NEARLY two hundred members of inclusive dance company Critical Mass are set to take centre stage at the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
They will join the likes of 80s chart stars Duran Duran, Black Sabbath guitar hero Tony Iommi, renowned sax player Soweto Kinch, Birmingham RnB stars Indigo Marshall and Gambimi, and many more at the city’s Alexander Stadium, home of UK athletics.
Exact details of the opening ceremony, put together by a team led by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, are being kept under wraps but it will feature music, dance and iconic cars.
With rehearsals well underway at the city’s stadium, there are just two weeks to go until the July 28 event, which will watched by 35,000 spectators and a TV audience of one billion.
The ceremony will be one of the biggest and most spectacular events in Birmingham’s history, turning the spotlight on the city, its people, history and heritage, while highlighting talent and diversity.
The creative team all originally hail from Birmingham, as do the 3,000-plus local volunteers who appear in the show, and some 700 production volunteers behind the scenes.
Critical Mass exemplifies the inclusive nature of the Games with a fully integrated cast of deaf, disabled and non-disabled people performing together to represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of the West Midlands region.
For the opening ceremony they will perform alongside professional dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, wheelchair dance group Freewheelin Dance Company and students from Elmhurst Ballet School, amongst a cast of thousands.
Critical Mass’s involvement in the Birmingham 2022 Festival does not end there because they will also perform celebratory highlights from the shows they have featured in so far at the Smithfield Festival Site on August 7.
Limited tickets for the Opening Ceremony are still available at birmingham2022.com. It will be broadcast on BBC1 from 8pm on July 28 and also be available on demand on iPlayer.
Critical Mass pictures: Graeme Braidwood; Countdown clock: WMCA