New Delhi: Delhi Commonwealth Games organisers are banking on combining the glitz of Bollywood with the aura and colour of India’s ancient culture to offset the miserable build-up to the event that is to be held between October 3 and 14.
According to a ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ report, bad weather-related problems, filthy, unfinished rooms, security hazards and poor infrastructure preparations are now a thing of the past.
With a little over a day to go for the start of the Games, preparations have been relatively accident-free and thousands of athletes have arrived.
Sunday night’s opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, completely rebuilt for the Games, will be the first big test.
The vast Indian cultural palate, spanning 5000 years of history, and especially the rich story of Delhi, will be on show.
It is expected that the six-part show will kick off with 1000 drummers beating the rhythms of India. Artists will perform classical Indian music and dance before 1000 yoga experts take the stage.
In a segment called the Great Indian Journey, 1500 performers will provide a glimpse of rural life, including the colour and movement of village bazaars.
Bollywood will make an inevitable appearance when A R Rahman, who wrote the Oscar-winning score for the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, performs an anthem he wrote for the Games.
A tunnel, built at vast expense, will allow the 8000 performers to emerge from under the ground in the middle of the stadium.
The focal point for much of the action will be a ‘aerostat’ helium balloon.
Organisers say performers from each one of India’s 28 states will be involved in the ceremony.
The Australian team, with more than 600 members, will be the biggest to march into the stadium, with athletes from 71 other countries and territories participating.
The event will have an Australian production manager and audio engineer. Australian-born Ric Birch, who masterminded the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982, is a consultant to the organising committee.
Howard’s firm, which staged the fireworks at the opening ceremony of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games four years ago, has had 20 Australian pyrotechnic riggers installing the fireworks at the main stadium.