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L'International des Feux Loto-Québec 2008
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report

China Saturday July 17th, 2004 Dragons and Butterflies

Sunny International Co. Ltd. [Gold Jupiter 1992] Designed by Jim Shih Pyrodigital firing; Show Director choreography; ~3000 cues

Montréal, Friday, August 1, 2008 - The Chinese firm that walked off with the gold Jupiter in 1992 will be back on deck Saturday at L'International des Feux Loto-Québec. At the same time, this kicks off China Week at La Ronde, a week of activities culminating on August 9 and 10 with the participation of no less than 800 people from Montréal's Chinese community. In organizing this event, La Ronde wants to underscore the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

In an effort to win the hearts of Montréalers, Sunny International will be presenting Forever Love, a pyromusical transposition of a Chinese legend that, in many ways, resembles the tale of Romeo and Juliet. The story of Ying Tai - a young woman who, although promised to another, falls in love with Shan Bo - is presented in five acts accompanied by 13 pieces of music. The tale comes to a tragic end as the two lovers die and are transformed into butterflies who fly away. As designer Ching Chung Shih relates, however, the story should be seen as an example of struggle, perseverance, and hope.

Moreover, he knows what he's talking about in this regard: he went to China short after the terrible earthquake that took more than 70,000 lives last May, in the province of Sichuan. Forever Love, the show that I have been working on for a few months now, has taken on a whole other dimension," he stated.

The music serving as a sound support for the fireworks will be both varied and rich in emotion. The works include Mozart, Vivaldi, traditional Chinese melodies, and even certain strains from Harry Potter. Narration in French will also be provided. "If, one day, you had to go away, my destiny would suddenly change completely" is a translation of a representative excerpt of the accompanying text.

A very pessimistic weather forecast ended up not being as bad as predicted and, after two hours of rain early evening, the skies cleared and left almost perfect conditions for this anticipated display. However, the high humidity and lack of wind did cause more smoke to accumulate than other displays, resuling in some parts being hard to see at a couple of points, though not spoiling the display too much. Ramp 5 was also in use during the display but my notes didn't always appreciate this fact. A speech by the Chinese Consul General also gave away some secrets about the fireworks to be used for the opening of the Beijing Olympics!

Part 1 to the music Ikhtitaf Fi Assaraya by Mozart. A line of strobes lit up across ramp three as the introductory narration started. After this was over, things got going dramatically with volleys of red shells, crossed fronts of meteor headed glitter comets and barrages of titanium salutes. Shells of red turning to glitter formed the next theme followed by shells of rings of stars with hugh crackling pistils as crossed green crossettes fired below. The rings with crackle pistils continued as mines of glitter stars fired below with barrages of the red to comet shells above. Crossed meteor comet fronts on the notes with volleys of shells above were followed by volleys of red shells and angled fronts of crackling mines below and willow strobes above. This theme continued with more mines below and star shots and then crossed glitter comet shots which were then augmented by crossette shots and more crossed glitter comet shots on the notes with barrages of shells above, the segment coming to a close with more barrages, glitter mines and titanium salutes.

Part 2 to the music Liang Zhu (Butterfly lovers by He Zhanhao et Chen Gang. The next part of the story was introduced as cakes of fans of meteor comets fired. As the narration finished, shells of twinkling stars fired with volleys of red heart shells below and, remarkably, meteor comet shots that went through two hearts to cheers from the members of the audience. This theme continued and then was augmented by mines of red strobes. These were followed by shells of strobes above with strobing pistils and groups of strobe mines below. Then fast fan cakes of gold glitter. These were followed by gold spider shells above and fans of meteor headed glitter comet cakes below. Next, groups of strobe mines with gold glitter spider shells above and more glitter fans on ramp 3 below. The mine groups returned with shells above of strobes and red bees as crossed glitter shots fired below. Volleys of deep strobes were followed by gold glitter shells and shells with strobes and faster strobing pistils. Cakes of blue stars bursting to bombettes then opened up below as the strobes with strobe pistils continued above. This theme continued and was augmented by larger glitter shells turning to strobes, bringing the segment to a close to cheers from the audience.

Part 3 to the music Potter Waltz by Patrick Doyle. Fans of tourbillons were augmented by shells of seperents above as bright green crossed star candles also fired below. This theme continued and was augmented by shells of strobes above. Next bright silver fans of tourbillons with farfalle shells above, some opening in a dense manner. The bright green candles continued as shells of silver waving comets opened above as well as shells of green bees. A return to strobes and then crossed silver comet shots below as the silver waving comet shells returned above together with strobes. Increasing mine fronts in green fired on the notes across ramp 3 as a muzzle break caused the audience to cheer. More serpent shells above, then star shells and crossed glitter comet fronts below bringing the segment to a close.

