Behind-the-scenes at this year's National Day Parade

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Combined rehearsals have already wrapped up for this year’s National Day Parade which will be staged at the National Stadium. Workers raced against time this year to get the space ready for the show last month within 22 days.

SINGAPORE - Construction work for this year's National Day Parade involved an additional dimension which will allow props and performers to be suspended above the 3,760 sq m stage.

Over the course of 22 days since work started on June 1, workers put in about 84,480 man hours on construction work, including the stage which can accommodate about 2,000 performers.

Time also went into the set up of the sound and lighting system, and the building of four aerialist platforms that have been rigged up on to four sections of the National Stadium's iconic domed roof, among other features.

Colonel (NS) (Retired) Clement Hendricks, chairman of the infrastructure and decoration committee, said that one of the challenges the committee faced was meeting the "self-imposed" target of 22 days to complete the construction, he told reporters during a media visit to the site last month (June 14).

But the task of construction was made easier by the stadium's domed roof, which protected workers from the elements and allowed the work to continue efficiently, noted Col (NS) (Ret) Hendricks, an architect.

"It is an enclosed environment, (with) no weather interference... so you can really plan instead of being worked up and worried about one side (of operations) not moving and the others all lagging behind."

This year will be the first time that aerialist platforms are being used at the NDP.

They help support an elaborate network of cables which will allow props and performers to move in eight directions above the stage.

The stage has also been built to throw up some surprises - it consists of 13 trapdoors which will allow performers to access the circular platform of the stage above, raised 2.5m above the ground. About 300 people can also be accommodated beneath the stage, which is equipped with 34 ventilation fans.

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