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London's 8 minutes at Paralympics closing ceremony
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Following is a detailed description of London's 8-minute performance at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics on Wednesday night:

0 to 1 min

Title sequence

A short animated title sequence (drawn by a team of young animators from Soho - one of London's creative hubs) establishes the tone of contemporary London and the rest of the UK - colorful and diverse with the friendly icon of a big red double-decker bus acting as a guide around world-famous landmarks and marking the start of a journey.

1 min to 2.30 mins

Arrival of the transformed London bus


The journey continues the atmospheric arrival of the bus, transformed to reveal an interior of green, populated by dancers. Paralympic medalist Ade Adepitan guides the transformed bus in to the stadium. He is accompanied by young Paralympic gymnast and winner of a competition on the UK's most famous children's television program "Blue Peter", Gareth Picken (aged 9, from Gloucestershire). Some of the dancers beat out an edgy urban rhythm on their bodies. A living facsimile of Nelson's statue in Trafalgar Square stands above the London skyline.

2.30 mins to 3.30 mins

The mood changes

The cast descend from bus as a drummer appears with a full drum kit on the rear scissor lift, sending up a solid "four to the floor" rhythm. The drummer is a young London musician, Cherisse Osei.

The central column rises and the figure of Nelson puts on his sunglasses and is handed an electric guitar on which he plays a funky riff - an image both of an iconic landmark and also of Britain's easy ability to be respectfully irreverent.


3.30 mins to 5.30 mins


Dancers separate into two groups and engage in a call and answer dance section - street dance on one side, integrated contemporary dance on the other and sport in shape of wheelchair basketball ace Ade Adepitan in the middle. Culture meets sport in a competitive exchange with basketball as a symbol both of sport and urban street life.

5.30 mins to 6.30 mins

Time for tea

The dance section reaches a climax and then - tea break! The appearance on the third rising platform of a tea lady - staple of British comedy - and two trolleys of tea, cakes and cucumber sandwiches for the cast signals a complete change of gear.

Tea break over, the dance battle resolves into a series of partner dances. The Waltz then the Lindyhop reference Britain's love of ballroom and our ability to embrace other cultures.


6.30 mins to 7.30 mins

All change please

The announcement "All change please!", familiar to rail and tube passengers across London, marks an abrupt change in the music to a cheeky modern Bossa Nova. The cast form a single unit with Ade and Gareth. The bus begins to transform back into its original form.

7.30 mins to 8 mins


The "petals" of the bus fold up to reveal that it has been further transformed from its traditional red to a vibrant colorful rendering of the London 2012 Paralympic logo.


8 mins to 8.30 mins

Journey home

The entire cast move to the front of the bus and, headed by a dancer holding aloft a single umbrella, they parade out leading the bus towards its journey home. They are accompanied by leading competitors from Paralympics GB.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2008)

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