Ancient history and present day politics in the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics / Alexander Ortenberg

Ortenberg, Alexander

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Games was by far the most elaborate, theatrical, and expensive in the history of the Games. The ceremony that followed included various staged vignettes, speeches by the President of the Russian Federation and Olympic Committee officials, lighting the Olympic flame, the parade of athletes, and giant mascots skating in the arena. The show ended with a parade of "Olympic Gods," in which constellation-like light-formed silhouettes floated high in the air against a dark background, followed by spectacular fireworks. Accepting the commission for the Sochi Olympics, George Tsypin had a feeling that his evolution as a person and as an artist put him in a unique position to address various audiences inside and outside of Russia. The most profound pieces of the show could also be read as a self-portrait of the generation that witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union, and of Russia's transition into the twenty-first century.

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