Performers in costume on stage, singing and moving - Breathe, London 2012 Olympics

Breathe, premiered in Battle for the Winds, opening the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics sailing events. It was watched by 11,000 people and featured an integrated cast of 64 disabled and non-disabled performers from the UK and Brazil, performing aerial work from cranes 20-foot above Weymouth beach.

Breathe was one of 19 UK Unlimited commissions, part of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, by joint artistic directors Desperate Men and Cirque Bijou. The project was Diverse City’s first collaboration with Cirque Bijou, which brought disability and circus together in a previously unimagined, untested and unseen way.

“The last 6 days … inspiring, brilliant, challenging, hilarious, life changing,
tiring, glorious, sandy, emotional, goose bumpingly momentous,
once in a lifetime, tearful, edgy, frustrating and beautiful.”

Les Finnemore, Stage Management Team

“How can Weymouth and Portland ever thank you for what you did last night?
It was MAGNIFICENT! And it will INSPIRE all that took part or saw it for many years to come.”

Alan Rogers – Cultural Coordinator, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council 2012 Operations Team

“An unbelievable scene.
So beautiful – what an ending to a great show.”

Nigel Hinds, Creative Producer London 2012 Festival

“Great show tonight on Weymouth beach.
Thank you for entertaining, enthralling and exciting us.
Overhead lots of great comments from inside the crowd: ‘historic’, ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘tears in my eyes’, ‘wow!’ “

Weymouth, Dorset – Tourist Agency


Cirque Bijou
Desperate Men
State of Emergency

National Lottery through the Arts Council England
The British Council
Dorset County Council
Activate Performing Arts
Commissioned by the Unlimited Programme
Part of the London 2012 Festival
Maritime Mix, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad by the Sea

Photography credits: ©Richard Jeffery (1,2,5); ©Andre Pattenden (4,10,11);  ©Lauren Hunt (6,7,8,9)
Page header image: ©Lauren Hunt