ABBA spent seven hours a day for over a month working on performance routines for their upcoming Travel spectacular digital performance.
All four members wore motion capture suits in front of 200 cameras with around 40 people backstage, Benny Andersson said rolling stone. More than 1,000 staff from cinematic effects giant ILM helped organize the show, while the custom-built ABBA Arena in London was redesigned three times to accommodate the 20 light fixtures suspended from the roof. The resulting “experience” will see the “ABBA-tars” of Andersson and co perform alongside real musicians with a run of 196 shows starting May 27.
“It was really a pleasure for all of us,” Andersson said. “It was a lot of uphill. Brexit, the pandemic. There are a lot of things that didn’t work well, but we were resilient. Explaining that the movements of the original members were then imitated by young performers to present ABBA at its peak, he noted that “we are kind of fused with our body doubles. Don’t ask me how it works because I can’t not explain that If you’re 75 you don’t jump like you did at 34, that’s why it happened.
He said of the results: “I see myself standing on stage talking to you. It’s absolutely believable. It’s not amazing. It’s believable! Referring to the fact that the interest of new generations of ABBA fans made it possible to stage such a production, he reflected: “It’s quite weird, isn’t it? That was 40 years ago, and the corpse is still moving. I do not know. Maybe that’s good enough. That may be the only answer.
Anderson’s son, Ludvig, a Travel producer, was one of the team members who decided that the usual type of hologram projections were not good enough for what was envisioned for this production. “We often hear, ‘It’s the dawn of a new era in live entertainment,'” Ludvig said. “I think that is an incorrect statement. I do not think so. It’s unique.