Part 4 to the music Freedom by 12 Girls Band. Fans of stars and bees were followed by strobes on ramp 3 with mines of red stars as shells of crossing stars fired above. Then fast Z cakes of stars bursting to gold clusters with gold glitter pistil shells above. This theme continued and was followed by fast Z cakes of red stars across ramp 3 in opposite directions with more of the pistil shells above. Then more Z cakes of stars and bees with blue shells above. These were followed by crossed gold glitter comet shots and then shells of gold glitter with blue pistils and more of the Z cakes of blue stars turning to gold bombettes. More barrages of gold glitter shells with blue pistils turning to gold strobes were followed by fast cakes bursting to crackle and huge crackling shells above. Back to the Z cake bombette theme with shells of rings of gold glitter with blue pistils, then green pistils with crossed gold glitter comet shots below followed by a return to the Z cake crackle bursts. These were followed by dense gold comet shells above turning to crackle bursts and fans of red stars turning to bees below. This theme continued and was followed by crossette comet shells and meteor headed glitter comet shots below and then broccade shells above, the segment coming to a close with a volley of shell-of-shells star shells.

Part 4b to the music Plus bleu que tes yeux by Edith Piaf. Gold glitter candles were augmented by mines of small strobes and shells of small strobes above as this segment was used as a narration.

Part 5 to the music Falls deeply in love - Classical Chinese. Shells of deep strobes and crossed candles opened this segment. Then larger shells of glitter and shells of falling leaves as the candles continued. These were followed by candles bursting to falling leaves with falling leaf strobes above and then a return to the deep strobes causing me to exclaim "nice strobes". Volleys of falling leaf shells added to the strobes as crossed charcoal comet candles fired below, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 6 to the music Flight of the Bumble Bee by Rimsky Korsakov. After a narration, shells of bees and bombettes of flying fish opened up. Then fans of silver comets with silver fish followed by Z cakes as shells of bees continued above together with shells of yellow stars. Mines of whistles and comets then fired below as the bees continued above followed by Z cakes of serpents and bees as shells of serpents fired above. This theme continued and was followed by shells of silver bees followed by comet shots below and mines of whistling serpents, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 7 to the music Presto from Summer by Vivaldi. Fast cakes of stars were followed by fast cakes of gentle bombettes and then fast fan cakes of bright stars and glittering crackling comets with shells of popping clusters of bright stars turning to crackling comets above. This theme continued and was followed by shells of glitter comets ending in strobes. Next, note sequenced mine runs across ramp 3 in stars with glitter trails and then angled left and right and in opening fan groups. These were followed by volleys of glitter comet shells and shells of strobe crossettes. This theme continued and was augmented by shells of serpents as Z cakes opened below. Shells of crossette comets fired above and were followed by shells of waving silver comets as the music rapidly faded bringing the segment to a close.

Part 8a to the music Plus bleu que tes yeux by Edith Piaf. Orange candles were augmented by fans of small lemon bombettes above as this segment was used as a narration.

Part 8 to the music Exodus by Ernest Gold. Fans of green stars were followed by fans of whistling serpents, then dazzling silver comet fronts left and right with mine fronts interspersed. Bright star fronts left and right were followed by a volley of shells. Next, sequences of Z cakes with shells of stars and shelsl of bees above. The Z cakes then became meteor headed glitter comets with fans of mines added into the mix and then a return to just the glitter meteor comets. Bright and broad mine fans then were followed by barrages of purple stars above. This theme continued and was followed by mine fans below and star shots in gold. Fronts of purple mines firing up and crossed were followed by double ring shells above and then nautical shells burst out of the lake to a WOW from me. Shells of mixed stars and glitter comets then followed above. Star mine comet fronts left, right and up fired below and were followed by more purple shells above. Shells of rings of alternating stars and comets then fired together with spider shells of glitter comets as meteor headed crossed glitter comet shots fired below. These were augmented with the same in shells and mines, bringing the segment to a close with mines of bees and mines of bright crackling stars.

