Meet the Dinosaur Dominating J Balvin's Stage

J Balvin
Chris Molina

Balvin onstage with V-Rex in September.

He may be one of Latin music’s biggest male artists, but Colombian reggaetón star J Balvin isn’t the figure looming largest onstage during his current Vibras Tour: That would be the 29-foot-tall, inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex Balvin has nicknamed “V-Rex.” “J Balvin loves fashion and art,” says Ashley Evans of production house The Squared Division, who, along with partner Antony Ginandjar, served as the tour’s creative/show director. “Bringing those together to create this oversize set piece was something he wanted to do.”

THE VISION “The idea behind the dinosaur is about good vibras,” says Balvin. “[V-Rex] reminds me of my fans and the dinosaurs who once roamed the earth making their own vibrations.”

THE BUILD Amsterdam-based Airworks Inflatables (which has worked on tours by Katy Perry and P!nk) created V-Rex out of hundreds of smaller pieces of polyester that took more than three months to print and sew together. The prop inflates into a fearsome, 14-foot-wide beast in a matter of seconds.

THE STARRING ROLE Multiple puppeteers operate the tomato-red dinosaur so that his arms move and his eyes light up. He’s the focal point of the four-part show’s Act 1, backing up Balvin as he performs “Machika,” “Cuando Tú Quieras,” “Ambiente” and “Ginza.”

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 3 issue of Billboard.