The opening ceremony of the Taipei Universiade (臺北世大運) began at 7:00 PM sharp, August 19th at Taipei Stadium (台北田徑場), with more than 10000 Taiwanese and international athletes in attendance. It was the grandest commencement to an international event ever held in Taiwan - with the most competitors present. The well-planned Opening Ceremony connected Taiwan’s past, present and future using themes of nature, city and technology as a unique communicative language. The performances were divided into three acts: “Vibrant Island”, “Hybrid Taipei” and “Global Tribe.”
First up was “Vibrant Island,” presenting Taiwan’s original island form and adding the singing and traditional arts of her aboriginal tribes to show the vibrancy and continuity of life here. Then, a traditional Hakka and Minnam Banto (辦桌, a roadside wedding or celebratory banquet) was staged to bless this sports event. Each of these showcased Taiwan’s exciting multiculturalism. Next came “Hybrid Taipei,” which portrayed a back-and-forth conversation between tradition and modernity, and invoked the aromas, flavors and humanity that make Taipei City what it is. This section depicted ancient and modern Taipei in an integrated spectacle that was both diverse and bold. Lastly, by involving elements such as lights, shadows and lasers, the “Global Tribe” part of the extravaganza showed that Taiwan and the world have an inseparable bond heading into the digital era. By connecting the world through technology, this section presented the new generation’s sense of sharing and creativity beyond boundaries, delivering the most important message of the 2017 Universiade : “FOR YOU, FOR YOUTH.”
Worth mentioning is the 40-meter-long, 30-meter-wide LED floor screen at center stage - the only one of its kind in the world. The stereoscopic projections that bolstered this screen and the live performers became one of the highlights on the ceremony. In all three acts, the LED floor played a key role. For example: the tectonic-plate-squeezing effect in “Vibrant Island;” the images of traffic in motion in “Hybrid Taipei;” and the representations of Taiwan’s wafer semiconductors and the typical crosswalk “flashing green man” in “Global Tribe.” These were all displayed on the floor in beautiful illuminations! Perfectly coordinating the floor screen with the live performers took 18 months of rigorous planning, cooperation and rehearsal, from script to ceremony. 2,500 performers and 1,300 behind-the-scenes staff were involved, and these 3,800 people devoted themselves to pulling it off together! In the end, they had created a perfect opening ceremony.
In addition to the high-tech floor screen, the stunning visual effects also included the occasional release of small fireworks throughout the performance. These pyrotechnics were designed by a German team and made environmentally sound, so that they would leave no ash behind. The fireworks were set up to add extra effect to the three-dimensional spectacle, while being entirely safe and causing no harm to performers or audience. At the climax, a splendid city landscape in fire rose into the sky, bringing a memorable night to a breathtaking conclusion!
The opening ceremony certainly kicked off the Universiade in style – with a series of exciting activities that drew global attention, and displayed Taiwan’s multicultural world and its energy for all to see.