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Behind the 29th Olympic Opening Ceremony
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A show consisting of Qin Opera, Shadow Puppets and Terra-cotta Warriors demanded six months of practice from more than 800 people. It was designed to show ancient Chinese soldiers celebrating after a victory. Although the show caught the eye during the first full dress rehearsal, it did not fit with the overall art performance, and was removed from the final schedule. The show's Director, a strong man, could not hold back his tears when told that his show was to be eliminated - nor could the hundreds of performers in the show who had looked forward to playing their part in the Beijing Olympic Games.

"The initial plan for the Opening Ceremony alone was reworked ten times," said Gao Xinsheng, Director of the literature studio of the Opening Ceremony. Gao said that the performance plan had been subject to constant improvement, even after the all dress rehearsals. "It's the same faith inside all our participants' hearts that has taken us this far," said Gao.

Although the cost of the four Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics will not be excessive - total expenses are less than the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympics, or a single number of the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Doha Asian Games - the quality of the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games is at least as good as these.

(China.org.cn by Yan Pei August 10, 2008)

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