The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic GamesAugust 8-24 2008
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
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Zhang Yimou and his five creative generals

Updated:2007-08-23

(BEIJING, August 23) -- Led by Chief Director Zhang Yimou, a long list of talents including Zhang Jigang, Chen Weiya, Yu Jianping, Chen Qigang, Cai Guoqiang, and other artists will give the world spectacular shows at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Zhang Yimou: Commander-in-Chief

Last April the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) appointed the main creative team in charge of developing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Zhang Yimou, an internationally renowned director with strong artistic ability, was the obvious choice for BOCOG. Zhang has a deep understanding of the concepts of the Beijing Olympic Games and the soul of the Olympics. He as was involved in the Beijing Olympic Games from the start – from promotional videos for the bid process to promoting the Beijing Olympic emblem. Additionally, he produced eight minutes of the closing ceremony at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Zhang Jigang: choreography master

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Zhang Jigang will be assisting Zhang Yimou in the development and direction of the opening and closing ceremonies.

As head of the Song and Dance Troupe of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Political Department, Zhang Jigang choreographed the award-winning dance "Thousand-Hand Guanyin" performed by 21 artists with a hearing disability. He has also choreographed over 300 other creative works, many of which have garnered awards both in China and abroad.

The assistant director promises that the Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies will only feature never-before-seen dance sequences.

Chen Weiya: opening ceremony specialist

Chen Weiya has accumulated extensive experience from directing the opening ceremony for many major events, including the opening ceremony for the Beijing 2001 World University Games. Additionally, Chen has worked with Chief Director Zhang Yimou on numerous occasions, which will prove advantageous in their cooperation for the Beijing Olympic Games.

Cai Guoqiang: fireworks professional

Cai Guoqiang will be the chief special effects designer on Zhang Yimou's creative team. A graduate of the Shanghai Theater Academy, Cai began using gunpowder in his creative works in the 1980s. The special effects for the four ceremonies will include a show of fireworks, Cai revealed.

Chen Qigang: music composer extraordinaire

Chen Qigang, a 1983 graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music, will be the music director for the opening and closing ceremonies.

The well-known composer is honored to be a part of the creative team that will enable the world to see and hear Chinese culture, history and music.

Yu Jianping: technical director

Yu Jianping is the behind-the-scenes hero of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. He will lead the technical team for the ceremonies.

Yu, president of the Beijing Special Engineering Design Institute, played a role in the launching of the Shenzhou V and Shenzhou VI spacecrafts. He has expressed that not one aspect of the high-tech requirements of the opening and closing ceremonies will be overlooked by his team.

Chief Director Zhang Yimou, along with assistant directors Zhang Jigang and Chen Weiya, are leading the taskforces for the Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Currently, nearly 30 people make up the taskforce, which has three divisions: a creative team, a technical team, and a management team. The taskforce is expected to expand to nearly 1,000 members by next August, and the total number of people involved in making the four ceremonies happen will top 30,000.

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