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L'International des Feux Loto-Québec 2005
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report

Czech Republic Mystery Saturday July 16th, 2005

Flash Barrandov SFX Designed by Jaroslav Stolba, assisted by Paval Sagner; traditional manual electrical firing.

"Prague-based FLASH BARRANDOV SFX has been in the business of movie special effects since 1934. Fully independent from the Barrandov Film Studios since 1994, the firm has gained fame in a variety of pyrotechnical arts competitions and ranks as the leading fireworks firm in the Czech Republic. 'Mystery' is a prodigiously exciting pyromusical performance inspired by the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. The soul of this very special performance is without doubt the magnificent musical score from the Cirque show - which, incidentally, was originally recorded in studios in Prague and Montréal. Lyrical and powerful at the same time, 'Mystery' will unfold in three 'Waking' and three 'Dreaming' sections, which promise to create a singular atmosphere fraught with emotion, inspiration - and above all mystery."

Uncomfortably hot and humid weather was the backdrop to this debut display from the Czech team. Despite the threat of thunderstorms and the heavy air, there was just enough wind to move the smoke in the right direction. Organized into three thematic sections, the music was selected from Cirque du Soleil, Dead can Dance and Vanessa Mae. This was the only traditionally fired (manual electrical) display in this year's competition. The Czech Republic's national anthem was performed during the cermonies by the Montreal-based Czech vice-consul herself without any acompanying music!

Part 1 to the music Salterello by Dead Can Dance. The display began with crossed red star candles, then the same in bombettes and then augmented by the same in shells above. This theme continued for some time and then moved to shells of comets and tourbillons. These were followed by shells of silver glitter and shells of salute-terminated tourbillons. Below these, mines of accelerating comets and then mines of colour stars. These were followed by shells of crackle and colour and then shells of multi-colours. Next, multi colour mines, shells of blue stars and then blue star studatas. As the music changed somewhat in tempo, red nautic flares (which turned to white strobes) lit up on the lake. These were augmented by strobes at the back of ramp three. Then a hemisphere of crackling fountains lit up on the top of ramp 4. After a while, fans of comets fired from behind the hemisphere, getting larger and added to by mines of gold glitter in the same shape from the same position. Above these, shells of go-getters and then shells of blue stars and gold glitter comet pistils. This theme continued with gold glitter mines below and more of the blue star and gold glitter comet pistils above. Next shells of beautiful gold strobes with mines of kamuro comets below. Then kamuro shells above, with barrages of these getting bigger and filling the sky. These were followed by shells of glitter turning to strobes with barrages of these filling the sky and bringing the segment to a close.

Part 2 to the music Ulysse by Cirque du Soleil - René Dupéré. Thick comets of fireflies were augmented by bright strobe shells above. Then a girandola took flight and burst into stars. Fans of gold glitter comets and then mines of blue and gold glitter were followed by blue-headed gold glitter comet shells as the comet fans continued below. Next, silver kamuro bombettes and shells of silver kamuro above, with barrages of these fired. Then a very impressive huge shell of bright orange strobes followed by barrages of shells of silver comets turning to strobes, filling the sky and bringing the segment to a close.

Part 3 to the music Rumeurs by Cirque du Soleil. A flight of glittering girandolas (the earlier one seems to have taken off of its own volition) bursting to stars. Then more flights of girandolas and then flights of double ascension girandolas rose, fell and rose back up into the sky to cheers from the audience. These were followed by barrages of nautic star shells and then nautic shells of gold glitter comets. These were followed by fans of crackling fireflies with spider shells of the same cracking comets above. Next, shells of bright go-getters which became strobes. Then shells of thick comets followed by studatas, sequential multi-break shells and more shells of blue studatas. These were followed by thick crossing comets below with shells of meteor comets above. Next bombette candles with shells of crossette comets above and then shells of stars with glitter comet pistils. A theme of tourbillon candles with farfalle shells above, but with the farfalles ending in salutes. Next, mines of serpents as barrages of the salute-terminated farfalles burst above and then a move to pure single and double-ring farfalle shell barrages as the serpent candles continued below. These were followed by shells of go-getters and then shells of salute-terminated serpents. Candles of groups of comets were augmented by shells of silver comets above and the same in bombettes at a medium level. Then a move to multi-colour shells followed by shells of bright go-getters turning to strobes and bringing the segment to a close.

