Olympic Ceremonialism and The Performance of National Character From London 2012 to Rio 2016

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-24
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot
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In recent decades ceremonies stood in Olympiads as both vehicles of cultural values and shows embracing the banal and the everyday. But how much do we understand them as forms of public art? This book examines the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies and the handover event to Rio for the 2016 Olympics as articulations of national and cosmopolitan belonging. It is argued that embodied and projected performances of Britishness and Brazilianness embraced both artistic styles and the contemporary digital turn, refinement and banality. Combinations of art and technology reflected a vision of humanity in motion complying with the Olympic values of fairness, beauty and embodied well-being. The three ceremonial performances supported imaginative travel on stage, on big screens and in musical genres. This travel, at once mediated, embodied and experiential, created an ideal form of 'human': a tornadóros. A creative worker and a tourist, the tornadóros manipulates audio-visual narratives of culture and identity for global Olympic audiences. Spanning Sociology, Sports Studies, Culture and Media Studies, Performance Studies and Tourism Studies, this is a highly interdisciplinary and original perspective on the Olympics.

Author Biography

Rodanthi Tzanelli is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leeds, UK. She is author of over 60 articles and six monographs, including Heritage in the Digital Era: Cinematic Tourism and the Activist Cause.

Table of Contents

1. The Olympic Industry: Slow and Fast Mobilities
2. The Opening Ceremony: Structural Nostalgia and Pop Pastiche
3. The Concluding Show: Music and the Self-Creating Cycle
4. Struggling With the Other: Embodied Styles as Tourist Articulation

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