Thomasian-led pyrotechnics team victorious once more in international fireworks competition

Photo grabbed from Carl Desjardin and Ben Leroux

TWO THOMASIANS took home the silver trophy at the 51st Festival D’Art Pyrotechnique de Cannes in Cannes, France last Aug. 25.

Fine Arts alumni John Oliver Zeng and Don Miguel Villaroza, part of pyromusical company Dragon Fireworks, Inc., competed in a special “Battle of Champions” edition of the competition held at the Bay of Cannes.

Their show titled “Dynamics in Motion” was a tribute to the diversity of dances around the world, and featured a kaleidoscope of music including pieces by Tchaikovsky, Audiomachine, Christina Perry and Filipino band Pinikpikan.

At 7,545 cues, “Dynamics in Motion” became one of the most complex productions the festival had ever seen.

Lead pyrotechnician Zeng was thankful for the second-place victory.

“I was not that surprised. As they say, expect the unexpected, especially if you are in a different country. The important thing is that we showed what we can do for the country,” Zeng told the Varsitarian.

Zeng put together the Cannes production just two weeks after their victory in L’International des Feux Loto-Québec in Canada.

“The team depended on me for the show’s plan, so I had to keep their discipline, focus, teamwork and faith in check, as well as my own,” Zeng said.

Dragon Fireworks took on competitors and previous champions of the competition such as Surex from Poland, ArtEventia from France, Jupiter from Argentina, Alpha Pyro from France and JoHo Pyro from Finland.

With their participation in the Canadian contest, the team again made history by being the first Southeast Asian contestant in the French competition’s history.

Zeng and Villaroza, who both finished advertising arts in 2009, were collaborating with Dragon Fireworks, Inc. before they even graduated.

They manage the University’s pyromusical events, which had become an annual Thomasian spectacle since 2011.

They are set to return to their alma mater for this year’s Paskuhan festivities.


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