The "Lights of Christmas": Drones Light up the Stage at This Year's Christmas Spectacu


Photo Credit: Radio City Music Hall

The Christmas Spectacular is an annual holiday production starring the legendary Radio City Rockettes. The show is held at Radio City Music Hall in New York and is presented to more than one million people every year, with many people attending the show as part of their holiday tradition.

The Christmas Spectacular's premiere performance was on December 21st, 1933, making this year their 85th anniversary! While the show has experienced a number of changes over the years, like new designs and choreography, this year will be especially different: The performance will end with 100 of Intel's Shooting Star Mini drones. We have discussed drone light shows and Intel's record-breaking mini drones before on this blog, but this time the stakes are high. The Christmas Spectacular will be Intel's first foray into a large-scale indoor performance with their Shooting Star Minis and the only performance of its kind in the history of live theater. Working with Director Sam Buntrock, Intel's drones will be part of the shows new finale titled "Christmas Lights" with the mini drones acting as the titular lights. Buntrock is the director of the finale, as well as the director of new digital show content and Obscura Digital, a globally recognized design studio that specializes in interactive art. Obscura Digital will be responsible for the digital projections that will be incorporated into the drone's choreography.

According to an interview with Variety, Buntrock states that the musical performance will center around the North Star. The drones will act as "points of light" related to the holiday, and they will be choreographed to create holiday themed silhouettes. Here's the trailer for the show where you can catch a sneak peek of the Rockettes' and the drones' performances. About 15 seconds in, you can see the drones floating above the stage.

The show runs from November 9th until January 1st with more than 200 performances, making this "Intel's longest running indoor drone light show." However, don't wait until the last minute for tickets. This year's performance is sure to be a memorable one. Make sure you get front row seats to witness history in the making!

I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron

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