NDP stage is largest at floating platform

Performers will scale the "mountain", which will make an appearance in the final act of the show, symbolising how Singapore conquers challenges. It is located between two movable LED screens that can be combined.
Performers will scale the "mountain", which will make an appearance in the final act of the show, symbolising how Singapore conquers challenges. It is located between two movable LED screens that can be combined.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

This Wednesday's National Day Parade at The Float@Marina Bay will feature the largest stage at the venue, which has hosted the NDP seven times since 2007.

Construction of the 7,200 sq m stage, which took about 30,000 man hours to build, started in April. While the stage size at the floating platform is usually around 6,000 sq m, this year's larger size is driven by the show concept, which uses large props such as a revolving platform - a first for the NDP there.

Mr Edwin Foo, co-chairman of the parade's infrastructure and decoration committee, said that the team made a deliberate decision to reduce the number of structures on stage, to create an open-stage concept.

"This can give an unobstructed view of Marina Bay for the audience," he said.

As the floating platform has a maximum weight it can hold, the team had to find ways to reduce the weight of the stage so that more props and performers can be accommodated. By reconfiguring and optimising the stage design, they were able to shave about 100 tonnes off its weight.

Other unique technical aspects have been incorporated to make this year's show a multidimensional, immersive experience.

For the first time at The Float, there will be 24 infrared tracking cameras that can locate performers on the large stage using projection-tracking technology.

For example, in one segment when the Joyriders, a recreational cyclist group, take to the stage, traces of light - a special effect created by the projectors - will follow them.

There are additional technical challenges for the multimedia team this year, said Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson Tean, chairman of the multimedia committee.

As the stage will be kept clear of structures in line with its minimalist design, the projectors which are usually placed on or near the stage will instead be behind the seating gallery, more than 150m away from the stage.

This is the first time that they will be so far away.

"To overcome the challenge, we had to look into some of the technical specifications of the equipment that we acquired," said LTC Tean.

The show will also see an aerial system that can elevate performers and props 20m above the ground, and two movable main stage LED screens that can combine into a single screen consisting of 1,440 LED panel units.

The revolving stage can conceal props to create an element of surprise, noted Mr Foo.

In the final act of the show, which will celebrate the collective strength and determination of Singaporeans, in line with NDP theme #OneNationTogether, the stage will rotate to reveal a "mountain". Performers will make their way to the summit, a symbol of how Singapore conquers challenges.

"A lot of effort and coordination is needed to integrate all these aspects together," said Mr Foo.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2017, with the headline 'NDP stage is largest at floating platform'. Print Edition | Subscribe