Building the Firebird Dragon Puppet
While all the puppets for this production of the Firebird pose unique challenges, the scale of the Firebird Dragon puts it in its own category.
Firebird Dragon Skeleton
The 'skeleton' of the Dragon has been designed in collaboration with structural engineers and is constructed from aluminium. Specialised parts have been engineered to work with the movement required, meet safety requirements and be light enough to be suspended during the performance.
When it unfurls its wings the completed Dragon will have a wingspan of 10m (33ft), defying its 200 kilograms as it flies gracefully over the heads of the dancers below.
The head is also primarily aluminium, hand bent and welded. It will be powder coated before being having the eyes inserted and then being skinned in vellum and copper. The long 'horns' are actually a structural element in that they counter-balance the head.