contemporary style reminiscent of theatre architecture seen in the ballrooms of the 1920s. Additionally for this year’s set, a feature mezzanine floor sits prominently within the proscenium arches with stairs descending from both sides, providing presenters, dancers and guest acts the option of using a second floor as part of their performances. Enhancing the lighting and set design, each stair tread is fitted with CT’s MiStrip, elevating and enriching each performance and adding extra drama to the results show.

The dance floor itself is not without its own visual enhancement. Six Barco FLM projectors, also supplied by CT, have been provided to project images and graphics onto the studio floor. With each dance featuring different music, styles and themes, the visuals have to be fitted perfectly with every step, beat and concept to complement the choreography and deliver the entertainment spectacular that both TV and studio audience expect to receive.

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Strictly’s rehearsals take place on the Thursday and Friday of each week with the show broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays meaning that the entire set needs to be taken in and out of BBC Studios’ TC1 every week, creating a huge amount of man hours in rig and de-rig times. Four engineers, headed up by CT’s John Parsons have been working hard on Strictly for the past 14 weeks on a very tight turnaround. But some weeks have been even tighter. For the Hallowe’en special the engineers were given a day less for rigging and the halfway point weekend at Blackpool meant that the entire set was taken and installed in Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom rather than a studio.

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Creative Technology’s Project Manager Paul Gilzene has been delighted with how the project has progressed. “With the quick turnaround and the added pressures of the special shows, the engineers and the products have proved their excellence and reliability. The set looks fabulous and it’s great to be a part of such a visually spectacular show.”

With 2010’s Strictly Come Dancing foxtrotting its way to the grand finale this weekend, and the glitterball trophy going to a worthy celebrity recipient, this year’s season is coming to a climactic denouement. As Adrian Offord, CT’s Account Manager, concludes: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working on Strictly. Patrick Doherty has designed a fantastic set, and it’s been a delight working with him and the BBC, supporting such a wonderful piece of TV entertainment.”

Creative Technology

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