View Full Version : China's Olympic ceremony features sacrifices

08-20-2008, 12:14 AM
China's Olympic ceremony features sacrifices

BEIJING - Martial arts student Cheng Jianghua only saw the army barracks he stayed in and the stadium where he performed at the spectacular Olympics opening ceremony. But his sacrifices were minor — other performers were injured, fainted from heatstroke or forced to wear adult diapers so the show could go on.

Filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the ceremony's director, insisted in an interview with local media that suffering and sacrifice were required to pull off the Aug. 8 opening, which involved wrangling nearly 15,000 cast and crew. Only [/B[B]]North Korea could have done it better, he said.


Cheng and 2,200 other carefully chosen pugilist prodigies spent an average of 16 hours a day, every day, rehearsing a synchronized tai-chi routine involving high kicks, sweeping lunges and swift punches. They lived for three months in trying conditions at a restricted army camp on the outskirts of Beijing.


North Korea is No. 1 in the world when it comes to uniformity. They are uniform beyond belief! These kind of traditional synchronized movements result in a sense of beauty. We Chinese are able to achieve this as well. Though hard training and strict discipline," he said. Pyongyang's annual mass games feature 100,000 people moving in lockstep.


Performers in the West by contrast need frequent breaks and cannot withstand criticism, Zhang said, citing his experience working on an opera performance abroad. Though he didn't mention specific productions, Zhang directed an opera at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2006.

"In one week, we could only work four and a half days, we had to have coffee breaks twice a day, couldn't go into overtime and just a little discomfort was not allowed because of human rights," he said of the unidentified opera production.

"You could not criticize them either. They all belong to some organizations ... they have all kind of institutions, unions. We do not have that. We can work very hard, can withstand lots of bitterness. We can achieve in one week what they can achieve in one month."


We had only two meals for the entire time. There was almost no time to sleep, even less time for toilet breaks," Cheng said. "But we didn't feel so angry because the director was also there with us the whole time."

Despite the sacrifices, the student performers were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the historic event and view it as an honor.

"All the tears, the sweat, and sometimes even blood that we shed, I now think it was quite worth it," said Ren Yang, 17, also of the Tagou school. "When we performed that night, all that I could feel in my heart was joy. Pure joy."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080819/ap_on_re_as/oly_china_performers__sacrifices;_ylt=Ap6fO85EVu5q Nd5qPk3i8swEtbAF

i recommend reading the whole report. very fascinating and i find myself agreeing that in order to get so many people to perform (thousands) simultaneous acts, you need rigorous uniformity. interesting comment about NK

you'll find me in left field though....