Ashgabat 2017 – AIMAG

Balich Worldwide Shows

Back in 2014 Wonder Works were delighted to be asked by Balich Worldwide Shows (BWS) to deliver technical event consultancy in the building of a new 45,000 seat stadium to host the gigantic ceremonies envisioned for Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games (AIMAG). Wonder Works then went on to lead technical design and development on the ceremonies; the biggest ever cultural celebration in Central Asia.
The key requirement was for stadium infrastructure capable not only of supporting a truly world class event in 2017, but also of offering a stunning legacy venue capable of hosting future spectaculars. Working closely with Balich’s clients Polimeks (architects and engineers for the stadium) the Wonder Works team led development of the capital works with several distinctive elements.
A vast cable net system spanning the roof supported two flying systems; one of which was a 30m truss ring on which a massive cylindrical projection surface and aerial performers could hang. However, the field-of-play presented several earthly based challenges. The creative team wanted to reveal a huge 20m tall statue of Oguz Khan, a legendary ancestor of the Turkik people, and create a temporary hill up on which a galloping horse and rider would initiate the sequence to light the games cauldron. Wonder Works knew the only option was to dig down.
The solution was a vast 26m tall, 44m diameter chamber and lifts dug beneath the stadium centre with 6 peripheral chambers surrounding it. With this storage capability vast scenic elements could emerge to the shock and delight of the audience.
Jeremy Lloyd, Wonder Works director, commented

although Piers and I have form designing large holes for events we think this could be the largest chamber ever created for a stadium show. It certainly meant the creative team could really let their imagination rip in revealing the spirit, history and essence of this extraordinary place.

To see if this was true and how the Opening Ceremony featuring 7,500 cast, 200 musicians and 75,000 costume items turned out please check the excellent BWS highlights video.

Photo Credits: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows
Show Credits: Creative & Executive Production Balich Worldwide Shows