Olympics choreographer upset London bombings tribute not seen in US

LOS ANGELES, July 28 Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:56pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, July 28 (Reuters) - A choreographer for the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games said on Saturday he was upset that his musical tribute to the victims of the 2005 London bus and train bombings had not been televised in the United States.

In a controversial decision, NBC cut Londoner Akram Khan's segment from the network's opening ceremony coverage, airing instead a brief interview with Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

"I feel disheartened and disappointed," Khan, who is of Bangladeshi descent, said in an online video of a press conference held in London on Saturday.

Referring to the tribute, which commemorates the victims of the July 7, 2005 suicide bombings of London Underground trains and a double-decker bus, he asked: "Is it not accessible enough? Is it not commercial enough?"

Fifty two people and the four bombers died in the attacks.

Around the globe, about 1 billion people watched director Danny Boyle's celebration of British history and culture on Friday, the British government said on Saturday.

Khan said on his website that he was asked by Boyle to design a prominent section of the opening ceremony around the theme "mortality."

The piece he designed featured 50 dancers, a 9-year-old boy and himself. It was set to the song "Abide With Me."

Khan said the segment was designed to bring "a reminder of our own mortality and the transfer of possibilities and hopes between generations."

NBCUniversal paid $1.18 billion for the U.S. rights to the London Olympics. It could not immediately be reached for comment.

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