Saturday, September 9, 2017

Crouching Tiger, Sleepy Dragon

Since I'm busy here today, have a look at my writer's blog, where I have another post in the Ottawa Welcomes The World embassy series, this one featuring Indonesia.

La Machine was set up throughout the city during the four days these machines were performing- with a team of operators manning them, and a support staff and volunteers involved in the process of getting them through the streets during walkabouts- working as a perimeter, as information sources, and as a hub for lost children. Paramedics and police were strategically placed during the walkabouts if needed. Guy Laflamme, the man in charge of the entire event, has been running the Ottawa 2017 series of events; he called this particular weekend his Mount Everest in terms of a logistics achievement. It brought out the crowds for a weekend of urban theatre that was a pleasure to watch, caught the imagination, and delighted everyone. It was estimated that more than 750 000 people caught the event at some point over the four days- the city picked up the tab, so the event was free, and the amount of visitor revenue and exposure coming into the city as a result made it a worthy investment.

On the Friday evening, after stopping in at the Convention Center to see Kumo, I went over to Ottawa City Hall, where the giant dragon horse Long Ma was at rest amid a large crowd, waiting for the evening confrontation with Kumo over on the Laurier Avenue Bridge. Looking at these machines- you can see where the operators are going to take positions, you can see it's a machine... and yet you can hear this beastie snoring. Obviously this was attracting a lot of attention. The facts and figures on this one: his height tops out at 12 metres, with a width of 5 metres, and he weighs 45 tons.

The following morning, Long Ma was in the Byward Market, a short distance away from Kumo, also at rest. That wouldn't last too long though. There was a walkabout set for the afternoon around the Market for both machines. This beastie ended up back to City Hall after that, and then there was another walkabout and a confrontation that evening. We'll have a look at that tomorrow, including the first of some videos I filmed.


  1. This is the best street performance !
    So envious of you and Ottawa.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. A great performance. Certainly a crowd puller!

  3. Van . an other fantastic brute. This event is awesome.

  4. What an amazig event; and Long Ma is a sight which draws the masses. Thanks for sharing, William. Greetings Jo

  5. @Parsnip: wait til you see these beasts moving!

    @Nancy: it was a treat to see.

    @Tom: that it was.

    @Orvokki: I would have been kicking myself for life had I been out of town.

    @Jo: you're welcome.

    @Marleen: it is indeed!

  6. I can see why 750000 people would want to come out and watch these monsters.

  7. Oh my gosh how fantastic William. Can't wait to see your videos tomorrow.. these events are always so impressive to see, we've had a few similar here in Perth.

  8. These monsters are incredible. Imagine happening upon one in the middle of the woods!

  9. This is all mind-blowing! 750,000 people? And you do things on a massive scale in your neck of the woods. Fantastic!

  10. Okay, I think that dragon is even scarier than the spider.

  11. Incredible! The spider is worse for me though.

  12. @Red: it really caught our imagination.

    @Grace: this was something to behold.

    @Janis: that would be a fright!

    @Lowell: it's been quite a year!

    @Sharon: I've got some of his vocalizations in the video for tomorrow.

    @Lois: spiders have that effect on more people!

  13. These machines are well worth seeing!

  14. Gracious! Like something out of one of those B-grade horror movies.

  15. Totally amazing! A wonderful turnout make the event a smashing success. Nice shots William!

  16. Ein cooler Drachen und so groƟ.


  17. 'hub for lost children' That's priceless!

  18. @RedPat: it was!

    @Christine: they are!

    @Revrunner: indeed!

    @Bill: lots of people came to see them.

    @Linda: thank you!

    @MB: thanks!

    @Linda: very cool!

    @Kate: it was.

    @Norma: me too.

    @Noke: thanks!

    @Klara: I agree.

    @Jennifer: and useful!

  19. Wow! Great and exciting performance!