Games' Opening Ceremony will celebrate Glasgow spirit

THE Commonwealth Games' Opening Ceremony will celebrate Glasgow's 'gallus' personality in a spectacular performance by 2000 local volunteer performers before 40,000 spectators and an estimated one billion TV viewers around the globe.

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  • Rehearsals have been taking place in secret for the performance on the specially built surface which is covering Celtic Park
    Rehearsals have been taking place in secret for the performance on the specially built surface which is covering Celtic Park
  • Rehearsals have been taking place in secret for the performance on the specially built surface which is covering Celtic Park

High-security rehearsals at locations in Glasgow have been under way for the past few weeks and last Sunday morning 500 cast members from all walks of life practised their segment of the ceremony in the warm July sunshine.

When they perform for real at Celtic Park at 9pm on July 23 - on a specially created stage floor covering the pitch - the cast will have had 16 rehearsals for the show, which promises to surprise, delight and be uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish.

Specialist mass movement choreographer Rocky Smith plotted the routines on her computer's specially adapted Adobe Illustrator programme.

The innovative method means numbers on performers' rehearsal vests are represented by dots on the computer screen; the steps are indicated on laminated cards issued to cast members to guide them.

Miss Smith, who has mass-choreographed 45 other sporting ceremonies, said: "Working this way helps move people quickly and efficiently. As they are all volunteers, we need to use their time well."

In Glasgow she is working with Steve Boyd, the live events specialist with whom she collaborated on the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Glasgow 2014 opening and closing ceremonies are being created and produced by Jack Morton Worldwide to a budget of £21million.

More than 6000 people auditioned for a chance to participate in the Glasgow ceremony.

Miss Smith said: "We marked everyone according to how best we could make them shine. We wanted to find a place for everybody. We were looking to see what makes Glasgow shine and Scotland so great, and found that people radiated that either through dancing skills or through a cracking personality."

Hopefuls were asked to mimic a statue from George Square. Some did Robert Burns, others Queen Victoria on her horse.

"Then we asked some of them to be The Krankies. The responses were really funny and everyone was laughing.

"Through that we discovered the Glasgow gallusness. Gallusness is the word of the ceremony. We'd never heard it before and we love it."

She added: "We've been impressed by Glasgow's can-do attitude."

David Zolkwer, head of ceremonies and artistic director, said: "Our goal has always been to have the people take centre-stage; for them to speak,and sing and dance, for themselves. So, on the night our audience will witness thousands of real people doing extraordinary things - and they will do themselves, the city and Scotland proud."

Arts and Entertainment

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