London Games to get the Gaga treatment from choreographer

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The Independent Online

London will wave goodbye to the 2012 Olympic Games with a samba-styled celebration devised by the creative talents behind Lady Gaga and Take That's spectacular live shows.

The London Organising Committee said Kim Gavin, a ballet dancer and choreographer who staged Take That's Circus concerts at Wembley stadium, will be artistic director of the closing ceremonies for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Es Devlin, an award-winning international stage and costume designer, who helped create Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour, has been appointed designer for the ceremonies at the new Olympic stadium.

The composer and record producer David Arnold will be music director for the closing events.

It was too early to say whether stars including Lady Gaga or Take That would be in the closing ceremony, Gavin said. But the skills he learnt staging the £10m 2009 Circus shows, which featured a giant elephant and trapeze artists, would prove invaluable. He said: "There's a similarity in staging a spectacle for 80,000 people. This is going to be a colourful, beautiful party, with everyone singing, even the VIPs."

Devlin said: "I am delighted to be part of 'the greatest show on earth'. We are envisaging a truly imaginative celebration; I'm honoured to be part of the team."

And the designer Thomas Heatherwick has won the commission to design the cauldron, which will house the Olympic flame during the Games. The lighting of the flame has become one of the highlights of the recent Olympics opening ceremonies. He had been sued by Manchester City Council over his B of the Bang sculpture for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, over safety issues. A metal spike became detached and the sculpture had to be dismantled. Heatherwick's team agreed to pay the council £1.7m, more than the cost of the artwork itself.