11 of the Opening Ceremony's most magical moments4 Apr 2018 by Fiona Self
If the GC2018 Opening Ceremony was any indication, the Commonwealth is in for a spectacular show over the next 11 days.
It had music, dancing, theatre, Migaloo, magic and more. Let’s relive some of the highlights.
Mau shows the Commonwealth the Power
Mau Power’s moving performance of My Island Home, featuring the Four Winds Didgeridoo Orchestra and Christine Anu – wow. This section of the Ceremony represented the famous Aboriginal Australian story of the Seven Sisters. Mau and Christine’s powerful words, accompanied by the incredible performers telling the story of unity and celebration, was one for the ages.
Gold Coaster Ricki-Lee’s technicolour homecoming
Gold Coast product Ricki-Lee stole the show on the sandy Surfers Paradise-styled beach (complete with outdoor showers, colourful towels and deck chairs!) with a stunning performance of Technicolour Love, accompanied by fellow Gold Coaster Bobby Alu. Beach day, anyone?
The epic Parade of Nations track
It’s got to be one of the most spectacular Parade of Nations tracks ever created. Whether you were there in the stadium, were watching from home, or at one of the live sites, the track was epic. It was designed by Indigenous artist and designer Brian Robinson and represents the universe in which we live and share, a beautiful representation of the story underpinning the emotive Ceremony.
There are way too many intricate elements to mention here, but you might have spotted the 21 boating vessels (including jet skis, surfboards and paper boats!) to represent the 21st Games. You also might have seen the compass held by Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean and Migaloo the white whale.
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Youth Orchestra’s Australian songbook
The athletes and team officials marched into the stadium to an incredible soundtrack by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestra and conducted by John Foreman. The lively renditions of iconic Australian songs were unforgettable and made all the more memorable by the fact they were performing from the back of classic cars.
The Surf Lifesavers and Nippers
Not only do they save lives, but surf lifesavers can bust a move too! While City of Gold Coast lifeguards announced the 71 nations and territories for the Parade of nations, members of Surf Life Saving Queensland guided the teams to their seats, maintaining perfect rhythm. And of course, a huge shout-out to the Nippers who led each team into the stadium.
The Smoking Ceremony
Contemporary Indigenous artist and Yugambeh man Luther Cora conducted a traditional Smoking Ceremony with three generations of his family. The smoking ceremony involves burning native plants to produce smoke – it is about cleansing (oneself) and connecting (with each other, the land and spirit). The music, combined with the smoke and yellow light created a hauntingly beautiful moment that everyone across the Commonwealth shared as one.
Katie Noonan’s beautiful song
Katie Noonan has been heralded as one of the greatest Australian singer-songwriters of all time, and she showed everyone why during the Ceremony. If her song You’re Welcome Here sounded familiar, that’s because Katie drew inspiration from the iconic Australian songs featuring the word ‘home’. An inclusive and hauntingly beautiful moment from an Australian legend, accompanied by the talented Gold Coast Choir.
Did you know: As Migaloo entered the stadium, beautiful ‘One White Whale’ song was performed by Katie Noonan’s son. Talent runs in the family!
Postcards from the Gold Coast
This performance had it all. Flashing lights, amazing dancers moving in sync with stunning visual pictures to recreate some of the most iconic and powerful Gold Coast scenes. The cast imagined part of the journey of the Queen’s Baton – feeding the lorikeets, walking in the treetops and riding a rollercoaster at a theme park, with each sequence ending in a ‘flash’, capturing the postcard-perfect moment and signing off ‘with love from the Gold Coast.’
The Baton's arrival
After a 338-day journey across the Commonwealth, the Queen's Baton arrived in Carrara Stadium! Passed from the legendary hands of Susie O'Neill to Brad McGee, Kurt Fearnley, Liz Ellis, Brent Livermore and Sally Pearson, the Queen's Message, placed inside the baton before it started its journey, was read to mark the opening of the XXI Commonwealth Games.
Delta’s welcome to Earth
She sang it: Welcome to Earth! Her performance spanned the entire stadium, with drummers, dancers and musicians galore. Performers had flashing wristbands which turned Carrara Stadium into an incredible light show.
Migaloo's grand entrance
Australia’s most famous whale - Migaloo - made a rockstar entrance. With blue hues lighting up the sandy centre of the stadium, revealing a stunning human mandala comprised of dancers, we saw Migaloo swim beneath the ocean before entering the stadium in style. While the cast and singer-songerwriter Ruel performed a rainbow-coloured extravaganza of his song Golden Years, artwork designed by Delvene Cockatoo-Collins was projected onto Migaloo.
Did you know: Delvene also designed the gold, silver and bronze medals.
The XXI Commonwealth Games are officially open! Now the athletes take centre stage.
Be part of the action – tickets are still available.
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