Enjoyed the Paralympic opening ceremony? Meet the man who choreographed it

Kevin Finnan, artistic director at the Leamington-based Motionhouse Studios, who choreographed the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Kevin Finnan, artistic director at the Leamington-based Motionhouse Studios, who choreographed the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
0
Have your say

THE co-founder of the Leamington-based Motionhouse Dance Studios is still reeling from the “extraordinary” experience of playing a major part in the creation of the Paralympic Games’ opening ceremony.

Artistic director Kevin Finnan was in charge of choreographing the event, which wowed audiences and television viewers across the world on Wednesday evening.

The ceremony had a lot to live up to after film director Danny Boyle’s tour de force at the opening of the Olympics, but continued in the same vein of creativity and celebration.

With contributions from Professor Stephen Hawking, a performance of Ian Dury’s Spasticus Autisticus and a large-scale version of Marc Quinn’s scultpure Alison Lapper Pregnant, it also took one baton from the first ceremony, again alluding to Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Many will have tuned in simply out of curiosity after the spectacular success of the Olympics, and the ceremony had an average of 7.6 million viewers, with the image of Royal Marine Joe Townsend gliding into the stadium on a zip wire one many people will carry away with them.

Mr Finnan said: “It’s daunting and thrilling to be part of, and it’s very interesting to see how things are made on this scale. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to work at such a size and it’s great to see how things learned in little workshops with small groups of people are scaled up to work with hundreds, even thousands at a time. It’s extraordinary.”

He added: “Something that really touches me is the enthusiasm of the volunteer cast to make the show as good as it can be. It really motivates you to do your best for them.

“They are putting in so much effort and it makes you want to create something that they can be very proud of as well, which raises the bar in a very different way.”

The project came after Mr Finnan created The Voyage for the London 2012 Festival - a grand-scale outdoor performance in Birmingham earlier this summer.

He has also worked on collaborations with international companies such as Legs On The Wall from Australia and Headlines Theatre from Canada.