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NIDA graduates help to deliver spectacular Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

NIDA’s graduates have helped to deliver the Opening Ceremony of Australia's 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Carrara Stadium

Photo: Carrara Stadium lights up for the Opening Ceremony (Getty Images)

NIDA graduates have been working hard on the Gold Coast helping to deliver the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The massive staging and production team for the Opening Ceremony included NIDA’s recent graduand Taylor Hill (Staging, 2017).

After a third-year secondment with Stage Kings, Taylor was offered a job to work with them and her first gig was the spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Gold Coast’s Carrara Stadium. The 140-minute extravaganza featured more than 2500 performers and 4500 athletes and was seen by over 1.3 billion people worldwide.

‘The collaborative nature of the course at NIDA, the breadth of skills within the training and the knowledge the students gain of all the disciplines within the performance industry equips them to work on large-scale events like the Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games,’ said NIDA Head of Staging and Production Manager Nicholas Day.

‘Contemporary performance practice draws on and is influenced by the technologies of our age, and the breadth of the course at NIDA equips graduates to enter the workforce at this level,’ he said.

‘I have never worked on an event this size before,’ said Taylor, ‘The advanced carpentry skills I learnt at NIDA helped me with being able to construct this set. The long working days at NIDA also certainly prepared me for the 12 hours days we pull here!’

The massive Opening Ceremony set used:
* 8900m2 of plywood (an area equivalent of 1.2 rugby fields)
* 24.88km of sustainably sourced timber framing 
* 3267m2 of printed vinyl for the athlete’s parade path
* 410 tonne of Gold Coast colour-matched sand (24 double semi trailer loads).

Stage Kings built most of the structures, from the speech stages, flag stages, the sand centre-piece, the sand surround (compete with smoke effect and light ring), the parade path, mobile lifeguard tower, the beach showers, lecturns, the Royal Box, roller coaster harnesses, migaloo’s buggy, and the glowing globe that Jack Thompson used.

Interested in studying at NIDA? Register to find out about NIDA’s courses here.

Interested in NIDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Staging)? Read about Taylor Hill and the revolving stage she built at NIDA here.

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