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Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) asked Entertainment Design Corporation to create an iconic mechanical attraction that would provide a free public show that would attract guests to their integrated resort.

Cranes are a universal symbol of longevity, abundance, and good luck.

Set on a manmade island in the channel between Sentosa and Singapore, against a backdrop of giant shipyard construction cranes, The Crane Dance celebrates the mating dance of these magnificent birds with an Animatronic Crane Spectaclethat references the traditional Crane movements in a jubilant dance.

Crane Dance Narrative
The crane dance narrative is essentially a love story: two mechanical cranes fall in love, and their love empowers their transformation into real cranes. In return, the cranes promise to bless the world with love and good fortune forever.

Design Features and Challenges
A defining feature of the dancing cranes is their imposing scale: at full extension, they are as tall as a nine-story building (30m high), making them what might be proved by Guinness Book authenticators to be the world’s largest performing robots.

Another important feature is the addition of large-scale LED screens that hold the narrative and allow a transition from dynamic mechanical art to digital art, enhanced with lighting and water effects. The sheer size and weight of the structures limit the speed and articulation of the movement. The water effects use sea water, so after each performance, the attraction has to be washed with fresh water.

The LED screens provided by Barco have to function under the prodigious amount of salt water that is dumped on them at every show. The cranes are powered by two huge diesel engines that could power a train.

Two hydraulically-activated animatronic cranes, with points of articulation that mimic the basic joint articulation and movements of the red crowned crane, are installed on a fixed foundation container at a distance from the shore line that allows for the optimum viewing experience by a seated audience of 1,000.

An airy and sparkling sculptural form conceals the foundation container and provides a natural and organic “home” for the dancing cranes. A skin of plastic silver discs and a series of wind vanes surround the foundation. During the day, while the cranes are at rest, the foundation becomes a kinetic sculpture activated by sunlight and wind, a visual metaphor of a wind-swept reed island, the traditional breeding ground of the cranes.

Each crane sits on a revolving ring mounted on the foundation container, along with support lighting, projection and special effects. Provisions for special event pyro displays have been incorporated into the foundation at the back of the deck.

Large 8m x 8m LED panels are attached to each crane. The LED panels carry a vibrant, animated display that expresses the emotional narrativeof the show. For special occasions, the LED panels can join together, forming a single giant screen to present live event broadcasts.

Link to Crane Dance video.

Creative Team
Jeremy Railton, EDC President /Lead Show Designer
Edward S. Marks, Producer & Project Director
John Rust, Show Director
Bob Chambers, Senior Technical Director
George Johnsen, Media Producer
Patrick Woodroffe, Principal Lighting Designer
McLaren Engineering, Concept Engineer

Video Screens
Barco FLX-24 LED Pixels
Barco FLX-24 LED Custom Panels
FLX Barco Power/Data Distribution Panels
Custom Marine Graded Mechanical Sub Panels
Barco FLX-Controller and Power Supplies
Barco FLX-Power Rectifiers
1 Barco DX-700 Video Processor
1 NNI Transmitter Receiver

Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500
Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1200
Tempest Lighting Tornado 2300
CK C-Splash X 144 Units
MA Lighting grandMA 2 Light
Martin Professional Optosplitter
Martin Professional Exterior 600