Posted on 28/06/2012
With a £27m budget attached to the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and the Olympic Games billed as the UK’s chance to sell itself to the world, expectations are sure to be high.
But as the nation – and the world – waits with anticipation for the Opening Ceremony on 27 July, one Royal Holloway student is more excited than most. For Ria Cajee has been selected as one of the dancers performing in the prestigious event.
Ria, an English and Drama student at Royal Holloway, faced a rigorous audition process, with hours of dancing as the thousands of applicants were whittled down. “At each stage of the auditions I kept thinking that I would get knocked out, but I stayed in and they kept calling me back for the next round,” she said.
As they started rehearsals to learn the routines, Ria was shocked to see Danny Boyle, the film director in charge of the opening ceremony, sat at the front watching their progress. “It was quite early on in the rehearsals. I didn’t realise he was there at first,” she explained. “We were busy trying to learn the routine and concentrating on getting it right. He was just sat there watching us.”
Danny Boyle is promising visions of a “green and pleasant land" complete with giant maypoles and scenes from Glastonbury to showcase the very best of Britain. The ceremony, called ‘Isles of Wonder’, will kick off with the sound of the largest harmonically tuned bell in Europe, produced by the Whitechapel Foundry, and the Stadium will be transformed into the British countryside for opening scene, which includes real farmyard animals. The ceremony will also include a special sequence celebrating the best of British, featuring volunteer performers from the NHS.
“It is very exciting. I can’t believe four billion people worldwide will be watching it,” Ria said. “Unfortunately none of my family managed to get tickets to watch it but I’m sure they will be watching at home trying to spot me.”
For more Royal Holloway Olympic Games news, please visit our 2012 Games web pages.