Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Champions

Featured

qeop

This summer has seen the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (the new name for the London 2012 Olympic Park) partially re-open a year ahead of schedule to allow a series of over 20 major music and sporting events to take place within the Park.

Following the success of the Games Makers at London 2012, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Champions was formed in association with activeNewham and Newham Council (one of the main host boroughs for the games) to allow volunteers to have a key role in helping to ensure the success of this summer’s concerts and festivals and be responsible for welcoming visitors to the Park.

Park Champions comprised a healthy mixture of Games Makers, Ceremonies Volunteers, and General Public in helping to enhance the visitors experience of this summers festivals and sporting events.

Events supported include EAST (North Park Opening Event), Electric Daisy Carnival, Festival of Disability Sport, Hard Rock Calling (Bruce Springsteen and Kasabian), Join In, Lollibop, London Anniversary Games,
Mumford & Sons Concert, National Lottery Anniversary Run, Ride London 100, Wireless (Jay Z, Justin Timberlake).

Following a successful 2013, we await with baited breath news on what 2014 may bring and hope that the Park Champions are reformed to help with future events in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

London Flashmob – Dance the Dream

Featured

On 28th August, 2013, over a hundred Olympic and Paralympic volunteers were invited by the English National Ballet to join them in commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Led by Jenna Lee, choreographer and English National Ballet soloist, rehearsals took place at the English National Ballet’s Markova House, near the Royal Albert Hall, in central London, the weekend before the performance. The Flash Mob itself took place at Potters Fields alongside the River Thames, from 6pm to 8pm, on the 28th August, and was broadcast on the large screens at New York’s Times Square at 8pm as part of the celebrations.

The mission of Dance the Dream is to demonstrate the creative dynamism of cultural diversity, to build stronger communities based on mutual understanding and respect, and to inspire and empower the next generation to follow in the foot steps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and change the world. Photo (c) Andrew Forey 2013

enb2

Photo (c) Vilma Laryea 2013

Dance the Dream was also performed in Atlanta, Australia, Beirut, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Dance the Dream is a featured presentation of THE DREAM@50, which is produced by Richard Karz in partnership with the United Nations (Academic Impact, DPI), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), YouTube, International Theatre Institute, Global Arts Link, Americans for the Arts, Dance/USA, National Dance Educatio Organization, National Education Association, National Art Education Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Arts Schools Network, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Dance Camera West, and the Dance Films Association. 

Anniversary Parties

Featured

To celebrate one year since the Olympics Opening Ceremony a re-union party was held at the Railway Tavern in Stratford, a favoured haunt of many a ceremonies volunteer. Occurring the same day many volunteers where still very busy in the Olympic Park as Park Champions, singers in Vision, drumming with the Pandemonium Drummers… it was very good turnout.

As BBC Three just happened to be broadcasting a repeat of the Opening Ceremony the same evening, we had to tune every television, and speaker, in the place to join in. Our wonderful sound man even over-played the “in-ear” instructions that we performers had to endure enjoy listening to whilst performing, lovingly played in sync with the BBC broadcast.

Of course, as a few familiar sections came on we could not help but repeat our performance there and then… here is a video of one during a quieter moment. As the evening wore on, and peoples various shifts finished, the place got VERY busy and very happy!

OOC Impromtu performance, video by Derek Moore

And for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony party on 31st August, the lovely POC Umbrella performers regaled us with a performance from Rihanna…

Summer Madness – July Gone Crazy

Featured

July 2013 has been everyone’s busiest month to date, after lots of rehearsing and shows (we only feature a small selection on this site to give you a taste, more details on the groups own websites) we have had a packed month with no sign of slowing down!

Pandemonium Drummers have been out every weekend, including a 10 day stint as the closing act each night at the Henley Festival plus an emotional hone-crowd performance to 35,000 in the Olympic Park.

Ceremonies Carnival crew has paraded at London Pride, Newham Carnival, plus smaller events such as school fetes, and have manned the large Olympic Area at the Newham Town Show over a weekend featuring lots of props, costumes, and torches.

POD dancers have been rehearsing twice a week with performances scattered around London.

Vision Choir has, after several months rehearsing, been out singing at various London events – including their own composition Keep The Flame Alive.

Paralympic Umbrella performers (Seg87) have reformed and been performing most weekend at events in London and beyond. This has inspired the Olympic Truck Party performers to reform and start performing, with people already approaching us for booking as far ahead as October.

In addition many of us are now Park Champions and have been volunteering every spare minute back at the Olympic Park, not forgetting the thousands that attended and performed at Go Local event in the Olympic Park (headlined by McFly, who POD performed with earlier in the year) plus those that took part in the Anniversary Run, running around the Olympic stadium track on the first day its been used since the Games finished.

And a group organised a general Open Day at 3 Mills in London (next to our audition and rehearsal site) featuring photo’s, costumes, performers, etc on a free open day for the public.

And the madness is set to continue for a while yet!

The Olympic and Paralympic legacy is going strong 🙂

We are now about to dash off for an 8 hour volunteering shift at the first day of the Anniversay Games in the Olympic Stadium… look forward to seeing some of you real soon

Enough Food For Everyone IF…

Featured

MASSLAB

On Saturday 8 June, around 50,000 people gathered in Hyde Park for the Big IF London Rally to make a massive noise demanding that G8 leaders – meeting in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June – take action to tackle global hunger and save the lives of millions.

