Venerable circus company Cirque du Soleil and leading Swiss technological institute ETH Zurich have combined their expertise in the arts and sciences respectively to come up with a performance video -- dubbed 'Spark' -- that involves a human performing with a fleet of quadcopter drones dressed as lampshades.
Sparked explores the story of an electrical appliance repairman whose lamps become animated after a power surge. As the lampshades hover around him, they appear to be responding to his movements. Each of the ten lampshades was assigned unique 'personalities' that were reflected in the way they moved.
The video was shot over the course of three days in ETH Zurich's Flying Machine Arena, a space equipped with a motion capture system, wireless communication network and sophisticated algorithm-executing software.
The video contains no CGI or other video manipulation, and could herald the start of a new era in which drones and increasingly incorporated into live entertainment.