It took a year to conceptualise, but just 60 days to put together. However, the effort showed in the spectacle that was the opening ceremony of Commonwealth Games 2010. Unravelling the opening ceremony
“The idea was to depict our rich tradition and culture. So, there was this heavy influence of traditional art and music form,” said Shovana Narayan, renowned Kathak dancer who heads the Ceremonies department of the Organising Committee (OC).
Although the department was put in place under Narayan in late 2008, the 36-member team started getting a sense of what show they wanted only towards the end of 2009.
“The creative inputs given by the core team, which included Shyam Benegal, Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi, and the inputs we received from our creative consultant helped us put up the show,” said Narayan.
Once that was in place, it took just sixty days to bring together the opening ceremony. With a workforce of 500 people working backstage, the organisers began rehearsing at the stadium from August 1.
Talking for the first time about the ceremony, Bharat Bala, the creative director of the show, said that the team ensured the show was a success. “There were humongous problems in coordination as many teams and performers were involved.”
The opening show had 11 different varieties of drummers from across the country, over a dozen folk art forms, six classical dance forms, 50 different kinds of traditional string, wind and percussion instruments, about 1,000 schoolchildren and 7,000 performing artistes from across India.
It took all of them and a matching sound and light show to turn the opening ceremony into a spectacular show.