Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Completes Work on the Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater for Cirque du Soleil in China

PLSN Staff • International News • September 24, 2019

Cirque du Soleil X – Land of Fantasy production photo by Ewen Seagel. The show officially opened Aug. 9, 2019.

HANGZHOU, China – Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theater and AV consulting for the Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater, where Cirque du Soleil opened its production of X: The Land of Fantasy on Aug. 9, 2019. The design firm, with offices in San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis, worked with Hangzhou Xintiandi CAZ, a Chinese city complex operator, on the project.

LD Étienne Boucher’s rig includes Claypaky, Ayrton, Terbly, Chauvet and SGM fixtures, with three grandMA2 consoles for control. The video design by Carlos Navarrete and Fred Caron includes 56 Barco UDX-W32 projectors and a VYV Photon media server and tracking system with 48 tracking cameras and 200 IR emitters.

More details from Auerbach Pollock Friedlander (www.auerbachconsultants.com):

The purpose-built theater provides an immersive experience for 1,420 spectators. The football-field-sized audience chamber houses two seating wagons, each of which can revolve 360 degrees and traverse 27.5 meters. Photo by Auerbach Pollock Friedlander

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre and audio-video consulting for the Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater which marks the seventh time the firm has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil for a custom, one of a kind venue. The purpose-built theatre, created in collaboration with CUC Architects (the Local Design Institute), has been designed for an immersive experience for 1,420 spectators and blurs the line between performance, spectacle and special effects, quite literally moving the spectators to a different realm.

The audience chamber, the size of a soccer field, encompasses two separate seating wagons, each of which can revolve 360 degrees and traverse 27.5 meters, giving rise to two different experiences in one show package.

To further enhance the possibilities of the story, the upstage great wall itself is segmented into nine individual moveable parts, which shift during the course of the drama. This regal but technologically-advanced environment, envisioned by Cirque du Soleil and designed by Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, enriches the acrobatic stunts and re-defines “going to the theater” for patrons. The show’s press release posted on cirquedusoleil.com describes what the audience can expect from this unusual venue in full detail.


As the audience watches the stunning digital scenic effects, scenery and show elements deployed on the center stage lifts – which is hidden below the seating wagons – magically arises from the basement on a stage lift measuring 18m x 11m, flanked by two smaller 3.4m x 11m lifts. Once at stage level the 10m turntable, embedded in the large lift, can spin continuously revealing multiple aspects of the scenic elements.


The video projection system allows for complex mapping of virtual scenery and visual effects throughout the stages and auditorium, using 56 high-power laser projectors and a series of special mapping cameras and tracking devices to allow dynamic placement and alignment of the scenic images by the high-tech media server computers.


The sound system made use of the latest technology with nearly 1,700 loudspeakers used in this production, under digital control that allows voices, music and effects to be discretely mixed to any combination of loudspeakers, from those rigged above, to those built into scenic elements, to individual loudspeakers built into each of the audience seats. The audience is completely enveloped in an unparalleled visual and sonic environment.

Cirque du Soleil X: The Land of Fantasy promises to bring more tourism to Hangzhou which is already a popular destination for visitors due to its proximity to West Lake, A UNESCO World Heritage site.


More Production Details and Stats from Auerbach Pollock Friedlander:

Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater/Cirque du Soleil X: The Land of Fantasy

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre and audio-video consulting for the 1,420-seat Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater designed for the production of Cirque du Soleil X: The Land of Fantasy. Design services included programming, planning schematic design and system design services. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander designed the theatre’s moveable audience seating system comprised of two 27 meter x 30 meter seat wagons, each with a 25.4 meter rotating audience seating turntable.

The audience seating area is capable of rotating 360 degrees while traversing up to 27.5 meters. Three central stage lifts create an 11 meter x 18 meter central stage playing area. On the main stage, a 100-meter moving great wall projection surface is automated in nine sections.

