August 01, 2016
It seems just yesterday since the Olympics arrived in London and wowed everybody across the globe. London 2012 was an unabashed success with medals galore and a whole host of entertainment to be enjoyed every single evening for the entire two and a half week stretch of the Games. Although we can go on and on about the fabulous results in both track and field for Team GB, there’s no doubting that it all started with that opening ceremony from Danny Boyle. Combining music and dancing, it told a story of the British Empire and the industrial evolution that had the entirety of the UK feeling a wave of patriotism they hadn’t felt in years. Alas, that is all in the past and now we turn to Rio to see what they can conjure up on Friday.
It’s fair to say that Brazil has had a tough few years and according to some reports, may not even be ready to stage the Games with just five days until the competition starts. Plagued by economic problems, various accusations of corruption and a nation that is divided on whether they’d like to hold the Olympic Games or not, it’s been a difficult journey to get to this stage. With Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) taking over the directorial reins, who knows what we will see? We know there’ll be a lot of colour and a fair amount of samba from the Brazilian carnival but what else? We’ve come up with a few entertainment acts that may feature on the night and a number of others that have already been cofirmed.
In order to enhance the spectacle of acro balance for a worldwide audience, this wonderfully intimate form of circus entertainment may need to be ramped up just a little for the world stage. It’s an incredible feat of strength and endurance that our very own Acrofelipe can perform and is a visual tour de force! Who knows how it might be used on the night!?
There’ll definitely be a legion of Brazilian samba dancers (in the style of Brazilian Bateria) at some point during the opening ceremony, though Meierelles has come out and said that ideally he’d like to avoid clichés and subvert what most people will be expecting. Even so, we are very confident that crowd pleasing stilt walkers will definitely appear at some stage to give the event an early buzz of the wow factor.
Already a huge star in her native Brazil, Anitta is a 23-year-old pop starlet who is ready to impress on the world stage. Releasing her first album in 2013, she has stormed the charts with four number 1 singles to her name in addition to going seven times platinum on the Brazilian album chart. Make no mistake about it, Anitta will impress you at Rio 2016!
Another big Brazilian act already confirmed for the opening ceremony is Caetano Veloso, a veteran on the music scene. A winner of nine Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammy Awards, he rose to fame on the back of performing at the forefront of the Tropicalismo movement, a form of entertainment that comprises theatre, poetry and music, before becoming a political activist at the end of the sixties. A superb guitar player, Veloso gained popularity outside of Brazil in the 80s and 90s and is sure to be a highlight of the ceremony.
Former Minister of Culture in the Brazilian government (2003 – 2008), Gilberto Gil is also known for his musical innovation, which is presumably what he will be doing at the opening ceremony in Rio unless political speeches are the order of the day. An accomplished musician across a multitude of genres including samba, rock, African music and reggae, there’s no obvious guess as to what Gil will perform on the evening. That being said, he has worked a lot with Veloso in the past so perhaps a duet will be in order!
We hope this has whetted your appetite for the start of Rio 2016. If you’re intrigued by the various musical genres that may feature in the opening ceremony then please click here.
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By Henry Fosdike