LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Bells rang across Britain on Friday to signal the final countdown to the Olympic Games, which open with an exuberant and eccentric ceremony celebrating the nation in an explosion of dance, music and fireworks inspired by Shakespeare’s “Tempest”.
Watched by 60,000 people at the main Olympic stadium built in a run-down part of east London and a global audience of more than a billion, the event will have passages described by British Prime Minister David Cameron as “spine-tingling”.
The spectators will be urged to join in sing-a-longs and help create spectacular visual scenes at an event that sets the tone for the sporting extravaganza, when 16,000 athletes from 204 countries share the thrill of victory and despair of defeat with 11 million visitors.
Dancers and athletes have a lot in common. Both require physical strength, dedication and long hours of training. But dancers, of course, don’t go to the Olympics, right?
Well, this year, 22 dancers from the Pottstown Dance Theatre will be heading to London during the 2012 Olympic Games. While they won’t be competing, the students—aged 13 to 18—will perform in the Olympic Village on the day of the closing ceremonies.
They’ll dance on stage, entertaining crowds awaiting the closing ceremonies on August 12, with a 30-minute piece, entitled “The Evolution of Dance,” that was choreographed by Pottstown Dance Theatre Director Michelle Jones Wurtz.