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Apr 2016 | Opera

At ExMachina we always say we put “Creativity in Motion”. Some projects transformed the practice of our craft, and will remain significant achievements in our company’s history. That is the case of La Juive, directed and decorated by Olivier Py and Pierre-André Weitz at the Lyon Opera House.

During the whole show, 16 elements needed to travel from stage left to stage right in a downstage corridor, and then back in the opposite direction in an upstage corridor, at a varying speed of 20 cm/s. All elements shared the same technical base: a 2.4 x 2.4 m rolling structure. Some elements where just raw platforms, and some others rose up to 3 stories. Up to 70 performers could evolve on the elements while in motion. The total mass in one corridor reached up to 11 tons.

In addition, elements could be inserted from backstage in any of the 4 orientations, showing numbers of combinations to the audience. Set up requirements were no less ambitious: the complete set had to be quickly built (and dismantled) in 3h – including machinery – as it was part of a festival.

We like to address simple solutions to complex scopes. Friction drive sounds a bit unreliable to many of our competitors. But we think that if properly engineered, it offers the perfect match: cost friendly, forgiving, flexible, silent and quick to set up!

As this project is not the only machinery project we did for our client, ARMAZ motors are the same than what powers their modular revolving platforms. Smart machinery used the smart way.