Overhead rigging includes two track and trolley systems, scenic flying hoists, and acrobatic flying systems. All of the automated scenic elements are controlled by a sophisticated automation system.


Audio-Video Systems

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s audio-video scope included collaborative design on the extensive sound, video and production communication systems for the space in close partnership with Cirque du Soleil’s audio and video designers. The sound system makes use of the latest technology from Meyer Sound, including the CueConsole and advanced D-Mitri processing system that allows music and sound effects to be routed and mixed into any of the many high-end loudspeakers that are placed throughout the auditorium. Each seat has individual left, center and right loudspeakers, each of the two audience seating wagons has its own multi-channel surround loudspeaker system, and Meyer M’elodie and CAL arrays are used to blanket the entire auditorium with sound of the highest caliber. In all, nearly 1,700 loudspeakers are used in this production.

To support the production team, backstage systems ranging from wireless Clear-Com production communications systems, visual cue lights, distributed show relay loudspeakers and performer in-ear monitors have been provided.

A series of 60 video cameras are used, connected to a digital recording system, to allow the production staff to monitor the performers and the systems in real time, with a record of the actions taken in each performance to ensure that all the equipment is working properly and that the safety of the performers is never compromised. The video is distributed to control rooms, backstage areas and other critical control positions.


Video Projection System

The video projection system allows for complex mapping of virtual scenery and visual effects throughout the stages and auditorium, using 56 Barco 30K lumens laser phosphor projectors, many of which are on custom rotating platforms that permit the projectors to be panned for different needs during the performance. The system uses complex tracking cameras and infrared emitter devices to allow images to be mapped onto the moving scenery and performers, and to allow multiple projectors to target the same areas with high precision in order to reduce shadowing. The projectors are fed by a sophisticated VYV media server and controller system that provides a total of 72 outputs to the projectors and related systems.


More Project Info:

Client: Hangzhou Xintiandi Group Co., Ltd.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Start Date: 2015

World Premiere: Aug. 9, 2019


Design Team

Theater/AV Consultants: Auerbach Pollock Friedlander

Architect, Structural Engineer, MEP Engineer: China United Engineering Corporation

Acoustics Consultant: Atkins China Limited


Theater Systems Subcontractors

Seating Wagon Manufacturer: Waagner-Biro Stage Systems

Theatrical AV Systems: Shanghai Broad Future Electro Technology Co., Ltd.

Theatrical Projection System: Bejing Wincomn Technology Development Co., Ltd.

Theatrical Rigging, Stage Lift, Automation: Starlighting, Beijing Xingguang Film & TV Equipment, Tait Ltd.

Rain Curtain: Westlake Fountain


Cirque du Soleil Creative Team

Executive Producer: Charles Joron

Project Director: Michel Rioux

Director of Creation: Neilson Vignola

Writer and Director: Hugo Bélanger

Composer and Musical Director: Du Wei

Set and Props Designer: Carl Fillion

Video Designers: Carlos Navarrete & Fred Caron

Acrobatic Performance Designer: Jérôme Le Baut

Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer: Ewen Seagel

Costume Designer: Marie-Chantal Vaillancourt

Lighting Designer: Étienne Boucher

Magic & illusion Designers: Luc Langevin & Stéphane Bourgoin

Choreographer: Phenix Lin

Sound Designer: Jacques Boucher

Makeup Designer: Karen Yiu



Performance Rigging & Automation Systems:

Automation System (by Tait)

5 Tait Nomad control consoles

6 Solo handheld controller

23 Motor control cabinets

9 Great Wall moving sections

10 Counterweight Assist Winches

10 Utility winches

20 Acrobatic hoists (typical capacity 250 kg)

2 Custom curved track front-of-house trolley system units with four performer flying winches

1 11x18m stage lift with 100,000 lb capacity (Tait) with integrated 10m turntable

2 11×3.5m perimeter stage lifts with 20,000lb capacity (Tait)

2 27 meter x 30 meter custom seating wagon traverse wagons with 27.5 meter seating turn table.

