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Clash of the mechanical titans

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-10 07:48:05

Clash of the mechanical titans

Two mechanical giants will stage their China debut in Beijing's Olympic Park from Oct 17 to 19, as one of the highlights of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A giant robotic horse with a menacing dragon's head will do battle with a 37-ton mechanical spider in Beijing. Deng Zhangyu previews the tremendous creature feature.

A massive mechanical beast with a smoke-breathing dragon's head and a horse's body will fight a 37-ton spider robot in Beijing's Olympic Park from Oct 17 to 19.

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The two colossal creatures will stage their China debut by waging war on the avenue facing the National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest.

The 47-ton yellow creature-whose name, Long Ma, combines the Chinese words for "dragon" and "horse"-will tussle with the enormous arachnid named La Princesse.

Long Ma can exhale smoke and mist, move its head, lift its legs and stand on its full weight-roughly equal to that of eight elephants. The spider will be hoisted high into the air during combat.

"We won't have fixed scenarios but rather will operate the giants in response to audiences' reactions," says Francois Delaroziere, art director of the French company La Machine, which created the dragon last year.

The hope is to surprise Chinese viewers, he explains.

The show is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations, says Li Danyang, general manager of the performance's organizer, Gehua Culture Development Group.

France designed Long Ma as a gift for the Chinese people, Li says.

The concept was developed two years ago, and a draft was presented to President Xi Jinping when he visited France in March.

Delaroziere says the company took inspiration from the Chinese phrase longma jingshen, or "the spirit of the dragon and the horse". It's intended to praise Chinese people's constant quest for self-improvement.

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