Enlightenment and human rights at heart of Paralympic music and dance


The theme was enlightenment - and the world heard this message loud and clear, with a strong music programme, ranging across Rihanna, Ian Drury and Trinity Laban's own composition teacher, Errollyn Wallen - as well as a focus on dance alumnus David Toole, who the Daily Mail has labelled "the star of the show".

Errollyn composed the words and music for two major works for the opening ceremony, "Principia and "Spirit in Motion".

"Principia" featured 430 people from six London-based choirs, including the London Gay Men's Chorus and the Lewisham Choral Society. Reflecting the enlightenment theme, the title echoes Sir Isaac Newton's treatise Principia Mathematica and the lyrics celebrate science and human endeavour and human rights

"Spirit in Motion" featured visually impaired soprano Denise Leigh and the LSO in an inspirational salute to the more than 4,000 athletes from 164 countries.

Errollyn, who attended the opening ceremony, said: "I had been living and breathing these two compositions for months, and felt a huge amount of pride being commissioned twice.

"But from the moment my music was played, I really and truly felt that it wasn't my music any more, it belonged to the performers and the audience."

Charles Perrin from the Daily Express said: "Spirits were lifted last night as London put on a dazzling Paralympics opening ceremony. With the afterglow of the Olympics having worn off, the Paralympics opening ceremony won the hearts and minds of the public with a truly memorable show."

Jerome Taylor of the Independent said: "…last night's spectacle was more structured and the music more classical than in Danny Boyle's Olympics opening. But it was still infused with simmering political radicalism and social commentary - a fitting tribute given that this was the moment the Paralympics returned home to the country where its foundations were first conceived 64 years ago."

And here's Errollyn on Magic FM (right-click/'save as' or open in a new window).

More pictures and a profile of Trinity Laban dance graduate David Toole can be found here -  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195366/London-Paralympics-2012-Disabled-genius-Stephen-Hawking-star-turn-London-2012-Paralympics-Opening-Ceremony.html

Music and dance students and alumni involved in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and/or Paralympics include -

Amber Jackson-Bond, Camille Desmarest, Catherine Ibbotson, Chloe Ayling, Clare Lambert, Ella Thiele, Emily Rutherwood, Eva Chambers, Felicity Kerr, Gemma Lunt, Heather Bourne, Isabelle Sleeman, Jessica Griffiths, Julian Lewis, Natasha Wade, Nigel Beard, Pam Borg, Phoebe Knight, Rachel Keenan, Rosa Firbank, Rosie Riley, Sally Hawkridge, Samantha Edgcombe, Simon Marsh, Sophie Lowen, Sophie Northmore, Stephanie Palmer, Tamsin Bunyard and Yasmin McCullough.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Stay up-to-date with performances and activities happening at Trinity Laban.

Subscribe now