2001/84/183 Performance costume, titled " Harlequin", fabric/plastic/metal, designed by Norma Moriceau, made by Ceremonies Costume Department, TAFE and Jean Carroll, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
This costume titled Harlequin was designed by Norma Moriceau. It appeared on the Europe float in the Arrivals segment of the Olympic Opening Ceremony held on September 15, 2000. The 'Harlequin' design is a modern take on the traditional harlequin clown of Commedia Del'Arte. It was made at the Ceremonies Costume Department, and by TAFE students and Jean Carroll The costume was worn in the ceremony by Scott Neilson.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games was comprised of three major sections: the mandatory formalities and protocol sections, the cultural display and the entrance of the athletes. Within the cultural display, there were eight segments titled: Welcome, Deep Sea Dreaming, Awakening, Fire, Nature, Tin Symphony, Arrivals and Eternity.
This costume was used in the Arrivals segment of the Opening Ceremony. This segment aimed to produce a theatrical representation of Australia's multiculturalism. The programme for the Olympic Opening Ceremony states: The history of Australia is the history of migration. We have come from all corners of the planet to form a vibrant, culturally rich and constantly evolving society. In this segment, a new group of arrivals form the Olympic symbol that unites the five continents of the world. They disperse, leaving behind their children - our hope for the future. More children appear until two thousand gather to form the pattern of the night sky, containing the distinctive Southern Cross constellation. From the centre of the structure Nikki Webster performs "Under Southern Skies' to celebrate the unity of all our people.
There were five floats in the Arrivals segment. Each float represented a continent. Using the symbolism of the colours of Olympic rings, each continent/float was represented by a colour. Black was used to represent the African nations, yellow the Asian nations, red the Americas, green was used for Europe and blue for Oceania, which includes Australia
Fashion and film designers rather than theatrical designers were chosen to provide a contemporary, cutting edge, high fashion look to the costumes. The designers were Jenny Kee - Africa and Americas, Lisa Ho - Asia, Norma Moriceau - Europe and Peter Morrissey - Oceania. Norma Moriceau, the designer of this costume, is one of Australia's most awarded and prolific film costume and production designers.
Performers were selected from schools, community groups and from cultural and ethnic support groups. Approximately 500 performers danced around and on each of the five floats in the costumes created by the designers.
The approach to the Europe float in the initial design brief was to use the artistic, musical and scientific achievements of Europe as basic themes for the costumes.