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Home > China-UK Events > 2008
London launches festival to celebrate Olympics

LONDON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Sport and the arts come together on Thursday at central London as the city prepares for the excitement of the Olympic Games in Beijing and looks forward to becoming the next Olympic host city.

A giant screen has been installed at the Trafalgar Square, which will broadcast coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games each day from 8am to 9pm from Friday when the opening ceremony unfolds.

The coverage of the games will be complemented by a free program of exciting outdoor spectacle with specially commissioned street performances including acrobatics by the Flying Dragon Circus, as well as a ritualistic retelling of Chinese creation myths by the Yellow Earth Theatre, the country's leading East Asian theatre company.

During the launch event on Thursday, some 15 London-based Chinese men and women practiced Taiji in the accompaniment of traditional Chinese music. Dazzling demonstration of Kung Fu by four young men from Shaolin Temple, cradle for Chinese Kung Fu, were greeted by open-mouthed spectators.

The series of art and sport performances coincided with the annual Trafalgar Square Festival, an event sponsored by the London city authority, to mark the opening of Beijing Olympic Games and the countdown of London's takeover as the next Olympic host city on August 24.

"The Trafalgar Square Festival will capture the excitement and anticipation during the Olympic Games and celebrate the relationship between sport and cultures as London prepares to stage the Cultural Olumpiad," said Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.

The screen will remain on Trafalgar Square for the Olympic hand-over ceremony on August 24, so Londoners can watch the Mayor of London receive the Olympic flag on behalf of London and the rest of Britain.

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