NYC’s legendary Christmas show goes high-tech in new season

NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — The Christmas Spectacular show, an iconic New York City winter attraction dating back to 1933, unleashed groundbreaking technology in this year’s debut on Friday, offering a blended experience of tradition and innovation with drones becoming a part of the cast for the first time.

Starring the Radio City Rockettes, a female dancing troupe famous for vigorous kicks and stunning precision, the annual show has already drawn millions of spectators over the years into the Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan for a festive-spirited feast of musical, tap dance, ballet and acrobatics.

Now it’s even more spectacular with a touch of high-tech. A hundred mini drones resembling Christmas lights appeared in the finale scene of the show, hovering above the Santa Claus and Rockettes on the stage and forming various holiday-themed images and animations in sync with the music and light changes.

Created by Intel, the lightweight Shooting Star Mini drones have made appearances at last year’s Super Bowl in Houston, Texas and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, while the Radio City Hall debut marked its first large-scale choreographed show in theaters.

“It’s really cool to be in a brand-new finale scene,” said Corey Whalen, a member of the Rockettes for nine years. “I’ve never danced with drones before. They interact a lot with the orchestra, dancing over ensemble members … It’s really exciting to be part of it.”

Meanwhile, state-of-the-art digital projections from New York-based Obscura Digital studio perfectly combined technology and artistry by turning the hall into an immersive winter wonderland, sparking joyful screams from the crowd whenever the ceiling was projected with eye-popping colors and patterns.

“I really want to see this again,” seven-year-old Katie, who came here with her parents, said after the show.

The show will run through Jan. 1, 2019, and be on stage one to six times a day, even on Christmas Day.

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