The person in charge of the Olympic Opening Ceremony must be true to himself.
This piece of advice, or caution (depending on which way one looks at it) comes from Ric Birch, the man who directed the opening ceremonies in Los Angeles (1984), Barcelona (1992) and Sydney (2000).
And as the Beijing Opening Ceremony's international artistic advisor, Birch thinks " Zhang Yimou has been very true to himself".
Birch, who also directed the opening ceremony of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, was taken on the creative team of the Beijing Games' opening and closing ceremonies in April 2006.
Director Zhang does not need to please anyone, Birch says. He only needs to come up with a wonderful ceremony. Zhang is "under a lot of pressure" to make the event the grandest. And "he's been doing what I've done before so I feel great sympathy for him because it's a very difficult job".
The Beijing Opening Ceremony will be "powerful, strong, and impressive", he says after watching last Thursday's rehearsal.
Like every other host city, Beijing has been true to its culture and society, Birch says, and the only occidental element in the opening ceremony "is the influence in music and costumes".
That, however, does not mean a "cultural shock" for the Western audience because "what China is showing" is what they want to see.
"There's no point sitting in Los Angeles or London watching what the US and England are doing," he says.
"We have discussed what would be the most appropriate to best recognize the tragedy", he said, referring to the May 12 earthquake that devastated Sichuan province. It (the quake) is "certainly something that has been discussed" at all levels of the Beijing Olympics organizing committee.
"The hardest people to please are the people of your own country," he says, recalling his own days as opening ceremony director.
He says the Sydney Olympics was his biggest challenge and the most stressful because he was doing it for his own country. Had he not got everything right at home, everyone from his mother to whoever had his number "would have been on the phone (to complain)".
Will he consider doing the same job again in London four years later? Birch says Beijing will be his last stop on his "Olympic circle".
"Twenty-five years in Olympics is enough. There's still something I want to do. The Games have a way of dominating your life. There's not much time to do anything else.
"Starting with Los Angeles, where the Olympics had been held before, all the way to Beijing, which is emerging as a world power, I think it's a pretty good circle."
在线收听《奥运英语听力 Wait for a strong, impressive opening day》由出国留学编辑精心为您学习英语准备.liuxue86.com