Written by Staff Writer
23 Sep, 2015 | 8:30 am
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year will cost ten times less than those in London 2012, the team of directors announced on Tuesday (September 22) as the group met in the host city to discuss the plans, which still remain largely under wraps. He said the plans would be the right match for the host city.
Among those at the helm is Brazilian film director Fernando Meirelles who rose to international fame off the back of his favela action movie “City of God” in 2002.
Alongside him is carnival director, Rosa Magalhaes, who has won five championships with several samba schools since 1984, national film directors Andrucha Waddington and Daniela Thomas, and set designer Abel Gomes, who led the ceremonies for the 2007 Pan-American Games in Brazil and the annual New Year celebrations on Copacabana Beach.
Meirelles said that a large budget for the ceremonies would not make sense amid deepening political and economic crises in Brazil, which saw the currency fall to an all time low against the dollar on Tuesday.
The directors were keen to point out that the fall of the real would not lead to a drawing back on the ceremonies, as the materials had already been acquired.
What had been bought and how it would be used, however, remains undisclosed.
The general message was that performances would reflect Brazilian culture without falling to caricature, which in Meirelles’s view presents a real challenge when it comes to the global stage.
Another challenge for Meirelles is the structural layout of the Maracana football stadium where the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening and closing ceremonies were held, and where the ceremonies would take place next year.
He said that performances and installations around the edge of the pitch would obstruct the view for spectators, but said he would channel his architectural experience to try and overcome this.
The team was asked about the possibility of booing during the ceremonies, repeating scenes in which former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were booed in the opening ceremony of the World Cup.
The World Cup was preceded by widespread anger over public spending on the Games, and discontent continues to spread throughout the South American country as the government fails to gain control of the public deficit amid a multibillion dollar corruption scandal.
Thomas rebuffed the concern, however, insisting that the Olympic spirit would transcend such feeling.
Auditions for the 12,000 spaces for volunteers to take part in the ceremonies will take place in April, with applications open online until September 30. Singers, dancers, skaters and cyclists have been encouraged to apply.
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