Tokyo 2021 closing ceremony: a “Marseillaise” in “chansigne” and a mix composed with the eyes

A “Marseillaise” interpreted in “chansigne”, the translation of a musical work into sign language, will open the handover between Tokyo and Paris during the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Sunday. A mix, which will also be broadcast on this occasion, was produced by rapper DJ Pone, suffering from Charcot’s disease, who continues to compose using software that he controls with his eyes.

After two weeks of competition, the Tokyo Paralympic Games will come to an end on Sunday, September 5th. The closing ceremony will be marked in particular by the handover between the Japanese capital and the French capital.

To announce the next Games which will take place in three years in Paris, a “Marseillaise” will be interpreted in “chansigne”, the translation of a musical work into sign language.

“Betty Moutoumalaya will open the handover ceremony for the Paralympic Games by performing the ‘Marseillaise’ in chansigne. This art of translating music with the body, facial expressions, emotions, gives access to music to all,” announced in a press release from the Paris 2024 organizing committee.

Like the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, that of the Paralympics must mark the handover between Tokyo and Paris. Ten minutes of celebration will therefore be offered by the next host city at the Trocadéro and broadcast as part of the ceremony.

“Singing the ‘Marseillaise’ during the Paralympic Games handover ceremony is a strong message: France shows the world that societal inclusion and equality are at the heart of its Games. I join in the values ​​of the Paralympic Games: athletes show us through sport that disability does not make a person’s identity. I want to carry, through my art, the same message “, described in this press release Betty Moutoumalaya, a sign language trainer who teaches in schools in the Paris region and within companies.

It is following one of his letters sent to the organizing committee to discover this art that this choice was imposed according to its president, Tony Estanguet. “I was immediately struck by his ability to convey emotions without a word,” he explained. “Inviting him to participate in the ceremony was obvious.”

“Nothing is impossible” for DJ Pone

After the interpretation of the “Marseillaise” in chansigne, DJ Pone will close the artistic sequence proposed by Paris 2024 with a new mix. This artist, one of the co-founders of the famous Marseille group Fonky Family (FF),  composed this piece thanks to the movement of his pupils alone . Affected by Charcot’s disease since 2015, this renowned producer only communicates with his eyes.

“The Paris 2024 proposal to participate in the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games allows me to show in my own way that nothing is impossible, as Paralympic athletes do on a daily basis and in each of their sporting performances”, he said.

The Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony aired live at 7 a.m. EST on Sunday, August 8th, after the last gold medal event, the men’s water polo final. The time difference in Tokyo means that the prime time rebroadcast will air on NBC at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 8th. The theme of the event was “Worlds We Share,” and you can see images here. The event celebrated Japanese culture — from taiko drumming and Harajuku street fashion to J-pop hits and Ainu dance — before handing off to France, the country that will host the 2024 games in Paris, with the theme, “Made for Sharing.”


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