The jury found the extraordinary and stunning approach to telling the story of Frankfurt’s New Old Town compelling. The programmed choreography of 110 LED drones to outline the iconic imagery, folklore, individuals and landmarks of the district’s history was underpinned in exemplary fashion by the corresponding lighting, music and voice-over. The magical symbiosis of this setting, the digital and analogue elements combined with human intelligence and knowledge, precise timing and state-of-the-art technology once again showed the jury that innovative live storytelling can inspire large audiences.
It’s not unusual for cities to reconstruct important buildings. But recreating and reinterpreting an entire old town, as Frankfurt am Main has just done, is definitely special – and calls for an opening ceremony to match. As part of the festive inauguration of the ‘New Old Town’, LED drones play the lead role in ‘Constellations – A Symphony for the Frankfurt Altstadt’. Directly over the river Main, our drone choreography combines light displays, specially composed music and spoken passages to pay homage to Frankfurt. Using next-generation technology, an iconographic performance that honours Frankfurt’s cosmopolitan approach in a series of poetic images originated. The sophisticated airborne choreography was particularly challenging because the constellations marked out by the drones had to be identifiable from as many different viewpoints as possible. Against the nocturnal backdrop of the river Main, sculptural light effects from various Sky Beams accompanied the drone formation flights. The production soundtrack reprised the concept of dialogue with a bespoke fusion of classical and electronic music created by Sebastian Hohberg and Jan Mayerhofer (Hoerfeld). Their composition included a fresh take on music by Georg Philipp Telemann, the influential baroque composer who lived in Frankfurt’s Old Town periodically. The embedded quotes were penned by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Altstadt’s most prominent former resident and a passionate proponent of diversity. His is one of the voices in the symphony for a contrast-rich urban identity that is reflected in the ‘Constellations’ narrative.