Alexander Ekman has been selected as Stage and Choreography Director of the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games. GETTY IMAGES

Internationally renowned choreographer Alexander Ekman has been selected as Stage and Choreography Director of the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 that will see thousands of Para athletes from 180 international delegations parade down the legendary Avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde on 28 August. Thomas Jolly, artistic director of the ceremonies, has brought in the Swedish choreographer to shake up the traditions of the event and Ekman has chosen to place dance at the heart of the show.

More than 150 dancers —including many professional dancers with disabilities— will bring to life the opening ceremony with inventive, musical, and humorous choreography. 

"Our goal is to create a Paralympic ceremony that is a celebration with a mix of important messages, featuring the art of choreographic dance and the music newly composed by Victor Le Masne and inspired by sport. It is a real honour to be part of the Paris 2024 artistic team! I can't wait to share with the world the work that my team and I have created,” Ekman said.

For the past two years, Alexander Ekman has been working with Victor le Masne, Composer and Music Director of the Ceremonies, and Daphné Bürki, Director of Styling and Costumes for the Ceremonies to create this exceptional show. An artist of great curiosity, Alexander spent a long time with Paralympic athletes in his preliminary research work. Inspired by the athletes' sporting endeavours, this show highlights the place of sport, and the Paralympic Games, as a solution for creating a more inclusive society. 

"There is 15 per cent of the French population that has a disability. Paradoxically, Paralympic athletes are often portrayed as heroes before many return to a daily life that can be full of barriers. The Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games is a unique opportunity to raise the profile of these battles, which affect the whole of society. To both celebrate the Paralympic athletes and act as spokesperson for them, I wanted this ceremony to be both festive and political. That's why I asked choreographer Alexander Ekman, known for his spectacular universe that transcends the limits of the body, to take charge of the staging and choreography of this show. Together we aim to transcend limits and make them coincide with a more equal and inclusive world,” Director of Ceremonies Jolly said.

After the Paralympic Games’ opening celebrations until 8 September, 4,400 athletes will try to win Paralympic medals in 549 competitions across 22 sports. The action will take place at 20 exceptional venues; wheelchair tennis tournament will take place at Roland Garros, blind football at the Eiffel Tower Stadium, wheelchair basketball at the Bercy Arena, Para archery at the Invalides, to name but a few.