A major part of the event, the Mass Lab team helped create an amazing “Big IF” art installation made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, with each one of the millions of petals representing a child’s life lost each year because of malnutrition.

savethechildren

Photo © Save The Children

Windmill flower building starting on Thursday by a small army of dedicated volunteers in what became to be known as the “Rave area” – thanks to the pumping music to help production!

mass1Planting starting at noon on Friday with a celebrity ceremony, with volunteers working late into the night and from the early hours of Saturday morning to ensure the “Big IF Bowl” was completed at 10:45 am on the Saturday, in time for the public opening.

Once open, members of the public were freely invited to come in and plant windmill flowers, either ones they have created themselves or ones built by volunteers.

Planting in the “mouth” of the bowl allowed visitors to fill the bowl with “food”.

Everything was free and extremely well received, with many visitors coming along to help make their own personal statement and to help raise awareness of the global cause.

mass2

Image © Andrew Forey

All the action was captured by time-lapse camera’s overlooking the installation

After planting visitors were welcome to come along and visit the official Viewing Platform where they can see the work of art taking shape.

mass3

After the event finished, the art installation was began to be dismantled (for safety reasons) and windmill flowers freely distributed to welcome visitors as a memento of this special day…

With kind thanks to Phil Scotton for capturing the real Lorne Browne

Every windmill was made from recycled and biodegradable materials by CHX Products , with the stems from recycled yoghurt pots. As the installation is dismantled the stems and petals will be separated by hand, ready to be recycled once again.

mass4

Image © Andrew Forey

Mass Lab is the brainchild of Steve Boyd (Director and Designer of Mass Choreography, Parade of Athletes, and Mass Logistics) and who’s members consist of the experienced and highly enthusiastic volunteer performers and marshals from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

8994777442_58e7b63f7f_b (1)

Image © Andrew Forey

Based in Los Angeles, Steve (third from the left in this photograph) has built his career specializing in Olympic ceremonies and large-scale events that meld mass spectacle with mass logistics. He has recently completed work on four ceremonies as Head of Mass Movement Choreography for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

965194_10200565154464727_1066111004_o

Photo © Phil Scotton

976134_10200565164264972_643931985_o

Photo © Phil Scotton


The following images are reproduced here with very kind thanks to fellow Mass Lab and Olympic Ceremonies volunteer Andew Forey…


8995910883_302d999b83_b
8994547919_6739ed2425_b 8994772430_5448f633fc_b  
8994789696_21bcc61339_b 8994793996_9e1d2d5dee_b 8994989682_622c3c6053_b 8995872849_337afc7b89_b 8995894685_b36507b66c_b 8995909613_6e72a43375_b  8997068516_a5811e82ca_b 8997073778_b034a8def5_b 8997076206_2b22b2ee72_b 8997085886_7967b8b21c_b 8993584325_87e933f3ae_b8997091182_4507ea7bd4_b

‘Save Our NHS’ Demonstration and March

Featured

In the long tradition of keeping the spirit of the people alive, as highlighted by the Protest and Working Men segments of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, a group of Ceremony Volunteers joined the “Save Our NHS” demonstration in London today.The British National Health Service earned its own unique segment in the Olympic 2012 Opening Ceremony, in conjunction with the renowned Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Primarily funded through general taxation, rather than requiring private insurance payments, the NHS provides a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use for residents of the United Kingdom

603847_10151356748012820_1674148350_n

‘Save Our NHS’ March London May 18 2013 Image (c) Copyright Phil NIXON

Protesters took to the streets of London to show their anger at decisions to downgrade A&E departments in hospitals across London. The march was backed by unions, and the event included the handing in of a letter at No 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister David Cameron, asking him to put a stop to “closures and privatisation threats to the NHS”.

941107_10151694975758060_1772914955_n

‘Save Our NHS’ March London May 18 2013 Image (c) Copyright Phil NIXON

This is not the first time volunteer cast members have joined protests about changes to the world famous NHS service. On 20th October 2012 they joined the TUC “A Future That Works” rally in London and in January 2013 the Save Lewisham Hospital mass rally.

532709_3987760894774_1457176941_n

TUC ‘A Future That Works’ Rally – 20 October 2012 Image (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea

BAFTA TV Awards

Featured

At this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Television Awards within the Royal Festival Hall the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremony Volunteers were out in their best finery for a well deserved special night out.

8734978475_f6b270d2a4_c

Greeting the stars on the Red Carpet (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea 2013

Not only were the television stars greeted on the famous Red Carpet by members of the Pandemonium segment of the Opening Ceremony, in addition many volunteers had tickets to attend the ceremony and it was great for those lucky enough to be there to meet up with friends out of costume, with the ladies dressed in the most beautiful dresses and gowns, plus the gentlemen strictly black tie.

920484_10151375151517455_991491986_o

Pre-Show Drinks at The Royal Festival Hall

The London Olympics was recognised with three nominations at the BAFTA television awards, with Channel 4’s London 2012 Paralympic Games winning the Best Sport and Live Event Award.

The BBC “Twenty Twelve” sitcom (that spoofed the preparations for the Games) gained four nominations and won awards for Best Situation comedy and for one of its star’s, Olivia Colman, the award for Female Performance in a Comedy.

Clare Balding, who won a Bafta Special Award, said she was “aware this would not have happened if it weren’t for the magic of last summer”, referring to the 2012 Games, when she presented for both the BBC’s Olympic and Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage.

8736121490_7ee2b07e87_c

Working Men and Women from the Opening Ceremony (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea 2013

Hamish Hamilton, who directed the TV broadcasts of the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies, was honoured by receiving the Special Award at the BAFTA Craft Awards on 28 April.

947168_10200822668024569_54136979_n (2)

On the Red Carpet at the BAFTA 2013 Television Awards