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Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey, artistic directors for the Paralympics opening ceremony and pictured posting with the Iron Giant from a previous Greenwich Festival, have spoken about the event's themes. Photo: Andrew Baker/LOCOG
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Barking and Dagenham will be among six host boroughs playing a key role in the Paralympics opening ceremony, it was announced today.
The ceremony, which has been named Enlightenment, will showcase the artistic talents of deaf and disabled performers and open with a fly-past by Aerobility, a group which teaches disabled people to become pilots.
Children from one school in each of the six boroughs will take part in either the opening or closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games.
The borough will play a pivotal role in the ceremony, with a once derelict site in Dagenham being used as a key rehearsal venue.
Thousands of performers will prepare for the opening and closing ceremonies under three enormous tents at the former Ford site in Kent Avenue.
The 60ft high arena is set to feature a replica of the Olympic stadium in Stratford and rehearsals will continue until August.
Stella Manzie, chief executive of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “We are thrilled to be playing yet another hugely important part in delivering a brilliantly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games for London.
“I am delighted that so many of our schools are involved in the opening and closing ceremonies.
“Hosting the rehearsals site is yet another contribution Barking and Dagenham is making as one of the six host boroughs.
“Not only are we very proud to be the location for so many Games time training venues for Olympic and Paralympic athletes, we’re also really excited about the plans we’re putting together to welcome the Olympic Flame.”
The rehearsal site was a last-minute boost for Barking and Dagenham, which is an Olympic borough but does not have competition venues, councillors were told at a planning meeting held at Barking Town Hall earlier this year.
The London 2012 ceremonies cast and crew will move to the site on May 19.
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