Former paralympic athletes were among the cast who started an eight-week circus school course today in preparation for the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympics.
The opening ceremony, called Enlightenment, will feature a host of deaf and disabled artists, local children and performers newly trained in circus skills.
There are 50 performers getting ready for a high-wire act that will involve aerial work on a 35m tall rig.
The ceremony should be "both spectacular and deeply human," according to Bradley Hemmings, who has masterminded the show with fellow artistic director Jenny Sealey.
It also sets out to be a celebration of the Paralympics coming home. It originated in Britain as the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948.
Mr Hemmings said: "Having worked together in outdoor theatre over a number of years we're determined that the ceremony should speak from the heart, while rising to the emotional and historic occasion of the homecoming of the Paralympic Games."
As preparations for the paralympics took place, RAF Typhoon jets also arrived at Northolt air base in west London before a major military exercise to test security for the games.
It is the first time fighter aircraft have been stationed at the base since the second world war.
The Typhoons will take part in Exercise Olympic Guardian, a nine-day training operation over the skies of the capital and the home counties that runs from today until May 10.
Military chiefs have warned that people in south-east England will notice an increase in air activity at certain times, in particular this weekend.
But Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said such a heavy military presence in London was "unacceptable" and warned it would create a "climate of fear.
"Far from safeguarding Londoners as they go about their daily lives, they will bring a real fear of explosions and the prospect of these places becoming a target for terrorist attack," she said.
"If the Olympic Park needs security, this should be within the confines of the park and not forced on ordinary people in east and south London who have no say in the matter."