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Article Teaser: When I watched the Opening Ceremony, I was entranced. It began with giant footprints in the sky made of fireworks, leading the way to the stadium. The stadium was built specifically for the Olympics in the shape of a bird's nest, which is considered a lucky symbol in China. It was amazing.

Keep reading below...

The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics

Copyright (c) 2008-2017

When I watched the Opening Ceremony, I was entranced. It began with giant footprints in the sky made of fireworks, leading the way to the stadium. The stadium was built specifically for the Olympics in the shape of a bird's nest, which is considered a lucky symbol in China. Once at the stadium, fire appeared to race around the top edge of the structure before falling to the ground within like a comet. Two large rectangles full of what turned out to be drummers began performing along with a flickering light show that made patterns from the different drums. It was amazing.

The Opening Ceremony traced the history of China, featuring a huge LED screen that unrolled like a scroll upon the stadium floor. The idea of an unrolling LED screen that people could dance and march upon was ingenious. The screen had images and symbols going by as dancers painted on yet another floor screen, creating a landscape in the style of Chinese brush painting. Next, there were many people in flowing, costumes. A large amount of blocks were in place on the LED screen, and we were treated to a patterned dance by the blocks, first moving like ripples in a pond, then forming Chinese characters and the Great Wall. After it was over, people popped up from each block. They must have practiced for weeks to get the choreography right.

One of my favorite parts was the single dancer in the flowing neon costume who danced upon a moving floor carried by many other people in bright green costumes. She had long flowing ribbons that she waved as part of her dance. Many people then came out carrying large oars. They did what looked like the wave while images of ocean waves played on the top scrim in the stadium. The oarsmen eventually formed a boat around the enter LED screen, which showed images of Chinese ships.

The costumes were amazing. They looked like they were made of silk and other fine fabrics. They say there were 15,000 performers in this Opening Ceremony... and they all had marvelous costumes of vibrant colors. The bright dresses and traditional costumes added to the pageantry. The costumes were so detailed, from the perfect pleats to the tiny gold baubles in the dancers' hair. China has a reputation of being highly populated, and everything they did used masses of people, which helped bring that feeling to mind. The sheer numbers that performed so beautifully is mind-boggling.

The lighted suits were really cool. It was like watching stars running around. They made the shape of a bird, in honor of the usual pigeons that are traditionally released at the Olympic Games. The lights then formed a bird's nest, echoing the theme of the stadium.

The history of martial arts was honored with the Tai Chi exhibition, and then images of waterfalls covered the upper scrims while ripples of people made their entrance and got into place. Children sat in the middle of the screen. The masses of practitioners performing were amazing.

I think my favorite part was the astronaut portion. The lights looked like stars, and the astronauts floating in the air were really great as planets floated by on the upper scrims. The people running and tumbling around the circumference of the large globe was a great effect. The theme song was beautiful and haunting as images of whales floated by on the ceiling. The sea of faces they showed during the theme song brought tears to my eyes, as it brought individuality of all nationalities to the show.

The fireworks were amazing. So many colors, so many patterns. The usual parade of nations was done according to the number of strokes in the Chinese names for those countries rather than alphabetically, which made if interesting as you didn't know who was coming next. There were over 200 countries there to compete in the Olympic Games. They slowly filled the center of the stadium with all the athletes who were there to compete. The small child who came out with the China team was so cute, waving a little flag as he marched.

The speeches were nice, but I really preferred the pageantry of the earlier portion of the ceremony. China really set the bar high for anyone hosting future Olympic Games for the Opening Ceremony. I hope we'll see more imaginative and innovative ceremonies in the future. This one was very entertaining, touching and gave a true flavor of China.


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Jennifer Adams writes for BestShowTickets, where you can buy concert and Broadway tickets as well as all kinds of sports tickets, at: http://www.bestshowticketslasvegas.com

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Internal ID: #6244
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