And so the Beijing Olympics 2008 have officially drawn to a close with the handover to London for 2012. I’m sure many many people dropped what they were doing to watch as much of the closing ceremony as possible, I know I did. So, what did you think of the Closing Ceremony?
It wasn’t quite on the same scale as the Opening Ceremony - a mere 200 drum performers and 1,100 silver bell dancer for the first ‘Reunion’-themed part, compared to the 2,008 drummers at the start of the Opening Ceremony. In all, 7,000 performers took part in the Closing Ceremony and they didn’t even get a chance to rehearse in the stadium in the past few days because of the Athletics.
Photo courtesy of One Ben K
It was also a very modern performance compared to how the Olympics were introduced, and the underlying message was to ‘greet and welcome guests’. The music was gorgeous – delicate and upbeat in parts, contemplative the next. The cinematic effect was beautiful, as expected of Zhang Yimou, the director. At this point, I was impressed by the 60 light wheels that ‘rolled’ into the darkened stadium, traveling along path of lights formed by the dancers, which reminded me a little of the Wall of China (even if it wasn’t intended)
Photo courtesy of rich115
As the formation changed, they were joined by followed by 200 bouncing and flying performers, which were supposed to reflect the more modern and extreme sports in the Olympics (according to the on-going BBC commentary) and finally, the opening of the closing ceremony ended as the dancers formed four passages to greet the incoming flag bearers of each country, and then the athletes.
Photo courtesy of 赤子之心
In contrast to the formal entrance of the athletes at the Opening Ceremony, everyone was allowed to run in freely. Needless to say everyone pretty much looked ecstatic and cheered at the camera This was followed by the award ceremony for the winners of the Men’s Marathon event (a new world record was set by the gold medalist WANSIRU Samuel Kamau!) and a big thank you was given to all the representatives of all the volunteers who had worked so hard to support the games.
So much more followed, that I think it would be appropriate to split this post into a few sections and write about the individual performances that really stood out for me, such as the London Handover and the musical rendition of The Moon is Bright Tonight. Please stay tuned for the next part of this series!