YOUNG dancers from Northampton have been picked to perform in front of billions of TV viewers at the Olympic closing ceremony this summer . . . with a dance named after the Chronicle & Echo.
Choreographer and trained ballet dancer Stephen Moonesamy, from Northampton, was asked by London Olympics organisers to put together a dance using Midlands performers to help close the 30th Olympiad in August.
Having seen first hand the children and teenagers of Sinead Loughnane dance school, which is based at venues in and around the town including Hardingstone Village Hall, he immediately thought they had the ideal characters for what he has in mind.
He will teach them three dances, one of which will be named after the local newspaper that gave him his first break as a child.
He said: “It was a local dance competition and I came second but the Chronicle put my picture in the paper. It really kicked off my career as a dancer and it just seemed the appropriate name because I’m trying to tell a story of my dancing.
“That article is an important part of my roots.”
The closing ceremony, currently being developed by Kim Gavin and his team, will take place on August 12 and marks the end of the Olympic Games.
As with the opening ceremony, the Olympic Charter dictates the inclusion of several traditions in the ceremony’s programme.
There must be the march of the athletes although, unlike the opening ceremony, athletes march together, with no grouping of nationality.
After the athletes enter the stadium, three national flags are hoisted one at a time: The flag of Greece to honour the birthplace of the Olympic Games, the flag of the host nation and the flag of the country hosting the next summer Olympic games which is Brazil.
Then Boris Johnson, as mayor of the host city, will join the president of the International Olympic Committee on the rostrum and gives him back the Olympic flag, which is then handed to the mayor of the next host city, Rio de Janeiro.
The Sinead Loughnane dancers’ part in the ceremony is top secret, however, and, apart from the name of part of the dance and the number of performers in that section – 75 with 25 from the Sinead Loughnane school – nothing can be revealed to guarantee the entire event is a surprise.
Mrs Loughnane, the school’s principal dancer, said: “All the teachers are really excited about it, we can’t believe it to be honest.
“But the kids don’t really know just how massive this is at the moment. I’m sure they will find out when we show them some videos of Beijing last time but we’ll just try to keep their feet on the ground.
“Until then, we just can’t wait.”