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Rockettes Spring Spectacular – Radio City Music Hall

Dance | Theatre

In Manhattan, the heart of the city that never sleeps, creating something spectacular can be a challenge. The New York Spring Spectacular starring the Rockettes does justice to the word. Animated statues, rain, 3D video, moving video screens, and more, all make this show something to behold.

An RC4Magic Wireless DMX and Dimming System delivers subtle and not so subtle effects that help make this show great. Act 1, Scene 1: Grand Central Station, complete with its world-famous ticket counter and clock, center stage. Lights are controlled using RC4Magic Series 3 wireless, and that’s just the beginning of a long list of untethered props and set pieces brightening practically every scene to come.

When the plot brings us to the Empire State Building, four coin-operated binoculars are on the Observation Deck.  These free moving props, pushed around by the ensemble dancers, are tricked-out to become deck follow spots illuminating two aerialists that fly above the scene.  The binoculars hold custom LED spotlights created by Microlight Systems and controlled via RC4Magic Series 3 DMXio receivers.

One of the show’s most technically advanced elements is delivered using new RC4 Wireless technology. The RC4Magic DMXi2c is a versatile data interface for microcontrollers including Arduino, RasberryPi, and others.  Paul Sonnleitner, who served as the Lighting Programmer, explains, “We have 36 LED-covered Jackets worn by the Rockettes — 44 with swings and spares.  Each jacket provides individual control of many separate color-changing pixels. To avoid massive wireless traffic and to make playback flawless, each jacket utilizes an Arduino controller with an SD card storing cues.  We only send one universe of control signals via an RC4Magic DMXio transmitter, and an RC4Magic DMXi2c delivers DMX channel data using an interface Arduinos really like, ensuring all the jackets are perfectly synchronized at all times. At the end of the segment, as the Rockettes form a kick line, the 36 active jackets play back full-motion video sequences.”

RC4Magic has been the wireless lighting system of choice for many technology directors due to RC4 Unique System IDs and minimum bandwidth demand; RC4Magic uses only 1/15th of the 2.4GHz spectrum, versus hopping through the entire band as most others do.

RC4 Wireless technology is the preferred choice for the Rockettes flagship venue. Lighting Designer David Agress notes, “Here at Radio City Music Hall, all RC4Magic transceivers are configured to operate on one selected radio channel, carefully coordinated with extensive WiFi and other systems in our show. This, along with the narrow channel width, is the biggest reason RC4Magic is here. The guarantee that no other device can interfere with this dedicated frequency is priceless. When you invest in the time and technology needed to play a movie file across a line of dancing Rockettes, there is no room for error from signal dropouts.”

From Grand Central to the red steps of Times Square, which are illuminated from the inside with RC4 receivers and multiple pixel controllers, RC4 Wireless helps make this show spectacular.  RC4 Wireless is proud to help Radio City Music Hall and The Rockettes Live Life UntetheredTM.

About RC4 Wireless

Winner of the 2014 PLASA Award for Innovation, RC4 Wireless has specialized in low-voltage dimming for arts and entertainment since 1991.  RC4 products are used in top venues around the world, including New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and London’s National Theatre, and supporting touring artists including Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. RC4 products are recognized for their reliability and their compact size, making them ideal for easy integration into props, costumes, and set pieces.

About The New York Spring Spectacular

The New York Spring Spectacular starring the Rockettes presented by Chase is a whirlwind musical adventure across the world’s most iconic city. Created by an Oscar and Tony Award-winning team and featuring Tony Award winner Laura Benanti and Emmy Award winner Derek Hough, the New York Spring Spectacular is running now through May 7.