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Clay Paky Lights Moscow Victory Day
Lighting Designer
Jeery Appelt
Photo Credits
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The 2010 Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Russia had the skies over the famed Red Square alight with colour and a spectacular fireworks display. Clay Paky fixtures were at the heart of the May 9 celebration, which marked the 65th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War in 1945. 

The festivities began in the afternoon with the largest parade held in Moscow since the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991 and saw 11,135 troops and 127 aircraft and helicopters making a fly over the Kremlin to form the number “65”. For the first time, the 2010 parade also included military units from foreign countries who were allied with the Soviet Union during World War II, with representation from France, Poland, the UK and the USA and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Approximately two dozen world leaders also attended the event. 

But it was the evening celebration that had all eyes on the skies over the Kremlin with a record-breaking 4,500-light fireworks display choreographed to jaw-dropping lighting and a 10-minute montage of classical music by Russian composers including Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. 

PRG supplied all lighting equipment used for the event, which included 96 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500 and 48 Alpha Beam 1500 fixtures, used to illuminate all of the historic and well-recognized buildings in the Red Square. The skies were given extra emphasis with several hundred searchlights, also supplied by PRG. Fireworks were done by Russian company Orion-Art. 

Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt explained, “The basic idea was to work with different layers of architectural lighting – the palace buildings, the Kremlin wall, the towers, the river embankments, etc. – and show lighting to create a show where the looks, colours and movements of the lights interacted with the fireworks and were synchronized to a soundtrack, which was delivered by the client. The lighting was set up on eight platforms along the river and on the bridges.” 

Appelt added, “The Clay Paky fixtures were tremendous, adding brilliant punches of colour big enough for one of the biggest landmark events in one of the most famous locations in the world. I, for one, was very happy with the results.” 

Project Manager for PRG was Olga Morr and lighting control came from two grandMA Fullsize consoles operated by Sascha Matthes and Michael Kuehbandner. Two wysiwyg setups were operated by Dennis Hessberger and the show was run via timcode by a Protools system operated by Andreas Bopp. 

Morr commented, “PRG is always very proud to represent Clay Paky and their bright, reliable line of products. We know we can count on excellent results every time.” 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke to the crowd, saying the march on the Red Square “symbolizes our readiness to defend peace, to prevent the revision of the results of the war, to prevent new tragedies.” The Victory Day celebrations definitely made a positive statement about this resolution and put smiles on thousands of faces.