Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fireworks Choreographer: Give the Public an 'Emotional Sensory Experience' through Explosions, Music

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fireworks Choreographer: Give the Public an 'Emotional Sensory Experience' through Explosions, Music

Article excerpt

Gary Caimano can easily fill the canvas of night sky with his palette of exploding lights.

Setting it to music is a challenge that's kept his enthusiasm high for 35 years.

"People love fireworks. They're mesmerized by it, and then you give them an emotional sensory experience with music, and you interpret things and give them drama on a giant stage. It just moves them," said Caimano, director of marketing and choreographer of shows for Western Enterprises Inc. in Carrier.

"I look at every single shell as though it were a dramatic persona," he said. "I get excited because I think of the audience, the people who are going to witness this. ... On that day, they want a show to represent their freedom. They deserve the best show I can give them."

Western, which makes most of its own pyrotechnics, puts on more than 600 fireworks shows annually in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Clients have included Tinker Air Force Base; Bricktown; the RedHawks; Riverwind Casino; and the municipalities of Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman.

Most of the shows are held around July 4. Caimano spends weeks choreographing those performances well before the holiday so Western's employees have time to set up, secure permits and handle numerous other concerns.

"It's a six-month operation to get the Fourth of July up and running," he said. "And as soon as that ends, you're doing Labor Day and then Christmas and New Year's Eve shows. It's constant."

Caimano grew up in one of the nation's original fireworks families, Zambelli Internationale in Pennsylvania. When he was 5 years old, Caimano's father died in a manufacturing explosion; his mother forbade Caimano from working in the industry. But after studying theater and earning his master's degree in literature, he came back.

"I have an inherent love to seeing something perform to music," he said. "And it wasn't something that was done back in the '70s. …

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