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The Circle of Light: Bright colours and emotions in Moscow

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We cannot imagine our life without light. Even a small candle in the darkness or a small star in the night sky make us happy. A festival of light is a sight to behold. Every September in Moscow, we have a chance to celebrate the Circle of Light international festival. Lighting designers and audiovisual specialists from various countries create fantastic shows of light and sound, and they completely transform the city space using the 3D-mapping and laser show. Bright colours and emotions are the speciality of this event. The audience is fully involved in the optical illusions.

Photo © Credits to Circle of Light

Magical transformations of the Bolshoi Theatre

Every year, famous Moscow buildings such as the Moscow State University, VDNKh pavilions, Ostankino TV Tower become the canvases for large colorful video projections. Teatralnaya (Theatre) Square is one of the main festival venues. On the facade of the Bolshoi Theatre, the historical and philosophical light novels are demonstrated - Karmen, Swan Lake, Spartacus, and other classical stories on the eternal themes of love and loneliness, courage and freedom. Light, music and text make the most implausible plots become a reality. The finalists’ works of Classic Architectural Projection Mapping Competition (ART VISION Classic) are also presented here, and right before your eyes, you can see magical transformations of the Bolshoi Theatre into a Chinese pagoda, an antique temple, or a musical box. It seemed to be ruined completely and rebuilt again. All the presentations are bright, creative and philosophical. Preparing their projections for the competition, the participants have to take into account the skyline of the building.

Photo © Credits to Svetlana Kolyadina

The Bolshoi Theatre
The Bolshoi Theatre
Theatre Square, д. 1, Moskva, Russia, 125009

Photo © Credits to

Moscow parks turn to the fairyland

The main Moscow parks, such as Tsaritsyno, Kolomenskoye, Gorky Park, become a stage of the Circle of Light festival and turn into the fairyland with the moving light installations, dancing fountains, mirror-like ponds with visionary ships. Among the colourful trees, on a lawn, you can find silent light sculptures – shining fantastic flowers, animals or people. The projection mapping turns the stone lions into the illusory alive tigers and snow leopards, and due to a landscape projection, the trees crowns become fabulous winking masks.

Photo © Credits to Nadezhda Andryakova

From Tsaritsyno to the world of future

The façade of the Grand Tsaritsyno Palace built in ‘Russian Gothic’ style becomes a canvas for the Contemporary Art Projection Mapping Competition (ART VISION Modern), where the participants have to demonstrate their modern technology skills. The light shows create a world of mysterious images, but at the same time contemplate on the global themes like the ecology, human culture, technical progress, surviving of the humanity, and take us to the world of the future.

Photo © Credits to vid relax

Tsaritsyno Park and Museum, Moscow
Tsaritsyno Park and Museum, Moscow
Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve, Dol'skaya Ulitsa, 1, Moskva, Russia, 115569

Photo © Credits to Alexander Rebrov

Indoor programmes

If you prefer a cosy armchair, the Circle of Light festival invites you to the indoor programmes. In MIR Concert Hall, you can witness the battle of VJs (video jockeys) coming from all over the world. For those who would like to know how the light masterpieces are created or improve their skills in light design and projection mapping, the organizers offer the educational programme as well. The lectures and workshops are conducted by the world-class specialists. You can also watch the live transmissions of all the events.

Photo © Credits to Circle of Light

Opening and closing ceremonies, beautiful and educational

The opening and closing ceremonies are always the magnificent shows that combine astonishing light and laser effects, a play of straight and rotating fountains and fire from flame jets. They are not only beautiful but also educational. They can tell the ancient history of Japanese fireworks called Hanabi, and show original Japanese hand-made Hanabis having an ideal round form and filled with philosophy. They can take us to the most beautiful places of the world and show us the Reed Flute Cave or Great Barrier Reef. The Circle of Light festival in Moscow opens and ends with bright colours of the magnificent fireworks and an explosion of emotions. Every year the festival brings new surprises, so look through the programme and choose what you like.

Photo © Credits to Circle of Light

Teatralnaya (Theatre) Square
Teatralnaya (Theatre) Square
Teatralnaya Square, Moskva, Russia, 109012

Title photo © Credits to Circle of Light

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The author

Victoria Derzhavina

Victoria Derzhavina

I live in Moscow. I am passionate about travelling, history, nature and architecture. I worked as a tourist guide in Moscow and other Russian cities for several years. I get inspiration visiting new places and like sharing it with others.

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