YOG opening promises splash and splendour
Wed, Jul 14, 2010
my paper

By Pamela Chow

PERFORMERS will be making a big splash on stage at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG), to be held here next month.

They will be singing and dancing in a semi-elliptical reflecting pool, created by covering a portion of the stage on Marina Bay's floating platform with water 5cm deep.

Around 5,500 youth will perform in the 110-minute, seven segment show on Aug 14. The opening act, which includes cultural elements, will feature the most use of water.

The organisers declined to reveal details about the performances, as they wanted to keep them a surprise.

But it promised spectators a visual treat at both the opening and closing ceremonies, with the latter falling on Aug 26.

Performers will be clad in 8,500 flamboyant costumes featuring 80 designs created by home-grown designer Frederick Lee and over 80 students from various arts academies here.

Some of the costumes were inspired by the cultures of ethnic groups here - Malay, Indian, Chinese and Peranakan - as well as by those of nationalities like Japan and Spain.

Other costumes are fitted with dazzling features. For example, all-girls band YOGhurt will wear fibreglass costumes rigged with 20 laser beams each - reminiscent of singer Lady Gaga's extravagant style, Mr Lee said.

Costumes to be used in performances involving water or fire have also been made waterproof or flame retardant.

On the process of creating the costumes, Mr Lee said: "It's been very tough, because YOG is not a show for our friends and neighbours, but for the world."

The home-grown talents helming each segment were headhunted by music director and producer Iskandar Ismail.

Placing them on a global stage will be a "risky" business because they are young and raw, said YOG's creative director, Ivan Heng.

"We really want this to be a show for the youth, with the youth, by the youth," he said.

The performers have received vocal coaching, and combined rehearsals will start tomorrow.

One of them, singer Seah Wei Wen, 17, who shot to fame in last year's music series Live 'N' Loaded, will be crooning an original YOG song during the opening ceremony.

"It's scary, but I'm very grateful for the honour of performing at the YOG," he said.



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