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2000 l'International Benson & Hedges Montréal Pyromusical Competition Report

Germany Visit in a Dance School, designed by Georg Alef, FireOne firing Sunday July 23rd, 2000

Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik

"Winners of the Bronze Jupiter in 1996 and the Silver Jupiter in 1997, the Weco fireworks designers are determined to conquer the highest summit of the pyrotechnical arts in the year 2000. Always bold in their choice of themes and intensely loyal to their ambitions, they will explore the vast universe of dance, from Irish step dancing to the polka, including disco, the samba, the mambo, and the ever popular rock 'n' roll."

Late afternoon thundershowers manage to entirely avoid La Ronde, leaving a warmish evening for this display of seven different dance styles. With more than 50% of the material specially constructed for the display, there promised to be some special surprises. The two large cranes holding what appeared to be a 300 foot long, 150 foot high water fall being one of them!

Introduction to the music Deduction in the style Introduction performed by Scooter. An introductory commentry began with a countdown as glitter mines fired, with a large salute above and white flame projectors fired on each second of the countdown. Then a line of fountain pairs along the lake and on the centre structure fired with shells of white balls and crackle above.

Part 1 to the music Riverdance in the style Irish step performed by Bill Whelan. After a short commentry, the display proper began with yellow flares at the back with V-shaped fountains along the lake. Then groups of fountains firing in the shape of shamrocks lit up followed by three pairs of really huge V-shaped silver fountains. White crossed ball candles fired up and were augmented by cakes of bright blue stars with more crossed ball candles in pale green in front. Above these candles and cakes, shells of clusters of green fireflies followed by clusters of slow falling crackling comets. Then candles of purple stars with red flares on the ground at the back. Above these, shells of clusters of brocade, turning to silver as they fell all the way to the lake with synchronized white flame projectors below. Then a line of vertical wheels with white strobe pots along the lake and mines of clusters of red stars. These were followed by silver comets from the left and right, then a front of comets and followed by crossed glitter comet candles and candles of wiggly whistling comets. Next, shells of colour stars and crackling comets with mines of the same below and then candles of blue-headed glitter comets and candles of double-ended tourbillons with shells of star headed comets above. This theme repeated and was followed by crossed cluster mines, pink mine fronts and crossed comet clusters. Next, rising tail shells bursting to thick pale-gold dahlias with crossed glitter fan candles below. These were followed by shells of starfish-like clusters of crackling comets with bombettes and tourbilloncandles below. Then barrages of shells of blue stars turning red followed by rising tail shells of fireflies followed by large shells of red fireflies. Then more barrages of lower-level fireflies filling the sky. After that, crossed and vertical dazzling thick comets, forming an M shape with multi-break shell-of-shells in crossed silver comets above, bringing this long segment to a close.

Part 2 to the music Carnaval de Venise in the style Vienese Waltz performed by André Rieu. After a short commentry, the segment began with left and right angled cluster mines and then fans of ball candles with shells of slow falling red stars above. Then a large charcoal comet weeping willow shells as several rotating set pieces with lancework in the shape of a smiling face started to graceful spin, as if at a waltz. Above these, shaped-burst shells in the form of smily faces followed by charcoal comet turning to blue shells with dahlia pistils. These were followed by bombettes in blue with small bees as comet fans fired with glitter shells above. Then shells of red stars with comet fans beneath as shells of blue-headed gold comets fired above with blue ball and glitter comet candles below. The segment was brought to a close with shells of meteor comets - very bright headed thick pale gold, falling slowly.

Part 3 to the music Everybody needs somebody in the style Rock and Roll performed by the Blues Brothers. This segment began with mines to the left and right, in time to the music then fronts of mines angled left and right with tourbillon and ball candles in the centre. Then comets angled left and right and then in clusters of three - left, centre and right with shells of comets and colour pistils above. Then more left and right mines in red, with multi-break shell-of-shells in silver above, then the same in green and then the flower-like petalled tourbillon shells with blue with star-headed comet candle fans below. Next, shells of rings followed by kamuro dahlias followed by crackling comet candles and shells. Then shells of crackling crossing-stars - with many barrages of these fired. Next, a repeating sequence of wiggly salute-terminated comet candles, with shells of colour and comets above and also some whistling candles. The segment was brought to a close with a huge multi-break shell-of-shells of large white tourbillons completely filling the sky to whistles of delight from the audience.

Part 4 to the music Mambo No.5 in the style Mambo performed by Lou Bega. Two large set-pieces in bright orange lances in the shape of trumpets opened up as white flame projectors moved along the lake front. As the trumpets continued to burn, four cakes, each of a different colour of fast balls and crossed ball candles lit up with ring shells above. Then flights of comets from the centre as the trumpets shot out stars in time with the music. Next, rising tail shells bursting into rings and comets with small mine fronts below, then mines to the left and right followed by spark sprays left and right as double ring shells burst above, some with crackling pistils and then triple ring shells. Then large rising comets with a flash at the top as flames projected out of the still-burning trumpets. Fronts on mines with comets in the centre with shells of tourbillons and rings above followed by shaped-burst shells of double concentric hearts. The segment was brought to a close with rising tail shells bursting to rings and dahlia comets, the stars falling through the air and changing colour. The trumpets had burned for the entire segment!

