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Sneak Peak at Sochi's Opening Ceremony

Published: February 6, 2014 (Issue # 1796)



  • Hundreds of volunteers played the role of athletes during the rehearsal, making a long procession around the stadium.
    Photo: Ivan Nechepurenko / SPT

The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics on Friday will take Russia’s biggest cultural gems and serve them up with contemporary dance music and spectacular lighting.

At least, that is what can be expected if the final rehearsal is anything to go by.

The organizers have asked that the exact contents of the ceremony be kept secret. On the conceptual level, the show consists of several episodes, each of them portraying a certain period and aspect of Russian culture.

Related: Sochi Children's Choir Serenade Putin at Mariinsky

Thousands of members of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, as well as their relatives and friends, were invited to the final rehearsal of the opening ceremony — an event which organizers say will be watched by 3 billion people across the globe. Drivers, technicians, event managers and other specialists filled the train from Sochi to the Olympic park for the occasion Tuesday, highlighting the collective commitment made by thousands to prepare for the Winter Olympics.

The rehearsal aimed to be as close to reality as possible, with men in dark suits playing the roles of President Vladimir Putin, International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach and Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko. Putin declared the Games open, while Bach and Chernyshenko gave speeches saying that the purpose of the Games was to inspire people.

Related: Olympic Volunteers Pour Into Sochi

Hundreds of volunteers played the role of athletes during the rehearsal, making a long procession around the stadium. The crowd cheered and stood up when the Russian team appeared.

Other volunteers played the role of Olympic flag carriers, who have not yet been identified but are said to include a conductor, scientist, teacher, and a cosmonaut, among others. In the ceremony, Russia’s biggest points of pride — classical music, ballet, the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russian avant-garde art and architecture — get their own special features. These symbols are then given a modern interpretation with palpitating music and prolific lighting. The ceremony also included a DJ set featuring popular Russian songs, including by Putin’s favorite band, Lube. Audience members called the show “awe-inspiring.”

“The show was interesting, to say the least,” said Vladimir, who works as an IT contractor for the Organizing Committee. Another purpose of the rehearsal was to test the logistics involved in moving a 40,000-person crowd in and out of the main Fisht Stadium.

As some of the entrances appeared to be closed, a big crowd rushed to the remaining ones, causing minor delays and discomfort.

At the end of the rehearsal, the organizers said that most of the ceremony had been revealed, though certain aspects, such as the lighting of the Olympic flame and the final songs, were kept under wraps for the real opening ceremony.

The stadium rehearsals also marked the opening of the Fisht Stadium, the Olympic facility that had observers worried after encountering severe delays and undergoing multiple redesigns.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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