14Audience Door Interlocks



4 ETC full sensor 3 RCP dimmer racks

41 ETC Echo 48 relay panels

11 Lighting control network racks

28 Cisco Catalyst 3850 48-port Ethernet switches

2 Cisco Catalyst 3850 12-port Fiber Ethernet switches

2 MA Network Switches

2 Paradigm architectural processors

84 Ethernet taps

11 4-port ETC-Net3 rack mounted gateways

18 4-port ETC-Net3 4-port portable gateways

5 4-port CC connection panels

115 Dimmed/switched circuit distribution devices

3 Full Grand MA2 lighting consoles

10 MA2 NPU’s

14 Clay Paky K-EYE K10 HRS

9 Clay Paky Scenius Spot

6 Clay Paky Scenius Profile

30 Clay Paky show Batten 100

8 Robe Mega Point

3 Ayrton Wildsun K-25

9 Ayrton Magic Dot Sx

292 Terbly Custon GL6

115 Terbly G21 Hybrid

90 Terbly PT330W

31 Terbly GL2P

12 Terbly T180C

74 Chauvet Color Dash Accent Quad

22 Chauvet Colorado Solo 3

33 Chauvet SixBar 1000 IP

3 SGM P100


Special Effects

11 Antari F-7 haze machines

10 Antari Z-380effects fans

10 Antari DNG-200 low fog machines

14 Antari AF-5 effects fans

3 Antari Z800ll fog machines

2 Water SFX Effect Pump 7.5HP — “Rain Drops” pumps

2 Water SFX Effect Pump 10HP — “Rain Effect” pumps

2 Custom Rain curtains


Sound, Video & Comms – Loudspeakers

Meyer Sound:

24- UPJ-1XP Main Reinforcement Loudspeakers o 35 – UPQ-X Main Reinforcement Loudspeakers o 6 – CAL-32 and 10 – CAL-64 Steerable Arrays

30 HMS-12 surrounds

4 X-800 subwoofers

34 900-LFC subwoofers

6 D&B 4S-SC front fills with 2 — 10D amplifiers

1450 Scosche 3-channel seating loudspeaker units


Audio Processing

Meyer sound D-Mitri Matrix and Processors

DCM-4 matrix

DCP-72 processor

DAI-24, DAO-24, DAIO-816, DDIO-24, DGPIO input/output modules

D-Mitri Wild Tracks playback system

D-Mitri Cue Console faders, transport module and routing equipment


Wireless Microphones & IEMs

Shure UR series wireless microphone transmitters and receivers

Sennheiser SR-300 / EK-300 In-Ear Monitor Transmitters and receivers


Computers & Network

Lenovo, ADK Extreme, Mac Mini Computers

Netgear switches

Crystal Image KVM system

Ableton Live Playback Software


Production Intercom System

Clear-Com Eclipse Matrix System with HMS and HKB main and wall stations

Clear-Com Freespeak II Wireless Intercom System


Production Video System

60 Dahua Ultra Series DH-IPC-HF8242 series cameras

41 Philips 5000 Series Television Displays

AJA Kumo Routers

BlackMagic Multiviewers and Converters

Softel AH-1916 Modulators


Cue Light System

GDS 24 Port Controller, Playback System and Outstations


Show Relay (Program Monitor) & Paging

BSS Audio BLU-100 processing system

Lab.gruppen C 68:4 Power Amplifiers

297 QSC AD-C4T, AD-P4T, AD-S4T Ceiling and Wall-Mounted Loudspeakers

6 JBL Control-28 Series Wall-Mount Loudspeakers


Video Projection

56 Barco UDX-W32 Projectors

VYV Photon Media servers and controllers, 3D Capable, 72 outputs

VYV Tracking System, with 48 Tracking Cameras and 200 IR emitters

Evertz Multiviewers

Lightware 25G Matrix and KVM


Audience Seating

1442 Custom Audience chairs with integrated seatback speakers






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