Zhang Yimou: A snowflake conveys common emotion

With the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Zhang Yimou has become the first director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.In 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a wonderful opening ceremony amazed the world.Fourteen years later, the Olympic flame flared again in Beijing, heralding a “simple, safe and wonderful” Games.Zhang yimou said the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics is based on the future, emphasizing “mankind, common,” hoping to show the spiritual outlook of the Chinese people in the new era and convey the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.The opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics was held in accordance with the requirements of “simplicity, safety and splendor”.The length and cast were significantly reduced compared to 2008.”To present a modern performance in a large venue like the Bird’s Nest is very difficult and requires technological means. It’s a complicated process of constant rehearsal.”Zhang yimou said.”Bright, romantic, high-tech and modern,” Mr. Zhang summed up a few key words.”The snow in Yanshan is as big as a mat”, he said in an ancient poem. The story of “a snowflake” runs through the whole opening ceremony — from the countdown video, the guiding board of the participating delegations, the costumes of the actors, the release of doves of peace to the main torch platform, there are “snowflake” elements.”I want to convey the common emotions of mankind through a snowflake.We gather here in Beijing to form a glittering snowflake. The theme of ‘The world is one, the world is one’ stands out in front of us, and it also expresses the common sentiment of ‘Together for the future’.”Zhang yimou said.At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, hundreds of children played with doves that can light up and made footprints in snow, creating a romantic and warm scene.”There’s no acting, there’s no choreography, it’s just kids being free and relaxed on the field.””This format shows a change in concept,” Mr. Zhang said.The opening ceremony embodies mass participation, which is one of the highlights of the director’s team’s creativity.In the “Salute to the People” segment, dozens of young people took to the stage as a long scroll of hundreds of photos unfolded.”It’s a very simple idea. It’s not a performance, but it will be remembered more deeply than a performance.”According to Zhang, whether it is the opening or closing ceremonies, or the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger — more united”, people are always the focus, including people’s mental outlook, people’s heart and emotions.So the opening ceremony focused more on the participation of the public, not professional actors, but ordinary people on the stage.Zhang Yimou, who always makes good use of Chinese elements, fully integrates “Chinese flavor” into the details.On the entrance of the athletes, the guide board held by the guide board integrates snowflakes and Chinese knots.Volunteers’ costumes are decorated with Chinese folk paper-cuts;Children from fuping, Hebei province, wear tiger-head clothes and shoes…In the opening ceremony, the way the cauldron is lit is always an important element of creativity.Zhang described the lighting ceremony as “bold and unique”.”The way of ignition and even the presentation of the torch platform is one of our boldest designs and changes.””Our main torch platform is a snowflake platform that appears many times, gathering the names of the participating delegations,” he said.At the scene, the last torch has been kept on the snowflake platform, presenting the picture of “slight fire” to the world.”Considering the low carbon and environmental protection, and reflecting the novelty of the lighting ceremony, the ‘micro fire’ will be a pioneering event in Olympic history.”Zhang yimou said.(Originally titled zhang Yimou: A Snowflake conveys common Emotion by Ji Fang and Wang Liang, People’s Daily) Edited by Wang Hang and coordinated by Wang Pan

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