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Creative Process

We unpack Oman's grand offering to Germany’s leading tourism congress the ITB.

Creative Process

Dive into Andy Machals insights on our first Opening Ceremony of the year ❤️‍🔥

Dive into Andy Machals insights on our first Opening Ceremony of the year ❤️‍🔥

60sec Interviews
Creative Process
Behind the scenes
Artistic leadership
by Andy Machals
13. March 2024

Crafting an opening ceremony to remember

The ITB Opening Ceremony’s tagline was

and this is our mission, shining a spotlight on Oman's diverse cultural blend at CityCube Berlin, offering a rich experience for 3,000 guests.

The concept was developed by our partners Jack Morton in collaboration with the client in Oman. BRS made us of the transformative feature of a more than 100m wide LED wall, turning the venue into an immersive canvas that displayed evocative visuals. This initiative set the stage for a spectacular show, where BRS's expertise in artistic, staging, and show direction fused all elements seamlessly. Accompanied by more than 50 performers in stunning costumes and a 3D immersive sound experience, the spectacle was further elevated by a dynamic aerial performance, adding an artistic and aerial dimension to the event.

In three segments, we showcased Oman's natural beauty and cultural heritage, highlighting its modernisation while preserving its identity, and presenting its vision for sustainable tourism by 2040. Entertainment highlights included performances by Omani singers, folk groups, and the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, reflecting the country’s commitment to cultural preservation and international harmony.

Navigating the challenges of a diverse show

This project was an exciting clash of performance cultures. Omani culture is hugely performative. From Hammasi (a traditional dance between men) and Al Rubooba (adding the women) to a traditional Kahwah tea ceremony, these get-togethers are a conglomeration of precise cultural gestures of gratitude, hospitality, and celebration. The gowns, the traditional props, each hand gesture and ornamented headpiece has a meaning. In rehearsal, we discussed these influences with our guests to craft a shared vision for our show.

It was my job as

to embed these practices in a show and ceremony context. Jack Morton’s creative director Achim John provided the overall concept and visuals, while we crafted the scenes and show flow. The motivation for inserting our Western aerial performers and dancers was decorative and expressive, adding emotional depth to the traditional Omani performance worlds. Our job was to sculpt these clashes as emotional stage moments that help overcome cultural distance, forming a slick and modern
Opening Ceremony for a Middle Eastern
country set in the heart of Europe.

Usually, in Middle Eastern shows and ceremonies you would implement a narrator’s voice to tell the stories of local histories and tribes. We accepted the challenge of creating an

that would divert from this practice and implement a very Western style of visual storytelling over narrative. The result was a journey that was applauded by Europeans and representatives of Oman alike.

100m Long LED wall with breath-taking content

In the first show act, we had our dancers and aerialists dive deep into the Omani Sea. At the end of the act, the ocean darkened, and we heard sonar sounds through the 3D sound system as a 30m long whale floated across the more than 100m long LED in a breath-taking silence. Our dancers, slowly floating in front of the LED wall forming elegant silhouettes against the deep blue deep sea created a poetic conclusion of the first show act.

In the second act, our client wanted us to find a dignifying representation of Omani hospitality. So, we staged a traditional tea ceremony amidst the beautiful visuals of modern-day local architecture. Kahwah embodies a blend of warmth, hospitality, and tradition. Steeped in centuries-old customs, the ceremony is an intricate dance of aromatic spices and carefully brewed green tea, symbolising the essence of Omani hospitality. The ritual of serving multiple rounds of Kahwah underscores the importance of connection and community. Set to a cosy soundscape with a subtle modern beat, the ceremony was led by an actor who was also a dancer, allowing us to meticulously time this ceremony on stage. While looking effortlessly at the broadcast camera, each hand gesture was planned and developed in accordance with local customs.

To us, it was important from the start to organise such a significant cultural moment in a way that functions with dancer-like precision – a kind of large-scale performance precision that Battle Royal Studios has been successful orchestrating since their early days.

Uniting creativity and expertise with global agencies to elevate leading brands

We thrive on collaboration, working with global agencies to devise concepts, stage experiences, and build teams. Our collaboration with Jack Morton for this production and the recent

LEC 2022 Opening Ceremony are just a few examples of our adaptive approach. This journey of collaboration highlights our commitment to excellence and innovation in bringing unique experiences to audiences worldwide!

Audience captivated by an underwater scene at a Battle Royal Studios event, surrounded by digital coral and marine life on expansive screensAudience captivated by an underwater scene at a Battle Royal Studios event, surrounded by digital coral and marine life on expansive screens
Energetic crowd dancing at a Battle Royal Studios event, illuminated by a vibrant stage light displayEnergetic crowd dancing at a Battle Royal Studios event, illuminated by a vibrant stage light display

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