Part 9 to the music La Traviata : Libiamo ne’ lieti calici sung by Pavarotti. Triplets of gold fountains lit up across ramp 5. A front of comets was followed by shells of blue as cakes of blue stars bursting to gentle bombettes of bees fired below. These were followed by large comet shells with pistils and titanium laced shells of kaleioscopes of crackling gold comets. Left and right firing comet fronts followed below, on the notes, followed by mines as shells of rings of alternating stars and comets fired above with shells of clusters of crackling comets below. The bombette cakes returned and were followed by huge pistil shells changing colour twice above. Then volleys of diadem broccade followed by fans of bright mines turning to blue below with glitter comet shots embedded as the alternating star and comet ring shells fired above. These were followed by shells of bright stars turning to kamuro comets followed by colour changing shells above as well as shells of strobes. These volleys increased as crossed meteor glitter comet shots criss-crossed below. Then huge broccade shells with blue pistils and clusters of strobes, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 10 to the music Liang Zhu (Butterfly lovers by He Zhanhao et Chen Gang. Fans of comets with twinkling broccade shells above were augmented by crossed comet candles below. The candles continued as bright lemon nautical shells burst on the lake and a carpet of double fountains lit up on the lake and started to rotate as the candles continued. Cakes of clusters of gold comets then fired above these as Niagara Falls shells burst above, with strobing pistils. The fountains on the lake continued to burn as Z cakes opened up in gorgeous pastels as the Niagara Falls shells continued with crossettes at mid level. Crossed comet shots were followed by butterfly shaped burst comet shells above with shells of clusters of stars as star cakes fired below. This theme continued and then was followed by more twinkling broccade shells, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 11 to the music Intermezzo by Mascagni. Z cakes of red stars bursting to bombettes of falling leaves accompnied the narrative opening. These were followed by shells of comets turning to strobes and shells of falling leaves. Crossed glitter candles then fired below as the same shells continued above. Sequenced fans of meteor comets were augmented by red strobe palms above and then volleys of silver strobes and shells of falling leaf strobes. Foutains then lit up on ramp 5 as the strobing falling leaves gently descended above, bringing this serene segment to a close to cheers from the audience.

Part 12 to the music Improvisation Chinese percussion. Fronts of fans of mines burst up on the drum beats as barrages of shaped burst shells fired above. Because of the smoke, it was difficult to see the shapes but rings, double rings, interlocking rings and cubes were seen, interspersed with barrages of larger shells during this very rhythmic segment. kaleioscopes of crackling comet clusters also added into the mix as dazzling fans of lemon and pale blue fired below, the segment coming to a close with bright mines and strobes above.

Part 13 to the music Allegro Maestoso by Franz Listz. Fans of bombettes were the backdrop to the final narrative piece as dazzling mines walked across ramp 3 as lovers were bid their best wishes. Fans of crackling comet shots were followed by Z cakes of glitter comets bursting to crackle across ramp 3 as shells of serpents fired above as well as rings of comets with blue pistils. Bright pastel bombettes then fired below as volleys of large shells fired above. Fast Z cakes in lemon and glitter mines with bees were augmented by volleys above and then more gentle mines below in moving sequences. These were followed by meteor glitter comet fans followed by dahlia shells above and shells with strobing pistils. Huge comet shots below with mines of bees embedded were followed by different coloured meteor glitter comet shots below in criss-cross fronts. Then opening Z cake fans of lemon as large crossette comet shells burst above followed by silver broccade shells. Fast mine sequences followed below with stars and bees as the crossettes returned above. Then Z cake bombettes of lemon clusters as barrages of shells fired above. Color changing broccades were followed by mines below, titanium salutes at mid level and star mine comet fronts below with barrages of shells high above. Dazzling crossed comet fronts were augmented by silver broccades above and then fast sequence of lemon stars with bee mines ran across ramp 3, back and forth faster and faster. Fronts of mines and star shots were augmented by barrages above, increasing and increasing as screaming whistling serpent fans flew up below, as the sky filled with shells and then dazzling crossed silver comets and titanium salutes bringing the display to an end with a large WOW from me and cheers from the audience.

This was an excellent display from the Chinese team with a great range of very beautiful product, particularly the dazzling lemons and pastel colours as well as the deep strobes and glitter. Many intersting cakes and a lot of bees in cakes, mines and shells. The variation of pace was good, but some of the music edits were quite clumsy, bringing tracks to a close at odd points and ending with silence. The narrative sections didn't detract from the display as I feared they might but sometimes the fireworks that accompnied these were on the loud side. All in all, an excellent display which must be in contention for the Bronze Jupiter, the level of competition being so high this year.


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