Brazilians ready to bring carnival spirit to Rio 2016 ceremonies
A vital part of the preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 got underway on 7 November, with Brazilians flocking in their hundreds to take part in the first wave of auditions for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The auditions, which were held at the National Institute for Education of the Deaf, in the leafy Rio neighbourhood of Laranjeiras, took place in a relaxed atmosphere, in which the host city’s ‘carnival spirit’ was very much in evidence.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies – always a showpiece occasion for any Olympic Games – are due to take place at Rio’s iconic Maracanã Stadium on 5 and 21 August 2016 respectively.
The organisers are keen to make the ceremonies a celebration of Brazilian diversity, with the emphasis very much on inclusion. And it was clear from the initial round of auditions that there was room for all shapes, sizes, and ages.
“Everybody arrived thinking they had to dance well, but we’re not looking for perfect ballerinas,” explained Steve Boyd, the experienced American event director who has worked on 13 consecutive Olympic Games, and who is leading the selection process for the Rio 2016 ceremonies together with Bryn Walters, a British choreographer who has worked himself on four Olympic Games.
“On my way here I was really anxious, I couldn’t stop worrying about how it was going to be,” added Agatha Cordeiro, one of the hundreds of hopefuls, who had made her way to Laranjeiras from Nova Iguaçu, a town on the outskirts of Rio. “But once I arrived and saw that there were all kinds of different people, I relaxed.”
Auditions for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are set to continue throughout November and into the first week of December.