China promises dazzling closing ceremony, rains fearedAugust 18th, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 18 (Xinhua) With less than one week to go for the Olympics to conclude, China is preparing for a glittering closing ceremony Aug 24. Unlike the opening ceremony, which was repeatedly rehearsed, the closing ceremony would not feature any full dress on-site rehearsals, according to Monday’s Beijing News.
The National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, where the closing ceremony would be held, would also host the end of the men’s marathon on the closing day, it said.
The tight schedule left only eight hours for organisers to reorganise the stadium for the closing ceremony, scheduled to start at 8 p.m, the paper said.
The organisers would also allow time for the London 2012 team to rehearse an eight-minute dance show for the handover ceremony.
Small-scale rehearsals were being held in training sites outside the Bird’s Nest, the organisers said without giving further details.
Though the content of the closing ceremony remained a secret, the paper said the electronic “scroll”, which unfurled China’s history in the opening ceremony with Chinese script and pictures, and the miniature globe carrying the two Olympic theme song singers that rose from the underground would not be deployed at the closing ceremony.
Another kungfu display, featuring 350 practitioners from a local martial art school, would be part of the show, in addition to 60 erhu, or Chinese violin, players from eastern province of Jiangsu.
Zhang Yimou, chief director of both the opening and closing ceremonies, said earlier this month that the climax of the close would come as the Olympic flame was extinguished in the main cauldron.
“We are dedicated to creating a happy atmosphere at the closing ceremony. The message is to say goodbye, and to promise to meet again in four years,” he said.
The Beijing News reported the organisers had made contingency plans for emergencies that might occur during the ceremony, saying rain still posed the biggest threat.
“Organisers may have to cut or readjust part of the show should there be rain Aug 24, but it should not spoil the show on the whole. The Olympic closing ceremony will present the world with a grand, ecstatic party,” the paper said, quoting unidentified staff with the BOCOG (Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games).