Akram Khan on the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

(29 July 2012) Yesterday, choreographer and dancer Akram Khan gave a press conference about his contribution to the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening ceremony. He explained how Danny Boyle gave him 3 options for the performance – 1 solo dancer, 25 dancers or 50 dancers. He chose 50 and had just 5 minutes of performance time to choreograph. But, he said that made it much harder rather than easier: “every half minute is equivalent to one hour on a stage” in terms of time needed to create the performance.

As one of the most poignant moments in the ceremony, where the people power of the volunteers were substituted with the dancing excellence of a world class company, Khan explained how the child in the show could symbolize himself as a younger child or a father/son relationship.

As the principal performer in the 5 minute segment, Khan also revealed that his costume was not actually made until 4pm on the day of the performance and that he hates choosing his own clothes for shows.

He also revealed that his favorite part of the Opening Ceremony was the beautiful cauldron lighting and he has ambitions to work with Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the cauldron, on a future performance.

Finally, during the press conference, a reporter informed Khan that NBC had cut his segment from their broadcast and, clearly learning this for the first time, felt it was a disgraceful thing to do.