Last night's Olympic closing ceremony featured a huge dance number choreographed by the fantastic Christopher Wheeldon and featuring 300 dancers, led by Royal Ballet legend Darcey Bussell. But as I mentioned on Friday, I had a sneaking suspicion that American audiences wouldn't get to see that part of the ceremony—just as we were denied Akram Khan's gorgeous piece during the opening ceremonies. And I was right. NBC cut the performance from its broadcast, leaving me, and many other ballet fans, hopping mad.
Look: The rest of the closing ceremony was a rockin' good time. And I understand that ballet isn't high on a national network's list of priorities. (Even performances by big-name bands Muse and The Kinks were edited out.) But how unfair to the artists involved—and to everyone in the US audience, dance fans and dance novices alike—to show nary a glimpse of what was, apparently, an extravagant, dramatic number, to pretend that it just didn't happen. It's not even available on NBC's website. What could have been a wonderful opportunity to introduce millions of people to the glories of world-class artists like Wheeldon and Bussell was totally squandered.
Here are a few photos of what all of us across the pond missed. If anyone finds video of the performance that's accessible in the US, let us know!
*UPDATE: US audiences can watch the performance (along with many other snippets cut from the broadcast) here. It's pretty spectacular. [Update to the update: Link is actually working now. Sorry about that!]*