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DANCE 461 Features

DANCE 461 Features

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Read the personal experiences of performances and photos from some of the dancers involved in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

You can also read about how the future of dance is shaping up through the eyes of the New English Ballet Theatre. In addition, we take a look at the latest trend for fusing dance styles together and how reality TV dance shows are creating overnight stars, in our Dance Mash-ups article.

DANCE is the quarterly magazine from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
Read the personal experiences of performances and photos from some of the dancers involved in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

You can also read about how the future of dance is shaping up through the eyes of the New English Ballet Theatre. In addition, we take a look at the latest trend for fusing dance styles together and how reality TV dance shows are creating overnight stars, in our Dance Mash-ups article.

DANCE is the quarterly magazine from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

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12/04/2012

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50
 
issue no. 461
DANCE
FEATURES
Hannah Jelliman reviews the OlympicCeremonies
The London 2012 Olympics provided afantastic platform for the dance sceneof our nation, the largest of which beingthe Opening and Closing Ceremonies.The ceremonies showcased the talent of 15,000 performers in total, including manyvolunteers. The Opening Ceremony, directedby Danny Boyle, was named
 Isles of Wonder 
 and celebrated our British countryside. TheClosing Ceremony, named
 A Symphony of  British Music
, celebrated music as one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports with4,100 performers. The main part of bothceremonies included performances involvinga celebration of music and dance throughrecent decades.Overall, the four Olympic and ParalympicOpening and Closing Ceremonies used 12,956props and 23,000 costumes. If that isn’tshowing the world the importance of dancein our country, what is?
 Hannah Jelliman
Amie Brotherton takes to the stage at theOpening Ceremony
As a dancer and dance teacher, I relished theopportunity to be involved in the OlympicCeremonies, so when I received the emailinviting me to take part in the OpeningCeremony of the London 2012 Olympics, Iwas completely thrilled.We spent the next four weeks workingvery hard in studios on the contents of oursegment. I was always shattered but on a highwhen I got home and I would also practiceat home so I was sure I would remembereverything for the next week. By May, wewere in an outside space, Dagenham’s oldFord factory site, where there were a lot morecast and we were all put together in biggergroups. It was here that everything startedto fall into place a little more, where wecontinued to learn new parts and integratethem with other groups, from week to weekin any weather, from blazing sunshine, torain and wind.21st June was a big day – stadium day! Weled into the seats where the audience wouldbe on the day and had our rst glimpse of thestage and some of the set. Following this, werehearsed three to four times a week, eachrehearsal bringing new surprises, whether
Dancing into the Olympics
Several ISTD members and HQ staff were lucky enough to perform in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. We follow their personal journeys fromauditions to rehearsals through to performance day
Top: dress rehearsal of thespectacular Opening Ceremony  Above: Amie Brotherton outside theOlympic Stadium
 
that was an addition to the set, special effects or trying on ourmake-up and costumes! The week of 20th to 26th July saw usput on three dress rehearsals to crowds of around 40,000, arst true taste of having a large audience.Show Day! And on 27th July at 3pm, I entered the OlympicPark for what would be the last time. I was excited, emotionaland raring to go! We spent most of the rst two hourswandering around the park, taking our last minute photosand getting people to sign our old rehearsal bibs. We wereeach presented with a certicate signed by Danny Boyle torepresent our achievement in taking part in the ceremonyand a programme, which included everyone’s names andphotographs. At about 6pm, we started to get very excitedand had our hair and make-up done for the last time.Being on stage was amazing. I was dancing in the sectionwhere the boy and girl meet and fall in love. The live audiencewas incredible and everyone put in 110 percent. It was overbefore it had even begun! As we stood at the end and tookour bow, tears streamed down my face. I was on an emotionalrollercoaster all weekend, elated at the experience and utterlydepressed that it was all over!
 Amie Brotherton, Ballet Teacher from Northampton
Gilbert Wu was a Victorian Working Man in theIndustrial Revolution
My journey to the Olympic Stadium started at the end of October 2011, when my fellow Ballroom dancer friend toldme that the Olympic organisers were looking for more maleperformers. My role was one of the thousand Victorianworkers in the Industrial Revolution section who transformedthe green and pleasant countryside into an industrial site.I had to go through two auditions in November 2011. Therewere around 300 candidates in both auditions. At the rstaudition, I could see candidates of all ages, from teenagersto senior citizens and felt great relief to get through to thesecond audition.
DANCE
FEATURES
 
issue no. 461 
51

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