Auditions always create tension among the candidates. Even more so if they are for a mega-production that will be beamed around the globe. But it was not so at the auditions to be part of the cast for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
For the first wave of auditions, which started on Saturday 7 November and will continue until the first week of December, the candidates were nervous as they arrived at the National Institute for Education of the Deaf, in the leafy Rio neighbourhood of Laranjeiras.
“On my way here I was really anxious, I couldn’t stop worrying about how it was going to be, but once I arrived and saw that there were all kinds of different people, I relaxed,” said Agatha Cordeiro, from Nova Iguacu, a town on the outskirts of Rio.
The atmosphere was relaxed because the choreographers are searching for two very Brazilian qualities: diversity and contagious energy.
“Everybody arrived thinking they had to dance well, but we’re not looking for perfect ballerinas,” said American live-event director Steve Boyd.
Boyd has contributed to 13 consecutive Olympic Games and is leading the selection process along with Bryn Walters, a British choreographer who has worked on four Olympic Games.
A YouTube video gives a backstage glimpse of the audition process.