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The Storm
Rising Sun
The Ritual
Masters Challenge
Top of the World
Leap of Faith




Set, Stage & Projections

The scenography for AXEL breaks with the conventions usually associated with ice shows. How is it possible to abandon the standard format and push the envelope? By immersing the spectators, as soon as they arrive, in a surprising and original ambiance, light years away from conventional arenas.

The ice surface has been reshaped, rejecting the rectangular surface used for hockey and conventional figure skating shows. By changing their perception of the space from the moment of arrival, the spectators immediately sense that the show and the journey are already underway. Particular attention was also paid to the set, to ensure that it would allow interesting views from the three sides of the ice where the audience is seated. The result is unobstructed views not only of the ice surface but of the entire performance space.

The other elements of AXEL’s scenography are more like an art installation than a traditional stage-set. Several slim, rectangular LED screens are set up on each side of the ice, on the ground and in the air. The monumental structure resembles two giant wings. It is an ultramodern, even highly futuristic, scenographic device. It is a minimalist setting that comes spectacularly to life through original video projections. It also shows that the scenography and videos were produced in close collaboration.

Because Axel is an artist, the ice surface is conceived as a page in his notebook. It is a blank page decorated, animated and drawn on with colourful and intense contemporary video projections. By turns playful and restrained, but always sublime, the projections captivate the audience. The subtly blended and perfectly combined projections enhance the artists’ performances. The designers understand that it is the artists who create the show’s energy, and the projections’ role is to amplify it.

The video animations, both on the ice and on the LED screens, combine genres: the black and white graphics seen at the beginning grow more colourful and animated as the story progresses. Then, the colour palette becomes dark and menacing when Vï appears, or subtler and softer when Axel conveys his feelings for Lei to the crowd. The visual animations in AXEL owe their success to their rhythm: the projections were created to build a crescendo in sync with the main characters’ storyline. Without a doubt, these animations help make AXEL a visually powerful and, especially, unique experience!

Cirque Corner