Rugby, a sport renowned for its rugged intensity and indomitable team spirit, traces its origins back to a rather unconventional beginning. In 1823, a student by the name of William Webb Ellis, during a game of football, defied convention by picking up the ball and crossing the field with it. This historic moment marked the genesis of rugby, breaking the established rules of the game at that time.
Fast forward to the present day, where the creative minds behind the Rugby World Cup 2023 Opening Ceremony have chosen to honor this tradition of breaking the mold. In a departure from the usual ceremony standards, they aim to tell a story deeply rooted in French culture.
Led by the talented Jean Dujardin, known for his acting prowess and co-writing contributions to the ceremony, a diverse ensemble of approximately thirty individuals embodying France's rich culture and world-renowned art de vivre will take center stage.
These distinguished guests of honor hail from various artistic disciplines, including film, music, dance, urban culture, gastronomy, and craftsmanship. Together, they will mesmerize the 80,000 spectators at the Stade de France and millions of TV viewers with a poetic and vibrant journey through a narrative of romance and brotherhood.
The cast's talents will be augmented by a supporting ensemble of 44 professional artists, including dancers and acrobats, alongside an impressive 240 volunteers. In the spirit of celebrated filmmaker Jacques Tati, the story they will unfold pays tribute not only to rugby but also to the values it embodies. It's an ode to the unique essence that makes France an exceptional place.
The choreography for this magnificent spectacle is the work of Grichka Caruge, who serves as the first assistant director, choreographer, and even a performer in the show. The acrobatic sequences are under the direction of Vivien Loulou, and all participants will dazzle in costumes designed by the talented Lili Kendaka.
Conceived by a trio of visionaries, namely Jean Dujardin (co-writer and male lead), Olivier Ferracci (co-writer, designer, and director), and Nora Matthey de l'Endroit (co-writer, artistic director, and director), this Opening Ceremony is a visually stunning and elegant fresco. It's a portrayal of who we are and what unites us, underscored by humor and self-deprecation, setting the stage for the thrilling Rugby World Cup 2023.
The Opening Ceremony Cast
Main Actors: Jean Dujardin, Grichka Caruge, Alice Renavand, Philippe Lacheau, Vianney, Adriana Karembeu, Eric Massot.
Guests of Honor: Yves Camdeborde, Juan Arbelaez, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Pierre Augé, Maïtena Biraben, Matthieu Bisquey, Bertrand Bluy, Christelle Brua, Julien Camdeborde, Pascal Campourcy, Amandine Chaignot, Christian Constant, Lenaïg Corson, Ramuntxo Courdé, Bruno Doucet, Julien Duboué, Joël Dupuch, Christian Etchebest, Jean-Pierre Genet, Pierre Hermé, Charlotte Langrand, Mathieu Mandard, Sébastien Pradal, Eric Ospital, Jean-Michel Sanles, Guy Savoy, Charlotte Sénat, Patrick Serrière, Marc Tournier, Thierry Wasser.
Performers: Zaz, Vincent Peirani.
Intrigued spectators can anticipate an unforgettable journey through French culture and rugby history as the Opening Ceremony promises to captivate hearts and set the stage for the thrilling Rugby World Cup 2023.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]