|5 Predictions for Sochi's Opening Ceremony|
|By JON M. CHANG||Feb 7, 2014, 1:22 PM|
There are people who remember Super Bowls by the player that scored the winning touchdown and there are those that remember the game by the halftime acts. Just the same, there will be people who will remember the Sochi Olympics not by the accomplishments of any particular athlete, but by the spectacle of the opening ceremony.
A post on Sochi's blog(in Russian) hints at what viewers can expect when they tune in on Feb. 7. The show itself will be divided up into nine different themes, spread across three separate stages. Some of the acts will showcase Russia's early history and folklore, with nods to czars including Peter the Great. Other segments will show off the country's contributions to the 20th century.
Here's a few predictions on what Russia may have in store for the opening ceremony.
The blog post mentions that ballet dancers will have their chance to shine at some point during the show. Many of the world's best-known ballerinas, including Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, hail from Russia. Famous ballets were also written and composed by Russian musicians, including Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Stravinsky's Firebird suite. With over 2,000 dancers scheduled to perform, a massive re-enactment of a scene from either ballet isn't out of the question.
Russian folklore is on the agenda for the opening ceremony as well. Baba Yaga, one of the country's most famous characters, has plenty of material that could rival the showmanship of the literary characters in the London Games' opening ceremony. There's the witch's hut that stands on top of chicken legs and the mortar and pestle that she uses to fly around.
The Soviet space program sent the first man, first woman, and even the first animal into space. Any of those historic events could be recreated, especially with over 1,000 acrobats and 200 aerial gymnasts on tap to perform at the ceremony. Space has already made its way into Sochi, as the Olympic Torch made a trip to the International Space Station late last year.
Russian musicians may not have the recognition that Paul McCartney and the Spice Girls had when they performed for the London Olympic Games, but they'll be sure to give some unforgettable performances. Bands like Mumiy Troll have been performing for over three decades, netting them the 2006 Legend of MTV Award from MTV Russia. But one music act that isn't likely to show up despite its worldwide fame: the punk-rock band Pussy Riot, whose members were only released from jail late last year.
We all remember when a Queen Elizabeth II impersonator jumped out of a plane for London's opening ceremony. Who's to say that the Russian President himself won't do something similar? He's been filmed tranquilizing tigers and catching gigantic fish for the sake of entertainment. The opening ceremony itself would be Putin's biggest stage yet.