Story boards (53), concepts for the Opening Ceremony, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, paper, concepts designed by Ric Birch, Sydney, 1998-1999
This collection of 53 story boards depicts initial concepts for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Illustrated in colour and mounted on cardboard, the boards reflect the Indigenous story of the Rainbow Serpent; the arrival of the First Fleet; the journeys of the swagman and the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Together, they demonstrate a key process in the development of the Opening Ceremony and make a pertinent contrast with the story boards that represent the actual ceremony themes. These story boards have not been signed though probably illustrate the ideas of the Director of Ceremonies, Ric Birch, and his team.
Described by the NSW premier Bob Carr as 'the greatest spectacle Australia has produced', the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay on Friday 15 September 2000. Though the ceremony featured anthems, speeches, oaths, flags, pop singers and a marching band, its daring conceptual sequences ('Deep Sea Dreaming', 'Awakening', 'Nature', 'Tin Symphony', 'Arrivals' and 'Eternity') will be remembered as the major imaginative works. Each segment commenced without interruption, following on from the last to form an overall narrative. The purpose was to project a national image to a worldwide audience, to form the world's vision of Australian culture. This image embraced tolerance, social progress, multiculturalism and reconciliation, as well as nature, history and creativity. Designed to stimulate emotional responses from the audience, these segments delivered a refreshing mixture of youth, naivety and larrikinism.
The creative team comprised 13,000 artists and performers, including designers, choreographers, circus artists, costume makers, set builders and painters, singers, composers, writers, arrangers, dancers, musicians. Even more than the high quality costume design, choreography and music, the props were talking points, with the Endeavour cycle and the Ned Kelly horse attracting the most attention.
This collection of 53 story boards depicts initial concepts for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Together, they illustrate the ideas of the Director of Ceremonies, Ric Birch, and his creative team.
These story boards were made in 1998 or early 1999, before the Ceremonies Workshop commenced the construction of props for the Opening Ceremony.
These story boards were used by the Director of Ceremonies, Ric Birch, and his team in developing the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.