Hours of rehearsal for a 15-minute segment
And it was totally worth it! Around 3000 volunteers spent countless weekends rehearsing for the Paralympics Opening Ceremonies, called “Enlightenment”, first at Three Mills Studios, then in a dis-used Dagenham car park and finally, at the Olympic Stadium. Over and over, our company, called “Loud”, practiced a 15-minute routine to follow the Athlete’s Parade, set to ‘Spasticus Autisticus’, which was performed by Graeae Theatre Company and Orbital. Stephen Hawking even had a cameo (complete with the lit-up glasses)!
I still remember the routine, I think!
It’s been a few months, but whenever I hear the song, I can kind of remember the moves that go along with it. There were about 100 quartets, each member with specific choreography – I was a “C” in a quartet in the Pod group of the Loud company, and much of my routine was spent flinging a lightweight tent (the “pod” part) around before joining the rest of the company to stage a huge protest (the “loud” part) in front of a giant inflatable of Alison Lapper Pregnant (by artist Marc Quinn).
At every practice session, we got a free lunch (yay!), and months [5 years] later, I still never want to eat a Nature Valley granola bar again. Unless I start to like MDF sawdust as a snack…
Dusty granola bars aside (very far aside), this was my first time ever joining as an “extra” for a live (or filmed) production…and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE! Sure, it was hard work, but I thoroughly enjoyed being a small contribution to the success of the Opening Ceremonies and look forward to Rio 2016.
One last bit of advice, when the going gets tough…
More links and stories
- Click link to see the photo album on Facebook