The Victorian illusion technique known as Pepper's Ghost was used to recreate a waltz danced at the Crimean Ball of 1856 in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. — AFP Photo
London — The ballroom of Queen Victoria's Buckingham Palace has been brought back to life through Pepper's Ghost: a 19th-century illusion recreated by Hollywood animation whizzkids.
The dancing, music and colour scheme has been revived inside the palace ballroom as part of an exhibition for the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth.
The 1856 ball celebrating the end of the Crimean War has been recreated using a Victorian technique called Pepper's Ghost.
Film is projected upwards and then reflected off a near-invisible glass screen set at 45 degrees, making dancers seem to appear magically in the room.
Scientist John Henry Pepper's trick stunned and terrified people in theatres when it first came out.
The palace's original wallpaper, friezes, windows and ceiling decorations are projected onto the walls to complete the recreation, digitally repainting the now-white walls with the reds, golds, blues and greens of the time.
"It's a melding of 21st-century and 19th-century technology," said curator Amanda Foreman.
"Victoria had been deprived of normal socialisation when young," she explained.
"Dancing helped to make her feel alive. She loved the sensation of it." — AFP