Arts & Culture News

The PY1 Pyramid Will House a Feast for the Eyes, Ears and Minds Starting on New Year’s Eve

The PY1 multimedia and dance show conducted a test run in Montreal and will open in Arlington on New Year's Eve for a two-month run.
The PY1 multimedia and dance show conducted a test run in Montreal and will open in Arlington on New Year's Eve for a two-month run. Fred Eric Young
Arlington's skyline view from the Tom Landry Freeway includes things like the roller coasters from Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium and both the old and new Globe Life Park/Field.

A pyramid structure will be part of the view for the next couple of months.

The PY1 Pyramid located in Globe Life Park will house a vibrant musical and immersive art and dance show experience starting on New Year's Eve.

"It's really a gathering where people are immersed inside of a show," says Stéphane Mongeau, the chief executive officer and executive producer of Lune Rouge Entertainment, an artistic and technological entertainment production company founded by Cirque du Soleil creator Guy Laliberté. "Guy wanted to revisit another art form, another entertainment art form, and he wanted to talk to another generation of people, the younger, the ones who lived with video games."

"It's like watching a movie or a play or an opera. We're just using different vehicles to do it." — Lune Rouge Entertainment's Stéphane Mongeau

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The 81-foot-tall pyramid will house immersive shows that explore human themes of connectivity and emotion. The interior walls of the pyramid serve as massive projector screens with a dancing chandelier fixture in the middle. The pyramid will be filled with music played by local DJs and audiences who are watching a story and art unfold all around them instead of directly at them.

"It's like watching a movie or a play or an opera," Mongeau says. "We're just using different vehicles to do it. That vehicle we call technology is openly transparent to everybody but it's a new art form. They'll be immersed by the imagery so it's going to be a 360-degree image. You're going to be looking around and looking up because it's a pyramid."

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Dancers who are called "co-pilots" for the PY1 show Stella-The Time Travel Journey perform a preview of the new immersive experience at The Granada Theater.
Danny Gallagher

PY1 will feature three shows during its two-month run that cater to audiences of all ages. Families can experience Stella-The Time Travel Journey, a time-traveling adventure powered by an artificial intelligence form called Stella who takes audiences from the dinosaur age to the future.

The viewing experience at PY1 won't be a passive one. Guests are encouraged to get up and dance, clap and participate in the show through the "co-pilots" who take the audience through their journey across time "for the family to feel something together," says the show's writer and director Annie Brocoli.

"I work with kids now because I'm so lucky that I had parents who brought me to shows when I was young," Brocoli says during a preview event at the Granada Theater. "I saw the sparkle in my Dad's eyes and I realized he was still a kid. So I thought when I grow up, I'm still going to be allowed to play."

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"Light beings" will be part of the Saturday night PY1 Nights club shows at PY1 in Arlington.
Danny Gallagher
Through the Echoes, a cosmic journey through the eye-catching landscape of the natural universe, will have special effects, beautiful lightscapes and projection lasers to show "how we're connected in this fascinating and beautiful world we're in," says the show's executive director, Mathieu Gatien.

"[Laliberté] wanted to find the next ways to tell stories," Gatian says. "He always made it to bring universal creative stories that bring people together."

Grown-up audiences can also attend on Saturday nights in January and February as the pyramid turns into a club experience with PY1 Nights. The pyramid changes into one of six different themes such as the colorful world of Pop, the tasty looking Candy World and the wild side called Karnival.

The dancers — called "light beings" — will be appropriately attired but guests are encouraged to attend in appropriate costume and even get their faces painted or airbrushed at the space to help them blend into their new environment, says PY1 Nights art director Sarah Bromley.

"Getting together to go through an emotional journey really strikes us," Bromley says. "It has an impact on our lives and makes us feel and think."

PY1 had a test run in Montreal before Lune Rouge moved the experience for its first official opening in Arlington. Mongeau says the company chose Arlington as its first tour stop because it will sit in a part of the community that's already established strong roots as an entertainment and recreational destination.

"That whole hub makes sense for us to try in Arlington, and it's really a crossroads for entertainment," Mongeau says. "It's a new way of entertainment, a new home for entertainment and with the multimedia and new technology, it's going to bring another generation in to experience something different."
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.