SEA Games opening ceremony set to wow on Friday
Sneak peek of SEA Games opening ceremony full rehearsal suggests a special night on June 5
Wow. Only wow.
If you are one of the lucky spectators with a ticket to the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games opening ceremony at the 55,000-capacity National Stadium on Friday, chances are that will be the response at the end of the two-hour spectacle.
Organisers promised that it would be nothing like the National Day Parades (NDP) and, judging by the full dress rehearsal last evening, it will be a spectacle like no other seen in Singapore.
Neymar's Brazil put on a stunning samba show for Singapore when they danced all over Japan at the new stadium last year, and Stefanie Sun and One Direction all thrilled their fans in the arena, but the SEA Games opening ceremony promises to top them all.
Be prepared for a visual assault, with light shows projected onto the stadium's retractable roof, onto the stadium floor, and even on the audience, via LED medallions handed to every spectator in their fun pack.
"We are working with the largest integrated system in the world, so it's untested in terms of scale," said Adrian Goh, managing director of Hexogon Solutions, official projection technology partners for both the opening and closing ceremonies.
"For all our planning, we didn't have a clear answer whether an idea would work, until we got to the ground.
"(It was about) Getting all 160 projectors to work exactly how we want them, and to generate the content that all the spectators will see from every angle of the stadium," added Goh, whose team of 15 content animators took about one and a half months to design and produce the content that is projected in the stadium.
This will be Singapore's first SEA Games since 1993, and the opening ceremony for the event will be a comeback party worth the 22-year wait.
It will begin with The Big Singapore Welcome, a six-minute, 40-second segment that showcases the country's multi-cultural society, as well as the city state's flora and fauna.
Some 1,400 performers from the Singapore Soka Association, Singapore Dikir Barat Federation, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Martial House and Eurasian Association will perform to the familiar tune NDP song "Singapura" amid larger-than-life orang utan and birds' nest fern replicas.
Following the hour-long ceremonial portion of the ceremony, the show segment of the night will kick off with Act One: DNA, where the darkened stadium will shimmer from the audience's LED medallions, while five giant glow-in-the-dark animals - egret, lion, carp, turtle and dragon - traverse the cavernous arena on a specially designed aerial track.
Some 750 participants from the Methodist Girls' School, Raffles Girls' School, Raffles Institution, The School of Dance and the 35th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers will accompany the segment in LED-lit costumes.
The local media were allowed to report on only these two segments of the ceremony, but suffice it to say, the rest of the shebang will have enough lights, music, drama, and pyrotechnics to make the night an unforgettable experience.
Fitting perhaps, when one considers the official Games slogan, of celebrating the extraordinary.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of performers and volunteers from different sections of society who will be involved in the opening ceremony at the National Stadium on Friday. Over 7,000 athletes and officials from 11 South-east Asian contingents will converge in Singapore for the Games from June 5-16.