Part 4 to the music Cantara by Dead Can Dance. Candle fans of meteor-headed comets were augmented by shells of comets and strobes above and then shells of yellow and white comets with candles of silver "dripping" comets below. This theme continued and was followed by candles of yellow stars gold glitter with the same in shells above. Then purple bombettes and candles of crossette comets. Shells with pistils were followed by mines of strobes and then candles of thick comets with shells of bright orange above and the same in mines below. These were followed by shells of crackling comets and some Niagara Falls shells mixed with go-getters. More barrages of go-getters and the go-getters turning to strobes. Studatas of bright photoflash were followed by shells of comets and stars, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 5 to the music Bird by Dead Can Dance. This segment began with a line of gerbs on ramp three. Above these, pattern shells in the shape of spirals (or snails). Next, shells of rings of comets with star pistils and then kaleidoscope shells of six bunchs of stars. The segment came to a close with barrages of red and white falling leaves shells.

Part 6 to the music Reflection by Vanessa Mae. A flight of silver double-ascension girandolas rose, fell and rose into the air throwing off comets as they rose up. Fans of thick pale gold comets with the same in shells above were followed by brighter comet shells with strobing pistils and fans of bright comets below. Then mines of charcoal comets, nautical shells of charcoal comets and the same in shells above followed by orange go-getters. A change in the tempo of the music lead to flights of screaming tourbillons with salutes above and then more screaming tourbillons. These were followed by candles of tourbillons with farfalle shells above. Next, mines of stars and tourbillons wit shells of serpents above, serpent bombettes and shells of crossing stars bringing the segment to a close as the music moved to

Part 7 to the music The Devil's Trill by Vanessa Mae. Shells with pistils and then mines of stars and serpents were followed by shells of crossing-stars and then the specially noted rainbow sequence stared with star candles at the violet end of the spectrum at the left of ramp three. More candles were added from left to right until all the colours of the rainbow (and more since there were also pastels and pinks) were present across ramp 3. The rainbow stars candles continued for some time and then a front of mines in the same rainbow colours brought this sequence to an end as shells of bright coloured photoflash fired above. Then candles in left and right angles followed by bombettes and fans of meteor comets. Next, colour mines with the same in shells followed by shells of kamuros turning to strobes. Barrage of strobe shells brought the segment to a close.

Part 8 to the music Kunya Sobé by Cirque du Soleil. Candles of orange stars turning to salutes were followed by colour-headed comet bombettes and then shells of salute-terminated kamuros above. Below these fans of crossettes as sequential multi-break shells and then studatas fired above. Shells of crossette comets and then shells of orange crossette stars were followed by the same in bright yellow and then silver and then blue. The pace increased as shells of dazzling multi-coloured stars started to fill the sky, shells with pistils and bright meteor comet fans below. Then huge mines of dazzling accelerating comets and bright stars as the display came to an end with barrages of strobe shells above.

This was an interesting and very colourful display from the debutant Czech team. The range of products used was wide and the colours were rich and vibrant. The music was more atmospheric than in many displays which helped because there was not much synchronization between the sound track and the fireworks. Unfortunately, people have come to expect pyromusicals to be tightly synchronized rather than the rather looser "atmospheric" style that was evident in this display. The rainbow sequence was enjoyable, but not quite as well done as the one we saw by Parente in 2003. These criticisms aside, everything was well done and the capacity audience cheered enthusiastically at the end of the display.


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