London 2012: Enlightenment theme for Paralympics ceremony
Published: 2nd May 2012 11:59:04
The opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games will be called Enlightenment, organisers have revealed.
The event will showcase the skills of disabled artists, with a cast of 3,000 adult volunteers including injured soldiers and past Paralympic athletes.
Co-artistic director Jenny Sealey said blood, sweat, tears and a lot of pain was going into the rehearsals.
"We have a duty to make sure what we present is exquisite," she said of the 29 August event. "We don't want pity."
She and co-artistic director Bradley Hemmings said the event would be a spectacular celebration of the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Games that challenges perceptions of human possibility.
"We are on a rollercoaster of a journey and with us we have an awesome creative team, a wonderful professional cast and an extraordinary team of volunteers," she said.
The Paralympic opening ceremony will begin at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford at 20:30 BST with a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots.
Some 50 of those performing at the ceremony will also take part in an eight week circus skills training programme at Circus Space in Hackney, funded by Arts Council England.
These skills will help them perform on a 35m (115ft) high rig at the opening ceremony.
The cast will include 100 child volunteers and some 100 professional deaf and disabled artists.
Many of the children hail from the Games host boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
Organisers also announced Barking and Dagenham would host a key rehearsal site for the London 2012 ceremonies, with the crew and cast starting rehearsals at the disused Ford plant in Dagenham on 19 May.
The formerly derelict site will now be transformed into a thriving, fully operational rehearsal unit, they said
Seb Coe, chairman of Games organisers Locog, said: "This is undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity to showcase talents to the world and I'm delighted that the host boroughs have such an important involvement."
The Paralympics will run from 29 August until 9 September 2012. The Games originated in the UK as the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. London 2012: Enlightenment theme for Paralympics ceremony [Online] (Updated 2nd May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426064/London-2012-Enlightenment-theme-for-Paralympics-ceremony [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com