Critical Mass in Commonwealth Games opening

Published: 16 July 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

Critical Mass rehearsing for the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Credit: Graeme Braidwood

Nearly 200 people from inclusive dance collective Critical Mass who performed in the Birmingham 2022 Festival opening event Wondrous Stories are to take part in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Featuring theatre, music and dance, the event will be one of the biggest and most spectacular in Birmingham’s history. It will turn the spotlight on the city and its people as well as highlighting West Midlands talent and diversity.

For the opening ceremony Critical Mass will perform alongside professional dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, wheelchair dance group Freewheelin Dance Company and students from Elmhurst Ballet School.

Critical Mass exemplifies the inclusive nature of the Games with a fully integrated cast of D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people performing together.

Although specific details of the opening ceremony are not being released, it will be performed in front of 35,000 spectators and will reach a global television audience of around one billion.

The creative team leading the event features executive producer and Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, writer Maeve Clarke, musical director Joshua “RTKal” Holness and artistic director Iqbal Khan.

Twenty-eight-year-old Critical Mass participant Sarah said, “as a deaf person I never thought that dance would be something that I would be good at. Having been part of Critical Mass, I’ve been inspired by everybody—the dance leaders, choreographers, participants—to just go out there and do it!”

Tickets for the opening ceremony are available at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games web site. It will be broadcast on BBC 1 on Thursday 28 July.