The Olympic opening ceremony is often a showcase of notable pop culture stars from the host country, but the ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics is going a different route.
Friday’s opening ceremony does not feature any professional singers, dancers or actors. Instead, it is students and people from Beijing and the Hebei province doing all of the performances at the Beijing National Stadium.
That is a notable change from the last time Beijing held an opening ceremony. In 2008, singer Liu Huan and pianist Lang Lang were among the headliners in a group of 15,000 performers for the Summer Olympics opening ceremony. This year, students and citizens will make up a group of 3,000 volunteer performers.
The ceremony is also slated to be shorter than the 2008 version, though part of that is due to a smaller group of countries in the Parade of Nations (91 in 2022 compared to 204 in 2008). Artistic segments and protocol segments will be combined to reduce the number of overall performances.
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Among the creative performances for the 2022 opening ceremony will be “Olympic Rings in Ice,” “Forming a Snowflake” and a “Stronger Together” video.
Beijing is the first city to host the Winter and Summer Olympics, and Zhang Yimou has directed both opening ceremonies. The Chinese filmmaker is known for his work in “Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers” and “Curse of the Golden Flower.”