Part 5 to the music Cologne Samba in the style Samba performed by Bläck Fööss. This began with bright comets and then fast crossette candles with firefly bombette candles with mines below. Then barrages of rising tail shells bursting to orange fireflies with ball candles and mine clusters below and then really large orange firefly shells above. Next, a really large charcoal comet weeping willow turning to silver with fireflies in the pistil. Then some huge kamuros followed by more orange firefly shells with crossed mine clusters and ball and comet candles. Then shells of silver-headed comets followed by the flower-like double-petalled tourbillon shells with gold comets as well and candles of screaming wiggling comets. Above these, multi-break shell-of-shells of silver crossed comets followed by more firefly shells in orange. The segment was brought to a close with a sky-filling charcoal comet weeping willow shell, turning to colour and falling to the ground with a huge front of crossed charcoal comet mines.

Part 6 to the music It's raining men in the style Disco performed by The Weather Girls. Screaming wiggling comets, a barrage of salutes and bright silver flash pots opened this segment and were followed by five silver girandolas rising into the air. Then a large weeping willow charcoal comet shell followed by another five silver girandolas. Then enormous shells of kamuros with crackling pistils, falling all the way to the lake, each comet terminated in a large crackle (some very close to where I was stood). Then a line of strobes at the back with comet fan candles in front with shells of crackling comets above and shells in white with firefly pistols. These were followed by multi-break shell-of-shells in crossed silver comets with mine fronts angled left and right below and then candles of wiggling comet bombettes. Next, shells of crackling comets with the same in candles below and multi-break shell-of-shells of crackle. Then barrages of slow-falling clusters of blue shells, followed by volleys of crackle shells and fast cakes of crackle. These were followed by more of the clusters of slow-falling blue shells, then large green shells and shells of blue and green turning to charcoal comets. The pace became very intense with bombette crackling comets, barrages of low crackle shells, huge amounts of crackle shells above with salutes. The pace increased more with enormous shells with an initial crackling sphere followed by a large outer crackling sphere of stars. The air was completely filled with enourmous amounts of crackle, the segment coming to a close with enormous charcoal comet shells turning to crackle at the end of the stars, reaching to the ground.

Part 7 to the music Drieß op dä Driss in the style Polka performed by Paveier. Mines left right and centre with colour shells above opened this segment as fast cakes of balls opened up and then fans of comets with tourbillon mines and crackling rising tail shells of crackling dahlias above. Then candles of silver comets and tourbillons followed by whistling comets with comet shells above. Then a repeating segment of shells of star-headed comets with barrages of nautic tourbillons below! Next, shells of red clusters turning to tourbillons followed by a line of fountains. Then shells of charcoal comets turning to colour, the segment coming to a close with multi-break shell-of-shells in tourbillons

Part 8 to the music Heroes of the Night in the style Ball performed Sandra Schwarzhaupt. This final segment began with low barrage of charcoal comet shells turning to silver. Then shells of clusters of slow falling green bees followed by more low barrages of charcoal comet to silver shells. Then shells of blue turning to silver followed by slow falling clusters of pastel coloured stars. Next, bombette candles of charcoal comets with large charcoal comet shells above turning to silver. Barrage after barrage of these were fired, getting large and larger and filling the sky. Then fast cakes of bright crossette comets and colour stars with silver comet shells above. Then clusters of kamuros turning to silver with cakes below. Next, large multi-break shell-of-shells of brocade, falling all the way to the lake, with barrage after barrage of these filling the sky. Then a fantastic 300 foot long, 150 foot high waterfall (suspended by two large cranes) lit up, the sparks falling all the way to the ground as volleys of huge multi-break shell-of-shells of silver comets filled the sky above, the finale coming to a close with a massive multi-break shell-of-shells of bright fireflies, filling the sky and a barrage of huge titanium salutes from comet candles.

Encore. The display wasn't quite over as, like a band, an encore was played. Thanks were given to the staff at Parc Jean Drapeau, in particular the pyrotechnicians who work so hard to make the competition a success every year, the Weco team thanking their "Professors" and saying they always learned new things coming to Montréal. Whilst the commentry was being read, kamuro shells were fired, followed by shells of yellow fireflues, the display finally ending after 35 minutes with a large multi-break shell-of-shells of comets filling the sky.

This was a very enjoyable display, particularly because of the theme running through it. The commentry added to the display, particularly the section (which I failed to write down) where members of the pyrotechnic orchestra were introduced! The fantastic double-sphered crackling shells were just magnificent, and the huge waterfall at the end was a great success. Synchronization was flawless throughout and there was a nice variation in rhythm and pace during the display. This was the best Weco I've seen yet and they'd won Bronze and Silver Jupiters on their previous visits. The encore at the end was a really nice touch. Once again this year, we witnessed another winning display - that makes at least five now. It is almost impossible to judge this year and I think the choice of music will be the final determinant. I really have trouble saying which I liked the best, they've all been excellent so far. I've never seen such close competition.


Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official press release material, shown in white.