Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony
Beijing Olympics 2008 Opening and Closing ceremonies with a dramatic and athletic journey through Chinese history and culture
- // 2008
- // Olympic Ceremony
- // Beijing, China
The biggest Olympic show of all time, masterminded by a unique blend of talents from east and west, creating a technical and human tour de force that has set the standard for all future Olympic Games. The 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony began at 8pm on 8.8.2008—the number eight having an auspicious meaning in Chinese culture. 91,000 people filled the stadium to watch a show that revealed the past and present of China, as well as projecting forwards to the dreams of tomorrow.
The aspiration motto of this ceremony was “one world, one dream”, thus the centrepiece was a globe, to encapsulate this sense of togetherness and unity. The sphere was made up from nine latitudinal rings, with a performance position for a group of singers at the North Pole. The rings were structural trusses that functioned as running and rigging tracks for up to 60 performers who could run, leap, turn summersaults and, at the lower latitudes, fly, around the sphere.
The rings were also designed so that they would pack down into a space only 5m high for storage in the lift chamber beneath the stadium. The sphere was lifted by a telescoping mast over 40m tall that placed the North Pole over 24m above the stadium floor.
Two full size spheres were built. The first sphere was mounted on a static tower and was used to refine the geometry of the performer rigging and to train the performers for the show. The second sphere was installed on the telescoping mast mounted in the lift pit in the stadium. The installation was complete in April 2008. The sphere was used for technical and performer rehearsals for four months. It was removed from the stadium immediately after the Opening Ceremony on the 8th of August 2008.
Director of Opening and Closing Ceremonies Department Zhang Heping Director of Opening and Closing Ceremonies Centre Wang Ning Director of Technology Group Yu Jianping Director of Production Lu Jiankang Cultural Advisors to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies Ji Xianlin/ He Zhenliang/ Tang Yijie/ Jin Shangyi/ Wu Zuqiang/ Xu Xiaozhong/ Chen Kaige/ Yves Pepin/ Ric Birch/ Ang Lee/ Quincy Jones Core Creative Team Zhang Yimou/ Zhang Jigang/ Chen Weiya/ Cai Guo-Qiang/ Fan Yue/ Wang Chaoge Assistant to the Core Creative Team Jennifer Wen Ma Producer and Chief Director Zhang Yimou Director Chen Weiya Director of Music Chen Qigang Director of Production Design STUFISH Director of Art and Design Chen Yan Director of Lighting Sha Xiaolan Director of Visual Image Yang Quingsheng Director of Visual and Special Effects Cai Guo-Qiang Director of Costume Eiko Ishioka Director of Makeup Xu Jiahua Director of Stunts Tony Ching Siu Tung Director of Acoustic Design Gary Hardesty