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Fellini-inspired clowns to highlight closing ceremony

MILAN, Italy -- Federico Fellini-inspired clowns, acrobats
and high-wire acts will perform at the closing ceremony for the
Torino Olympics.

The circus theme also will include aspects from Italy's winter
Carnival, a masked celebration based in Venice each February. A
preview of the Feb. 26 ceremony was attended by about 200 people in
a Milan theater Monday.

Actual costumes featured in Fellini's 1971 film "The Clowns"
will be used. They were made by Academy Award-winning designer
Danilo Donati.

Tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform and Canadian rocker Avril
Lavigne will sing during the handoff to representatives of the 2010
Winter Games to in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The "Sparks of Passion" bladers, futuristic performers zipping
around on roller blades with flames shooting from the back of their
helmets, also will appear. The group is to be introduced at the
Feb. 10 opening ceremony.

Before the flame is put out, the final medals will be awarded
for the men's 50-kilometer cross country race.

Thousands of tickets are still available for the evening
ceremony.