Proteus Excalibur™ creates elegant finale look at Expo 2020 Dubai Closing Ceremony
Lighting designers Travis Hagenbuch and Bob Dickinson lit the Expo 2020 Dubai Closing Ceremony and turned to Elation Professional’s powerful Proteus Excalibur™ beam moving head to create a spectacular finale look that brought to a touching close the six‐ month Expo journey.
Hagenbuch and Dickinson began their initial spec designs in 2019 when producers FiveCurrents were awarded production of the Expo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies then developed it further over the next
24 months, a period that included a year of pandemic delays.
Hagenbuch comments, “The timing was actually really good because we had seen a demo of the Proteus Excalibur at PRG in Los Angeles in December 2021 and just a few weeks later got the brief about the shaft of light and the end tableau. Due to staging constraints and where the lights had to physically sit, we needed something pretty small and compact so I knew that traditional Xenon searchlights would not work. We really wanted a similar eﬀect that a 7K Xenon might give but in a much more eﬃcient package.” The designer says
they also knew that the fixtures would potentially be rained on from a water eﬀect in the show so an IP65 rating was needed. “As we checked all these boxes, we realized that the Excalibur would be a really good choice.”
Twenty‐four Proteus Excaliburs were supplied by vendor Agora, the lighting supplier for Al Wasl Plaza, and used for the concluding moment. Recessed in a deck that rode on a stage lift that raised and lowered for diﬀerent staging moments, the Excaliburs’ ultra‐narrow 0.8‐degree beams shot dramatically out through the opening hole of the Al Wasl Dome in the moving finale. The fixtures were also employed briefly on an emotional performance by celebrated cellist Yo‐Yo Ma.
Also used on the ceremonies were Elation Proteus Maximus™ LED moving heads – specified by Woodroﬀe Bassett Design (WBD) for the myriad of performances in Al Wasl Plaza. “The Maximus worked great in that environment as well,” Hagenbuch states. “Our team worked with WBD as the ring was being developed to make sure it would work for their shows and the ceremonies. It was a great choice in the end. We were all saying that had this event happened five years ago, before LED engines were this powerful, it would have been an entirely diﬀerent experience and likely a maintenance nightmare. Maximus held up well in the desert environment.”