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Balletic climax to London 2012 Closing Ceremony

Darcey Bussell joins Royal Ballet Principals and 200-strong ensemble for finale.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

13 August 2012 at 1.00pm | 7 Comments

Last night's closing ceremony of the London 2012  Olympic Games saw dancers from The Royal Ballet join their counterparts from other British dance companies and Darcey Bussell in a 200-strong ensemble choreographed by Alastair Marriott and Christopher Wheeldon at the climax of the three-hour spectacular.

Coming out of retirement, former Royal Ballet Principal Darcey descended onto the centre of the stage on a flaming phoenix where she joined Gary Avis, Edward Watson, Nehemiah Kish and Jonathan Cope for a performance inspired by the Olympic flame and spirit.

Watch the performance on BBC iPlayer

Take a look behind the scenes during rehearsals:

Gary Avis tweeted afterwards that the experience had been 'incredible', sharing a picture of the quintet backstage with Christopher Wheeldon and Alastair Marriott.

Darcey Bussell retired from professional dance in 2007 but remains involved in the art form. Earlier this year she was announced as a judge for the next season of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

The ceremony also featured the music of Blur, whose frontman Damon Albarn performs at The Royal Opera House later this month as part of Yinka Shonibare's Deloitte Ignite.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

13 August 2012 at 1.00pm

This article has been categorised Dance and tagged Blur, by Christopher Wheeldon, Closing Ceremony, Damon Albarn, Darcey Bussell, Edward Watson, Gary Avis, Jonathon Cope, London 2012, Nehemiah Kish, olympics

This article has 7 comments

  1. Roger responded on 13 August 2012 at 2:23pm Reply

    It was great to see Darcey Bussell back, if only briefly in the closing ceremony last night. She doesn't seem to have lost any of her flair, considering its been over 5 years now since her last performance. If only'.

  2. norma pilot responded on 13 August 2012 at 3:41pm Reply

    I just love to watch Darcy Bussell. She is amazing at any age

  3. John howells responded on 13 August 2012 at 9:59pm Reply

    Please could you amend your information on the ballet section of The Olympic Closing Ceremony, Spirit of the Flame . This was choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon AND The Royal Ballet choreographer Alastair Marriott . It's disappointing that The Royal Opera House manages to miss the achievement of one of it's own artists. The clip of the girls rehearsing is part of Alastairs choreography for over 200 ballerinas from across the country being rehearsed by his assistant Jonathan Howells ( assistant ballet master of The Royal Ballet).

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 24 August 2012 at 5:49pm

      Hi John,

      Apologies, this was amended soon after publishing.
      Sorry for the delay getting back to you.

      Social Media Manager

  4. Oscar responded on 14 August 2012 at 11:18am Reply

    Thank you for telling us who the men were. They were just as amazing and deserved a name check on the night.

  5. HarryN responded on 15 August 2012 at 9:47pm Reply

    I did see the Phoenix of the Flames on the live webcast, but it has been impossible to see a good video of it since then... not shown on the US NBC tape delay. The BBC link above doesn't show in the US. Someone in the stands posted their own video, but it is not as good as the professional camera work (although it captures the grandeur)....

    Anyway, posting this dance for folks outside the UK would be great. Thanks.

  6. corrie responded on 21 August 2012 at 4:38pm Reply

    If you go to Youtube Official Olympic Channel London 2012 and click on the video labelled Closing Ceremony, Phoenix of the Flames is on there. Take That have just finished, Phoenix of the Flames is next and then The Who. Hope this helps anybody who hasn't already found it.

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