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Panasonic helps create one of the world’s largest water screen productions at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas

Kabuki is a classical Japanese performance, known for the stylisation of its drama. The production on the Bellagio Fountains, produced by Shochiku Co Ltd, was called “Panasonic Presents Kabuki Spectacle at Fountains of Bellagio: Koi-Tsukami” (Fight with a Carp.). 

It is the first in a series of performances to celebrate Japanese culture and arts, whilst raising global awareness for Kabuki.

On a stage which floated on the Bellagio Hotel’s world-famous artificial lake, lead actors Ichikawa Somegoro and Nakamura Yonekichi delivered the performance of “New Kabuki” – combining the Japanese traditional summer Kabuki title “Fight with Carp” with modern digital art.

The attraction features a total of 1214 fountains that rocket streams of water 140 meters (460 feet) into the air. The Panasonic projectors displayed projections reaching 18 meters (59 feet) in height and 300 meters (984 feet) in width.

“The projections on the water were spectacular”

“The projections on the water were spectacular, and it was very exciting to watch. It’s clearly one of the most ambitious things that’s been done on Bellagio, and certainly may give some in our company appetite to do more with the fountains in this kind of area,” commented Ed Bowers, Representative Officer and CEO of MGM resorts Japan.

"This incredible digital art performance combined with an unconventional setting – the surface of a man-made lake – demonstrates how AV projection can push the boundaries of entertainment,” said Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America.

The event used 16 Panasonic PT-DZ21K2 Evo projectors, installed on scaffolds temporarily set up on the water.

The DZ21K2 offers easy maintenance and reliable operation, it features 20,000 lumens of brightness and a host of rich creative capabilities. In addition, the projector is packed into an extraordinarily compact body.

"Usually it’s quite a feat to transfer goods onto the platform. You need cranes, etc. but these projectors were easily carried off by hand,” said Morio Matsumoto, Senior Product Manager of Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. 

“Another key feature is the energy efficiency. We installed small generators right alongside the projectors, the ability to run on the small generators’ power is another key benefit of these projectors,” added Morio Matsumoto.

The PT-DZ21K2 Evo series has been used extensively across the rental and staging industry, most recently at the Circle of Light Festival in Moscow where 142 projectors were used to create a Guinness World Record for the largest projected image.

“It’s very stereoscopic and colourful, and to tell you the truth, I thought it could be used for various types of entertainment, and I was very excited," said Jay Sakomoto, President of Shochiku Co Ltd.

"The potential is infinite. There is a wider variety of mediums of expression out there, so today we are able to create something that can truly take the world by surprise,” continued Jay Sakomoto.

Along with Panasonic and Shochiku, a key collaborator was teamLab, which is esteemed worldwide for its digital tech artwork. In grand Vegas style, the event gave a Las Vegas audience access to a traditional Japanese art form with a rich history spanning more than 400 years. Panasonic Presents Kabuki Spectacle at Fountains of Bellagio was the first in a series of projects to create a new entertainment form with elements of Kabuki.

The same team came together in April 2016, using 13 PT-DZ21K2 projectors to digitally depict the tale of an aquatic Samurai battle using the fountains as a huge, 300 metre wide screen.

"It’s clearly one of the most ambitious things that’s been done on Bellagio"

“Working with partners like Shochiku and teamLab in this project allows Panasonic to demonstrate new kinds of high-impact visual solutions for our B2B customers that will keep their audiences coming back. And it allows us to highlight the key features of our compact, lightweight and high-performance projectors,” explained Joseph M. Taylor.