Stunning opening to the Beijing Olympics

The opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics was the greatest show on Earth that will be hard to beat. It was the best of art, choreography, design and technology combined to create what could be one of the greatest live events ever presented on this planet. Kudos to the Chinese and if this is the way the Olympic games are going to be, it will turn out to be one of the best ever. To me it was a live spectacular with the aesthetics of the great Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Hero) and artists like Chai Guo- Qiang, who made his name in pyrotechnic art. Simply put – creating art through gun powder and pyrotechnics in the sky. Chai had a brilliant installation at the Guggenheim in New York untill about 2 months ago. And guess what – both of these brilliant men have created the opening ceremony together. I am told that Steven Speilberg was supposed to do the show but pulled out in protest against absence of civil liberties in Tibet. I appreciate his honesty and commitment to a cause, but do not believe that he would have been able to create a spectacular of such aesthetics, for it was so Chinese !

9 thoughts on “Stunning opening to the Beijing Olympics

  1. Shekhar, you’ve said it.
    Once in a while,you have works of creativity which come along and redefine imagination for the rest.They tell you how else things can be.From the first opening piece (drums),they successfully closed doors on any previous memories of opening ceremonies for me.The grandeur,scale and feel of the depth and breadth of their creativity,ability to translate and execute.’Hero’ was a teaser,this was the main course,we will see more of the chinese in the coming years.
    The Londoners would be shivering in their creative boots.How do you ever beat that in 2012.They should be probably consider ‘outsourcing’ the opening ceremony to the chinese.!

  2. Amazingly brilliant and spellbouding. Also makes you realise the unlimited potential of the human mind to think, imagine, grasp, feel and live every moment.

  3. Sniff meneh dekha nahi…ye sab…Wa!!
    Hows u shekhar? na na I can’t hear you…selective deafness se hum suffer karte hai…eh heh!!
    Hi ya Dakkan Queen Katty meeowww to you!!!
    Good day … Meeouwwwww!
    posting it in shekhars latest entry…too!!
    Ye dakkan kya hota hai? dhakan as of in lid? and koun se sense mein me is a dhakan?
    dekho mere bheje ka dhakkan hai nahi…iss liye pls elaobrate…
    What does one cat say to da other?

  4. i was spellbound and amazed, it aroused emotions i never thought opening ceremoney can. i cried amazed by the creative genious and glued to my tv

  5. You are right Shekhar. The opening ceremony was an absolutely spectacular, stunning and an unparalleled display. Everything about it – the dazzling display of light, pyrotechnics, music and the firework was awesome. The Chinese indeed pulled it off very well. I wish rest of the world appreciates the sheer beauty and creativity of the Chinese art, just for what it is, without contaminating it with bias and prejudice.

  6. First of all I want to keep this piece of writing completely out of
    the politics surrounding the Beijing Olympics 2008. The only point of
    discussion here is the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008. I
    mean I have seen opening ceremonies for other Olympics, World Cups,
    French Open and events like that. But, this one was completely a
    shocker. I mean the reactions as the evening unfolded was “Oh! My God”
    and “Wow”. If watching on television had that kind of effect on me. I
    can’t imagine the excitement and energy level in the stadium. The
    responsibility of putting together a grand opening ceremony in the
    state of the art stadium called “Birds Nest” was given to two
    brilliant artists, renowned Chinese motion picture director “Zhang
    Yimou” and Master of Motion Pictures “Steven Spielberg”.
    Steven Spielberg was in disagreement with China’s political stand with
    reference to Tibet and Sudan and decided to pull out of Olympics in
    Feb 2008. Now the entire show was on Zhang Yimou’s shoulder. One can
    only imagine the pressure; he would have gone thru to direct a show
    that would display his country’s history and talent with 15000
    performers on a grand stadium and the entire world watching it. And
    boy did he deliver. To say that the job was well done would be an
    I am not sure if any other events of this scale were ever put together
    by a movie director. You could see the artistic angle in every corner
    of the floor and every inch of the stadium. The screens surrounding
    the stadium at the top displayed images and video footage completely
    in sync with the performers and LCD screen displays on the ground,
    sometimes taking the audience into the ocean and at times high up into
    the skies. I was holding my breath as the count down drum beats
    started and it was only after the fireworks started, I took a deep
    breath. It’s almost like being injected by a dose of excitement. And I
    completely lost it, when I saw the Olympic rings rising from the
    ground and floating in the air. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It
    was insane. Seriously that’s the best reaction I could give to what
    was unfolding in front of me. And just when you think it doesn’t get
    better than this. There’s another surprise waiting for you. The block
    thing, where thousands of blocks were being raised up and down
    creating waves, Chinese symbols and all kind of things related to
    Chinese history was very interesting. And I was thinking some high-fi
    computer technique must have been incorporated to put together these
    block movements. But, I was in a state of shock when I found out that
    it was real people inside those blocks doing all this in complete
    synchronization. They were almost like robots inside those blocks. And
    I must say what Zhang Yimou had accomplished with the blocks was
    nothing short of multi million block buster movie.
    The Olympics torch rely made it back to the ceremony after traveling 5
    months around the globe. The final athlete who was suppose to light
    the flame was holding the torch and I was wondering what next, as I
    didn’t see anything around him. Suddenly the athlete is lifted in the
    air and once again you go “Wow”. He’s carried all the way to the top
    of the stadium. He starts running in the air holding the torch. Of
    course he has these ropes holding him, but still the site of a torch
    bearer running around the stadium high up in the air was some moment.
    People might have different opinions when it comes to China’s policies
    and trading of athletes among countries. But, if we talk about the
    opening ceremony, I don’t think there’s anyone who saw this and was
    not taken aback by the grand show they witnessed. As I was watching
    this event unfold in front of me, there were these 2 simultaneous
    voices in my head. One said “Can you believe this?” and other said
    “Think about the amount of hard work that has gone into this
    production to make the artistic dream of Zhang Yimou a reality”. The
    Opening ceremony had proved that for an artist like Zhang Yimou, the
    70 mm screen or state of art Soccer stadium are not the limits. There
    is no place that could hold his creativity. I have to say when it
    comes to imagination of a truly gifted artist, sky is the limit
    Zhang Yimou production was not only technically sound and visually
    spell bounding, but he also made sure he incorporates the traditional
    costumes, the ancient instruments, the culture, the art forms and the
    growth of their nation thru centuries. It was a very proud moment for
    all Chinese to display their history, growth and technical brilliance
    to the world. I am sure it must have been a very proud moment for
    Zhang Yimou.
    Coming to me, from now on, the mere mention of the word “Olympic”
    would take me straight back to the memories of Beijing 2008 Opening
    Ceremony. Finally, a question that came to my mind as the opening
    ceremony came to an end. Our nation India stands tall right there with
    China when it comes to population. Could we ever put together an event
    of this scale for the world to see? I hope we do….

  7. Shekhar,
    Please ignore my last post. I thought i never made it to the comments and re-posted it. I just realized there are 2 posts on the Opening ceremony. Extermely sorry abt the overlook.
    Eagerly awaiting for Paani.
    Your admirer,
    Rajesh Shetty

  8. the Chinese – a classic example of what descipline of the mind can achieve! be it the Olympic opening ceremony, performance in the olympics or the achievements in the economic front.
    the chinese don’t provide space for inefficiency and red tapism, corruption and nepotism.
    if only ndia could take a leaf out of the their book!

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