British Bangladeshi dancer and choreographer Akram Khan says he is “disheartened and disappointed” after an American broadcaster cut out his tribute to victims of the 7 July bomb victims during the Olympic opening ceremony.
NBC took out the segment which featured Khan and 50 dancers performing to Abide With Me, sung by Emeli Sande and replaced it with an interview with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and champion US swimmer Michael Phelps.
NBC said it had had no indication the segment was a reference to the attacks.
“I am really sad that I couldn’t show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don’t think it’s any less or more than any of the other pieces,” Khan told the Associated Press.
“Is it not accessible enough? Is it not commercial enough?
“It brings to mind the question – but maybe I’m wrong because I don’t really know the reason – but it brings to mind a question that maybe it’s too truthful, and I think that says it all really,” he said.
Khan said he was asked by artistic director Danny Boyle to design a section of the opening ceremony around the theme of mortality.
Along with images of loved ones lost by those in the stadium, the segment was widely interpreted as a tribute to the 52 victims of the bombings in 2005.
However, NBC maintained the performance was never presented to them as such.
The ceremony’s programme described the performance as dramatising “the struggle between life and death using such powerful images of mortality as dust and the setting sun”.
NBC – which holds the exclusive rights to air the Games in the US – broadcast the ceremony on a time-delayed basis so it could be shown during primetime and made editing changes.
The network has also received criticism for not providing a live stream of the event.
– UKAsian Staff