Colin Grainger

Strictly magic…Olympic dancing memories are given to schools



COSTUMES worn by dancers who performed alongside Rihanna, Coldplay and Annie Lennox during the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies have been rescued by Newham Council and made available to the borough’s schools.​

Newham’s schools and community groups were invited to a special event at Stratford Circus organised by the council where the rescued costumes and props were showcased by actors and models to demonstrate the creative ways they could be used.

There were 165 different costumes and props on display in varying quantities with 4,473 items in total available.

The vast majority have already been distributed free of charge to more than 40 schools and community groups who attended the event and put in requests for their preferred items. The remainder will be stored and displayed at future events.
Some of the items on display included:

• White wings worn in the Olympic opening ceremony by 75 riders on ‘dove bikes’ who performed a circuit of the stadium. The riders, who emerged to the sound of the Arctic Monkeys performing the classic Beatles song, Come Together, were all recruited by British Cycling, the UK governing body for the sport.
• Pirate corsets and bustles worn by dancers in the Annie Lennox section of the Olympic closing ceremony, dancing to Little Bird and entering next to a large pirate ship which carried the singer.
• Oversized books used in the Paralympics opening ceremony in the quest for knowledge and the discovery of gravity.
• Light up leaf jackets worn by actors riding on suspended carousel horses during the summer section of the Paralympic Games closing ceremony whilst Rihanna sang, We Found Love.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games ensured the eyes of the world were on Newham. Our athletes, Games Makers and other volunteers did us proud. Along with many individual and team performances in 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies stand out for many of us as inspirational, awe-inspiring moments.

“One of the major promises of London’s bid for the 2012 Games was that together we would inspire a generation. I hope our outstanding schools and youth groups will find uses for the materials we are distributing for free so they can continue to keep that Olympic and Paralympic promise alive.”


Picture: By kind permission of Newham Council


One Comment

  1. Derek Moore
    September 17, 2013

    It’s a real shame none of the local groups representing the unpaid volunteers who wore and used these items in the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies were invited.

    Many of the groups have been trying to reform in order to help keep the spirit of the games alive for charitable performances, but have been greatly hindered by not being allowed to come away with costumes or props.

    Newham Council are very aware of these groups and their contacts, a number of unpaid ceremonies volunteers were invited to help show off and bring to life these very same props and costumes for the Newham Town Show weekend.

    Of course it is pleasing to see them being put to good use, its a real shame tho that the groups of volunteers who have been working hard to locate and re-use props should feel snubbed in this way.

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This article was written on 16 Sep 2013, and is filed under community, costumes, Newham, Newham Council, Olympics & Paralympics, Schools, Sir Robin Wales.

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