In order to seduce the female, the male bird of paradise spares no effort. Deploying its unique dark plumage, it hops, opens its wings wide and turns around the female to attract its favors.
This birds of paradise ‘s courtship dance imagined by François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice required more than five months of construction, from the point of departure, François Delaroziere’s sketch to the final mechanical adjustments, including design at the studies office. The small size of the two birds implies extreme precision, the mechanical movements akin here to fine watchmaking. Inspired by the courtship displays observed in nature, the builders endeavor to reproduce the movements of each bird, each one being able to carry out about fifteen movements between the tilting of the head, the deployment of the wings or the rotation of the male bird around the female. In addition, unlike some of our machines, the Parade amoureuse does not have a Programer Logic Controler or sensor, all of the movements being controlled manually by the spectators. The builders therefore had to focus particularly on the interactions between the movements and redouble their ingenuity to avoid any conflict.
If the metal structure of the two birds was made of stainless steel (in order to withstand the climatic conditions as best as possible when they take their place in the Heron Tree), no less than 8 types of metal were used to make the 32 feathers of the male bird, from zinc to copper, including brass, aluminum and lead. The carved wooden hulls are made of locust wood, a very hard wood which is also resistant to humid
Colorization also requires substantial research work. Indeed, in nature, the feathers of the paradise are the darkest that exist. Even when exposed to direct light, they remain deep black because they absorb 99% of the light. Starting with clear layers, the painter gradually darkens the color by superimposing several layers. It then brings depth to the animal using a glaze. To reproduce the sublime blue plastron that the bird also called “Steel-throated Bird of Paradise” proudly exhibited during the dance, the manufacturers imagined a chain mail of a hundred woven sequins.
Fixed on a branch extract from the future “Heron Tree”, the two birds will be manipulated by the public at the Galerie des Machines from February 8th . Six spectators will then be able to wake up the birds and create a love parade as striking as those observed in nature.
It is up to the courageous manipulators of the male Bird of Paradise to seduce the female, who can prove more or less receptive to her charm…