China, UK each had golden openers
Updated: 2012-07-29 10:07:59
By Mu Qian in London ( China Daily)
Wang Chaoge, co-director of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, had mixed expectations about the kick-off for the 2012 Olympic Games before Friday night.
"On one hand, I didn't want it to exceed my work; on the other hand, I hoped to see another show that amazes the world," she said.
"Now both my wishes were fulfilled," Wang said after watching the show with a crowd of 80,000 at the Olympic Stadium. "Objectively speaking, there's no way that you can compare the two ceremonies. We each had what the other didn't."
Wang used "magnificence and grandeur" to describe the Beijing spectacle, and "warmth, love, freedom and happiness" to describe Friday's show.
"I was almost in tears when I saw sheep grazing in an English countryside scene," she said. "Every second is precious in an Olympic Games opening ceremony, yet the director left time for the sheep. That really touched my heart."
What separates the two opening ceremonies is not only the forms and techniques, but also the ways of thinking, Wang said.
For example, in China, people would want only positive symbols for a celebratory occasion - they would rather not to include scenes like polluting chimneys or sick children like Britain did. In addition, London used many amateur volunteer performers, but they made the opening ceremony warm, Wang said.
What impressed Wang most, however, is the soft power of the UK displayed in the ceremony.
"When people like David Beckham, J.K. Rowling and Paul McCartney appear, everybody knows them," Wang said. "Do we have global icons like them? This is something for us to think about.
"People's creativity is limitless. There will be infinite ways to create opening ceremonies for the Games."
Since 2008, Wang has devoted her time to the Impression series, folk culture shows created for specific sites. Seven shows of the series have been staged, and the eighth will premiere later this year in Pingyao, an ancient town in North China's Shanxi province.
"Directing the Olympic Games opening ceremony is such a challenging job that you throw over your own ideas every 10 minutes," Wang said. "It's a great experience, but I don't want to go through that kind of pressure again. I'm glad that now I can do more personal works like the Impression series."