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Paralympics Ceremonies

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Sounds pretty good to me.

Interesting that they are giving details about this, in contrast to the Beijing ceremonies which we have heard almost nothing on.

'Dreamlike' curtain-raiser for Paralympics

By Lan Tian (China Daily/The Olympian)

Updated: 2008-05-23 13:51

The 170-minute opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games will feature surrealist elements and include a sign-language dance by female performers with hearing impairments, its director said this week.

"It certainly is not going to let anyone down," Zhang Jigang, chief director of both the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming Paralympics, revealed at a briefing held by Games' organizers BOCOG.

"The audience will feel a romantic, dreamlike, light and warm performance," he said, adding that the three-hour spectacle will be abstract in nature, people-oriented, and based on a sweeping theme of the convergence of life and the universe.

It will feature 6,000 performers and will take place at the "Bird's Nest" (National Stadium) at 8 p.m. on Sept. 6, roughly two weeks after the Beijing Olympics wraps up. The Paralympics then continues until Sept. 17.

Zhang, the 49-year-old internationally acclaimed Chinese choreographer, also served as chief director of the Sixth Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled in 1994.

Dress rehearsals for his latest project are going well and a commemoration for those who died in the May 12 Sichuan quake may now be incorporated into the show, he added.


The value of life is a key theme of the show, which will also draw on Asian art for inspiration, particularly the artistic technique known as xieyi. This refers to a traditional Chinese painting technique characterized by vivid expressions, bold outlines and freehand brushwork.

Some 400 female dancers with hearing impairments will perform a large sign-language dance under the banner of "Stars, hello". The dance is expected to be unprecedented in terms of either scale or content.

"For the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the parade of all the competing nations will come at the end of the performance, while for the Paralympics, it will come at the start," said Zhang, who doubles as the deputy director of the other two ceremonies for the Olympics.

The Paralympic closing ceremony will serve as a grand finale and an end to seven years of hard work, he said.

"If August 8 marks the beginning of the Olympic GamesSeptember 17 will be the last grand ceremony," said Zhang. "Therefore, its subject matter will relate to the future."

Some 2,000 performers, some with disabilities, will take part in the two-hour finale, he said. The show will emphasize Beijing's unique characteristics and invite audience interaction.

"It is going to be huge," said Zhang.

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