When the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games begins at the auspicious time of 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, some 10,000 entertainers will delight the spectators.
Details of the opening ceremony are supposed to be secret, but details are slipping out, the latest coming from famed film director Zhang Yimou, famed for "Raise the Red Lantern" and "Hero," who is directing the spectacle.
Zhang was besieged by journalists the other day at the Great Hall of the People, where he is attending the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress, the rubber-stamp parliament, and a consultative body known as the CPPCC.
In the crush, Zhang let slip that there has been a large-scale rehearsal of the ceremony and more than 10,000 people took part in it.
“All the actresses are good looking,” he said with smile, according to the semi-official China News Service.
Reporters asked how the ceremony would unfold. “I can't tell you this or I’d be leaking secrets,” said Zhang.
Zhang said the ceremony will be marked by grandeur and singularity.
“In order for all audiences to enjoy the performance,” Zhang said, “the art of performance should be properly grand,” adding that costumes, movements and visual impact will all be impressive.
Zhang was supposed to be working with Steven Spielberg but the three-time Oscar winner pulled out last month, saying China was not doing enough to help end bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region. Zhang called Spielberg’s decision “quite regrettable.”
Among the 10,000 performers at the Bird’s Nest will be a 10-year-old girl – one of our daughters – who is among some students selected in Beijing for a song-and-dance number. Her teacher called our house to emphasize how important this event is and how she will be expected to rehearse hard in the next few months.
Then she’ll get home to face pressure from me too spill the beans about the show. I’ll twist her arm. Then I’ll tell you what to expect. But keep it to yourself.