Archive for the Dragone Category

What We All Do at Work

Posted in Dragone, Life in Macau, Music, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

As you may or may not know, creating the largest most expensive show on the planet is hard work.  It requires years of development and months of intense labor creating the finished product in the theatre.



Guennadi takes his lunch lying down


Our facility was built from scratch specifically for our show.  Hundreds of people have been planning, prepping and slaving away to get the show ready for an audience.



Brixton and I catch a quick nap in the elevator


Last week, we opened (to rave reviews) and our hard work has finally paid off.



Beata grabs some shut-eye between training sessions


We here at The House of Dancing Water, have had several additional projects to deal with during the creation of our show.  We have had a “making-of” documentary film crew, the souvenir program photography and even a few weeks of shooting for our reality TV show.



The Film Crew from EXQI



Photoshoot on the Beach




Even the Cameraman needs to take a rest


One of the marketing techniques employed by COD was to produce a music video with Hong Kong Cantopop legend Sammi.  She sings our theme song (Water of Love) and dances on our stage.  Our cast and stage are featured prominently to tell the love story in her song.  Watch the video here:



The Towel Bin is a great place to catch some ZZZs


Following our Gala Grand Premiere Opening, we had a raging party that started with a champagne toast in the lobby, drinks and munchie food at the Hyatt Ballroom and then hours of debauchery at the new dance club, Cubic.


Rowan, Me and Cheeky celebrate with class at the Hyatt



No one knows where to look- too many paparazzi



The Morning After


Maybe now that the show is open, people will begin to be able to sleep in their own homes again.

Here is one more video of our Creation process for you to enjoy.


What Happens When The Bosses Take a Day Off

Posted in Dragone, funny, Life in Macau, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Yesterday my co-worker, let’s call him “K” was on holiday and therefore out of the office.  Many of the upper management were also away from the office for the day.  Therefore another co-worker “A” and I decided to make some mischief on K’s desk.

K's desk (and K)- On a normal day

My first idea was simply to steal his speakers, but A replied, “That’s too complicated.”  Then she grabbed a pile of foam core that was laying around and said, “I know, we can draw his computer on this polystyrene and replace his real computer with the pictures.”  And so we did.  We drew a monitor, keyboard, mouse and telephone.  We took his desktop computer apart and hid it around the corner.  We attached all the proper wires and taped the whole lot to his desk.

The true multi-tasker: A talks on her phone AND disassembles K's computer

When that wasn’t enough, we also replaced his CPU, cell phone and all his writing utensils.  I seriously considered emptying out his paperclip cup and drawing little fake paperclips to put in it.

Isn't it awesome?

This morning, I came to work EXTRA early so I would be sure to beat K in.  I waited and waited and waited.  Finally he called to say that his flight had been delayed and he would be LATE for work.  Curses, foiled by mother nature and the typhoon that stopped K’s plane!

A hates Mother Nature and the Typhoon that made K late

The new home for K's computer and phone

See more photos of office mischief and adventure here.

Back to the Bubble- Highlights from T&F 2 and 3

Posted in Dragone, Life in Belgium with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

After a 3 month hiatus (summer 2009), all of us Dragone people descended upon Lint and Eurocam (again) to begin (again) our training for the showGiven that it is currently summer 2010, we are all now living in Macau and the show is set to open in September, I will give a speed-through version of the events of Fall 2009 and Winter 2010.

When we first returned to Belgium, the plan was to train until the middle of December and then move to China and begin Creation with the New Year.  Unfortunately, due to delays in building construction, we ended up staying in Belgium until the end of March and not beginning Creation until the middle of June.

When we first arrived, the weather was still warm and even a bit sunny

Soon the wind began to blow and the temperature began to drop

Halloween was a particularly fun occasion in the Bubble.  We had a big party in the catering area.  I helped many of the artists make their costumes (using my normal clothing).  Costumes included: Aerobic Instructor, Hippy, Guy Who Just Finished Taking a Shower, Surfer Party Girl and Jessie K.

Kris G as Hippy

Anna as Jessie K(me)!

Three of these ladies made their own costumes, but the pink one is Cecilia as Surfer Party Girl.

I went as Tigger with a hand-crocheted hat and tail, Magic used his wheelchair and went as R2D2.

We re-christened the Month of November to be “Movember” and almost of all the guys grew out their mustaches.  Apparently, this is an Australian tradition and often used to raise money for testicular cancer.

Mo' betta Mo' boyz Mo'stache

On the last day of Movember, even the girls joined in the fun.

In December, the US Ambassador to Belgium came to visit our studios.  He watched some training and posed for pictures with his entourage and the Americans working for Dragone.

Don't I Look Patriotic?

Snow Snow Snow- Fellow SM Dean and I are very cold in this picture

Getting ready for Christmas with my Sexy Advent Calendar

Also in December we had a big holiday party before everyone went off on their brief holiday vacations.

Santa visited our studio!

Me with Chicken the Acrobat and the 6 Contortionists

We all had 2 weeks vacation for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s.  I took my holiday in Maryland with my family and NYC with my friends.  After the break (again) we all came back to Belgium (again) and resumed our lives in the Bubble (again).  In January we celebrated our one year anniversary of Training and Formation.

Cesilie in the rubbish bin

(Needless to say, after a year and all living and working in the same building, we may have gone a little bonkers.)

