How a pregnant Rihanna pulled off her high-tech Super Bowl halftime show
Super Bowl LVII ended in a win for the Kansas City Chiefs, and it also scored big for Rihanna.
RiRi and her team spent months rehearsing and perfecting her choreography, stage design and lighting effects.
The nine-time Grammy Award-winning artist had a massive production for her halftime show performance, and she knocked it out of the park.
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Spending most of the time suspended in the air without a net, the 34-year-old took the stage in Phoenix dressed head-to-toe in bright red, revealing a baby bump and becoming the first pregnant woman to star in the halftime show.
She looked cool and effortless in that red ensemble custom-made for her by luxury labels Loewe and Alaïa as she strutted across platforms that remained anywhere from 15 to 60 feet above the field.
Aside from looking flawless and cool, however, there was a method to the madness that ended up being super beneficial to the players.
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Why did Rihanna spend so much time in the air?
Lots of Super Bowl performers like Lady Gaga and P!nk pulled out all the stops for their performances, and Rihanna was no exception to that.
When she and her creative team were told that they could have her safely perform in the air while being supported by trusses that are strong enough to hold a freight train, they immediately jumped at the idea.
The idea itself came from Bruce Rodgers, the creative director and production designer for the Super Bowl for the last 16 years. Rodgers suggested multiple reasons.
First, having most of the performance in the air would mean that the crew would not have to have a large stage on the field. This helped make sure that the grass on the field would not be damaged so that the Chiefs and Eagles players could continue to play safely in the second half.
It also made things much easier on the crew when having to get everything on and off the field swiftly, as they only had about 7.5 minutes to set it all up and 6 minutes to take it all down.
How were the stage and platforms built?
Multiple factors had to be considered when building the stage and LED-lit platforms that Rihanna, her 80 dancers, and seven band members would perform on.
To minimize the weight of the stage on the field, it had to be constructed of no more than 15 rolling structures. It also had to have stairs that could be tilted up for transport due to the size and shape of the tunnels inside the State Farm Stadium.
Each structure ranged in shape and size, with the smaller ones measuring 10 by 24 feet and weighing around 2,000 pounds and the larger ones measuring 8 by 31 feet and weighing around 4,000 pounds. They also each had turf tires that would allow them to roll gently along the field and not ruin the grass.
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As far as the platforms themselves go, each one measured roughly 10 by 17.5 feet. During the first half of the game, all seven floating stages had to be stored in the trusses above the field.
Then when halftime came, they each had to be guided down on synthetic cables to their positions for the performance (all in 7 minutes). And once the performance was over, they were guided back up into the trusses until the end of the game.
Is this the new way of performing for the halftime show?
Rihanna’s performance could certainly be the first of many halftime show performances that happen this way. Not only is it a super-entertaining vision for the audience and viewers at home, but it also keeps the impact on the field at a minimum, which is mainly what the NFL is concerned about. Let’s see how much bigger and better the show gets in 2024.
What did you think of Rihanna’s performance? We want to hear your thoughts.
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