Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Cerebral Palsy World Games 2015

Date published: 13 Jun 2016

Posted by: Joe Pick

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This video captures the incredible City Arts-produced opening and closing ceremonies for the Cerebral Palsy World Games 2015 at Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham.

The opening ceremony was directed by acclaimed actor/director Jamie Beddard, who has cerebral palsy. Its theme was ‘Aspirations’, focusing on the athletes’ hopes for the competition, their expectations for the Games and the hard work they have invested into training for the event.

The ceremony kicked off with a procession of the athletes led by Queens from East Midlands’ carnival troupes. An amazing group of dancers, assembled and choreographed by Dance4, alongside actors from Unanima Theatre Company led the audience through a story inspired by artwork created by pupils Nottingham’s Seely Primary School.

In the run up to the event the schoolchildren were invited to produce illustrations exploring the idea of ‘Aspirations. Ali Petty from Kinetika, and artist Jessica Kemp, transferred their beautiful drawings onto huge brightly coloured silk discs, which featured heavily in the opening.

Magical moments from Extraordinary Bodies, a partnership between Diverse City and Cirque Bijou, punctuated the show, including an incredible performance by aerial artist Karina Jones, who has a visual impairment. Composer Damian Coldwell and electronic musician Si Tew provided an impressive and insistent soundtrack to the night, interspersed with samba rhythms from a band of Nottingham musicians, led by Ceri Howels and Michael Davis,.

Jamie’s production for the Closing Ceremony focused on ‘Transformations’: reflecting the athletes’ experience of the Games, the new friendships they had developed and their sporting achievements. Opening with an athlete’s procession led by Zodiac All-Stars’ colourful carnival kings, with Stickman Higgins and Mark Evans keeping the audience warmed up, it featured two inspiring illuminated dance pieces: a performance by young people from Cauldwell House children’s home and a beautiful routine, choreographed by Extraordinary Bodies’ Claire Hodgson, in which local people and performers danced with glowing umbrellas.