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First rehearsal looked nothing like planned, says Ilse DeLange

Wide shots galore for the Netherlands on their first rehearsal at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv. The camera angles for Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade” were criticised. His mentor and creative director Ilse DeLange has now spoken out about the issues: She puts the ball, quite literally, in KAN’s court.

“Way less than 80% there”

DeLange, who represented her country in 2014 is now in Tel Aviv to support Duncan Laurence. She is also part of his creative team and designed the staging together with Hans Pannecoucke. Together, they sent a plan for their staging to the production team over in Israel back in March.

The singer says that, in normal cases, you would expect the staging to be about 80% there when delegations hit the stage for the first time at the contest. However, DeLange now flags that the Israeli production team was not even close to that percentage when the Netherlands had their first rehearsal.

One of the most remarkable features was the big lit up ball hanging over the stage during their performance. Ilse DeLange wasn’t happy with how that looked at all, saying:

To us it now looked a plastic, white ball hanging at the wrong place.

Ilse DeLange to NOS

Soon after seeing the ball wasn’t looking the way it should have, the team got into action. They got in touch with a Belgian company who designed a new lamp for the Dutch performance. The lamp arrived in time for Duncan’s second rehearsal, but the Israeli production team were unable to hang it from the ceiling in the position the Dutch delegation asked for. That is why, for the rehearsal only, they decided to place the lamp on his piano, on a see-through cube.

If the developments go as planned, the lamp will be hanging from the ceiling when Duncan next performs at the Eurovision Song Contest. The lamp is a symbol of hope, similar to the surface of the water we saw in the official video for “Arcade”.

Dark staging

Ilse DeLange explicitly mentions the dark staging the Netherlands requested. She understands how difficult it must’ve been for KAN to have a delegation requesting the entire stage to be dark – not even displaying the shapes of the stage. An idea as dark as that is reminiscent of what Loreen did at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, where the Baku stage was invisible throughout her performance.

About the discussions with KAN, DeLange says the following:

They are obviously enormously proud of everything that is possible with this stage and then we go and say “No, make sure everything is dark and invisible”.

Ilse DeLange

The Dutch delegation were granted an extra technical rehearsal yesterday, as reports already suggested. Ilse DeLange has said that that rehearsal has gone really well and that progress has been made. One of the focus points in that extra technical were the wide shots during the performance. The delegation has attempted to get rid of most of these shots and prefers to work with a steady cam.

She concludes by saying that the entire delegation is confident that Duncan Laurence’s performance will look the way they intended it to. They mention that it might not be 100% like the plan was before heading to Tel Aviv, but they are confident that it the delegation, in collaboration with the production team in Israel, can make it work for the Netherlands.

Duncan Laurence will hit the stage on Wednesday for the dress rehearsals of the second semifinal at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

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