I don't know about you guys, but when I think of Rio I think of dancing. The people of Brazil have made a name for themselves as fiery, passionate, inventive dancers. So I'm not going to lie, my expectations for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are unreasonably high. And now that I've found out who will be choreographing the Olympics' opening ceremony, I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed.
Now that's not to say I'm expecting any sort of opulence. Fernando Meirelles, who directed City of God and The Constant Gardener, is the creative director behind the opening ceremony, and he has said that the budget for the Rio Games is considerably lower than the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. But there is a good reason behind the low budget. According to The Chicago Tribune, Meirelles said he would be, "ashamed to waste what London spent in a country where we need sanitation; where education needs money. So I'm very glad we're not spending money like crazy." The theme of the opening ceremony, therefore, will focus more on "originality" over "luxury".
"We don't have high culture," he explained. "Of course we have some pianists, some maestros and some orchestras, but that's not us. We come from the roots. The beauty of Brazil comes from the roots."
And in the spirit of honoring the true roots of Brazil, Meirelles chose Rio native Deborah Colker to choreograph the opening ceremony. Colker is a Brazilian writer, choreographer, dancer, and theater director. She won the Lawrence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2001. She also wrote, performed, and produced the Cirque Du Soleil production Ovo in 2009.
Colker will be responsible for choreographing the movements of 6,000 volunteers in front of a global audience numbered in the billions. But this veteran of dance shouldn't be too worried; she is known for her incredible style and her use of imaginative, bold props on stage. She has a reputation for expecting a lot from her dancers, and incorporating many different elements into her performances. She is also hugely popular in Brazil.
According to The Guardian, Colker filled a 1,200-seat theater for a 14-week season in Rio, not just once, but twice in a row. Which is, apparently, unheard of in the world of modern dance.
So here is what I think we can expect from Colker's choreography on Friday during the opening ceremony; pageantry, passion, props, and surprise. She will, no doubt, do her country proud.