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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.





 


Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.