Sunday, 22 July 2012

London Olympics Opening Ceremonies: My Guess at Creative Content

Well, it's getting very close to Olympics Opening Ceremonies time - less than a week to go. Authorities are not revealing much about creative content except to say the following (from their web site): 

"Work has now started to install the set for the opening scene of the Ceremony, which is called ‘Green and Pleasant’. On entry to the Olympic Stadium in east London the audience will see a scene that represents a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside.
The whole of the field of play in the Stadium will be transformed into the rolling British countryside as the London 2012 Ceremonies Team creates one of the largest sets ever built. The set will be complete with meadows, fields and rivers, and featuring families taking picnics, sport being played on the village green and farmers tilling the soil whilst real farmyard animals graze – including 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs.

Each of the four nations will be represented by their national flower – the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and flax from Northern Ireland. 
Titled 'Isles of Wonder', the Olympic Opening Ceremony will open with the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world and is predicted to be viewed live by a worldwide TV audience of over a billion people.
Danny Boyle, London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Artistic Director, said: ‘The Ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be. The best part of telling that story has been working with our 10,000 volunteers.

'I’ve been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the purest embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation.’"
I tried to guess the general content of the Beijing ceremonies and was pretty close as they did indeed focus on their extraordinary ability to marshall large numbers of people into a coordinated performance. I do not see that as much for the London ceremonies. I think it is going to be more focused on their history starting as far back as Stonehenge and including a lot of the culture from Scotland, Ireland and Wales as well as England. Look for original adaptations of the music of these countries as well as the historical content done in wildly creative ways (maybe advancing hordes of Picts, Celts, Romans, or Vikings!!?). I doubt they will try to match the technical wizardly of Beijing, preferring instead to use the theatrical approach of a woven story to the show. 

We shall see. I'll be back after the ceremony in a week. And don't forget to tune them in - or set your PVR - at 9:00pm GMT on Friday, July 27th.

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