Enlightenment theme for Paralympic Games opening ceremony

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The theme for the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony has been revealed by co-artistic directors Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings (pictured).

The ceremony, which will take place on August 29 at 8.30pm, is to carry a theme of Enlightenment.

The ceremony will open with a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots. Currently, 50 specialist performers in the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony are also taking part in an eight-week circus skills training programme taking place at Circus Space in Hackney.

The programme, which starts this week and is funded by Arts Council England, will see performers with disability, including established artists and people new to the arts such as rehabilitating soldiers and non-competing Paralympians, learn circus arts skills. These new skills will not only to help them with their specialist roles in the ceremony where they will perform aerial work on a 35-metre high rig, but also build on these skills after the Games.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony will include an adult volunteer cast of over 3,000, children volunteer cast of over 100, and a professional cast of over 100.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today confirmed that Barking and Dagenham will host a key rehearsal site for the London 2012 Ceremonies bringing further benefits to the host boroughs.

From May 19, the London 2012 ceremonies crew and cast will move to start rehearsals at the once derelict site in Dagenham, which will now be transformed into a fully operational rehearsal unit.

The space will replicate the performance area in the Olympic Stadium and will see 110 days of rehearsals take place for all four ceremonies. The rehearsals will continue right up to the days leading up to the Games whilst the Stadium is prepared for Games-time use.

Jenny Sealey is artistic director of Graeae, a disabled-led theatre company, and Bradley Hemmings is artistic director of the Greenwich and Docklands Festivals (GDF).

Picture: London 2012