Me and Anna at the Studio

We passed Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and all the other days in between.  And on one special day in March, we celebrated the wedding of one of our acrobats, Martin, and his new wife, Petra.  They got married at a church in Brussels and then we held a small reception in our catering area.

In a traditional Slovakian wedding, the bride breaks a plate and the groom must sweep up all the pieces. The other men at the wedding try to kick the pieces away so that the groom cannot complete his task.

Martin and Petra cut the cake!

Tasty tasty cake

In addition to all of the on-site adventures and plenty of work, I did make several trips abroad during this time period.  I will write about those in another blog entry.

I will leave you with the “before” and “after” shots of our group.

A group shot of the artists on our welcoming first night in Jan 2009

A Group Photo Taken for Our Going Away Party- March 2010

The House of Dancing Water

Posted in Dragone, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

At long last, we have an opening night date set for our show: 17 Sept 2010.  The artists and conceptors are busy at work creating the show and piecing all the acrobatic works and choreography together. 

Here is the trailer that was just released:

I thought I would provide a little more of a sneak preview of what’s going on.  First you can visit the official website for the show (there is an explanation of the story, character list and more).  You can also visit the Dragone’s website where they have a preview video available (you can see my back briefly towards the end).

What I Do at Work 6th Edition

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Dragone, Life in Belgium, Painting, Work with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

I am on TV.  I am on TV in Belgium.  Belgian people watch me on TV.  I am even in the trailer (view here).  They show me strapped to a spine board and running up to an ambulance.  This is very surreal.

Our lovely documentary/reality TV channel

I have actually watched the first 44 (of 120) episodes.  I am shown quite a bit.  My favorite episode absolutely has to be the episode where we paint our office.  Other things I do “on the show” are: hand out bathing suits and chamois, tell people to get on a bus, the whole “victim”-for-a-rescue drill-strapped-to-a-spine-board-thing, run up to 2 ambulances, look very serious at meetings and make a schedule.  I episodes not yet released I will go to the Zoo and ride a boat, I will go to chocolate factory and make chocolate, and I probably run up to another ambulance (though they might use stock footage of that since I ran so beautifully the first two times.)

I wrote posts on a few of these events.  See office painting post 1 and post 2, zoo and (of course) spine board.

Here below you can read the Google Translation of the blurb from Exqi’s website.  You can read the original Flemish version here.

“Plus on Monday EXQI “Dragone”

The Monday of EXQI Plus promises much news. It is the start of “Dragone,” the television program at the rehearsals and training for the big water show of Franco Dragone…

..During 2007 and 2008 is Franco Dragone across the globe in search of athletes and gymnasts with whom he has a unique water show would create. The show is meant for the City of Dreams Theatre in Macao, the Las Vegas of China. Because the theater is still under construction in Macao, a location must be found for the rehearsals and training. Franco Dragone’s eye falls on the media site of the Eurocam Media Center and give the command to a ribbon of water studio custom build.

On January 9, 2009 the studio was ready and on January 10, 2009, the team of 80 athletes and their crew, who come from every continent, in Lint on.

On that day also begins the story behind the scenes of the show. The viewer makes the joys and sorrows with a number of artists such as the Polish Klaudyna gymnast, diver informed the Brazilian Sandro, the Tanzanian WABO clown, the Chinese athlete Xu Tao, the passionate Englishman Kirk, etc.

Every day, the athletes at the creation of the show facing new challenges, problems and dangers. The viewer will learn them one better know as a person and simultaneously experience what it’s long without family and friends to live in a foreign country, another culture and a difficult language.

“Dragone” takes you on a fascinating way into the show world and let you look into the hearts of artists and creators.

“Dragone”, from March 1, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 20:00 on EXQI Plus. A compilation follows on Sunday. Get a taste in this trailer.”

EDIT: Here is the opening credit sequence for the TV Show.  I cannot embed the video, so here is the link.

What I Do at Work 5th Edition

Posted in Dragone, Life in Macau, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

In order to better do my job, Dragone has arranged for me and my co-workers to take several classes.  Recently, I completed two courses that will help me run a safer show and help my co-workers in case of emergency.

The first of these classes was a 2-day “Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support” course taught by St. John Ambulance in Hong Kong.  The class was very intense and required previous First Aid/ First Responder Training.  Luckily all of our group did well and passed both the written and practical exams.

A paragraph from the section about explosions. Intense.

We practiced such procedures such as Endotracheal Intubation, Intraosseous Cannulation, Vehicular Extraction, Spine Board, Cervical Collar, Needle Thoracostomy and Helmet removal.  I found all of this rather intimidating and I really hope I will never be called upon to use most of these skills.

However the class really focused on the thought process one must follow in a medical emergency and this will prove invaluable during emergencies in the show.

Dean and I as Fire Wardens

We also took a class to train us as Fire Wardens for our building.  In addition to getting snazzy red caps to wear, we will be responsible for guiding an evacuation in case of fire or other emergency.  We learned a lot about the systems already in place to prevent fire and the spread of fire.  We also had some hands-on training with various types of fire extinguishers.

Me practicing with a CO2 extinguisher

Me practicing with a Powder extinguisher

I am very grateful that Dragone and COD have provided me with this training.  I hope to use very little of it in real life, but am I happy to have had some practice.

What I Do At Work 4th Edition

Posted in Dragone, Life in Macau, Work with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

A fully equipped stage manager (complete with hard hat, hi-vis vest, 2-way radio, wireless headset, highlighter, checklist, lanyard and steel-cap shoes).

Where I Work- A view of COD at night