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Grand opening planned for Expo 02

François Rochaix will choreograph the opening ceremony of Expo 02


The organisers of the Swiss national exhibition in 2002 have announced plans for a spectacular opening ceremony, which will take place simultaneously at the event's five sites, on both land and water.

The opening ceremony will consist of 11 tableaux inspired by mythology, and will focus on such subjects as languages, sex equality and Europe. There will be live television coverage at the sites - Neuchatel, Yverdon, Murten, Biel and the Jura.

The open-air ceremony is being choreographed by Expo-02's artistic director, François Rochaix, whose distinguished background in the theatre is expected to make it rich in theatrical effect.

He says most of the singers, dancers and other entertainers taking part will be local people from the region, known as "the three lakes".

Much of Expo 02 will take place on the surface of the lakes, on five specially constructed "arteplages", or giant floating platforms.

Rochaix said mankind would be a central theme: "But I also hope that the whole event will provide an opportunity for reflection on Switzerland today, and its relations with Europe and the rest of the world."

Expo 02 will run from May 15, 2002, until October 22.

swissinfo with agencies

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