The opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic Games stand as an impressive monument to human achievement, celebrating the diversity and skill of its competitors as well as the rich history of its host nation, Great Britain. Throughout this rather grandiose presentation, a number of messages regarding gender, sexuality, and race were transmitted to a global audience. In addition, the intersection of tradition and modernity emerged as a predominant theme in the program, paying homage to both old and new forms of social life.
“Over the course of the next 17 days, athletes will become legends, moments will become history, and perfection will become reality… …while the world stands together, cheers together and pushes athletes to greatness together” (Morgan Freeman). From this quote, one may say that the purpose of the Olympic is to create a fair atmosphere, constructing a plateau in which all people, men and women, whites, blacks, Asian, and other races are all represented under one roof.
My eyes were initially captivated by lights and dancing and singing, oh my. I admit to being mentally captured and emotionally taken in by all the glitter that wasn’t gold in regards to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. However, as always, I honed right in on what stood out the most. Usually that is the message being sent through the performance.
Few days ago while I was randomly clicking the TV remote control to find a good channel to watch, this one dance performance immediately caught my attention. It wasn’t just any ordinary dance performance, but one dancer elegantly imitates the movements of a peacock with the tranquil music in the background. The peacock dance is actually one of the most widespread ancient dances of the Dai ethnic group in Yunnan Province on the southwest border of China.
This morning, my alarm went off at 3:45am. It was way too early. I was exhausted. I got up. The door to Jade’s room down the hall was ajar, so I went in and sat down in front of her TV. She was awake, but barely so. Question: why would two Americans voluntarily give up sleep to sit in a small dorm room in Beijing in the middle of the night? Answer: to watch CCTV’s live coverage of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.