10. Art Performance "Beautiful Olympics" -- Prelude

Synopsis: The video screens in the stadium play a short film before the artistic performance begins.

The short film artistically describes the process of creating a Chinese scroll painting, beginning with papermaking and showing the four treasures of study, to coloring, mounting the painting and affixing the scrolls. The film is an indication of the overall aesthetic style of the ensuing artistic performance.

11. Painting Scroll

Synopsis: The "painting scroll" shows the origin and development of China's history and culture.

11.1 A Chinese painting scroll opens in the center of the stadium and serves as the stage for the evening's performances.

11.2 A blank canvas is placed in the center of the painting scroll. Papermaking is one of the four great inventions of ancient China.

11.3 A stream of cultural icons in China's historical advancement flows onto the painting scroll, including porcelain pottery and bronze vessels.

11.4 The Guqin (ancient stringed instrument) used in the performance was created more than 1,000 years ago and is nicknamed the "Sounds of Utmost Antiquity."

11.5 The unique body language of the performers contains the charm of Chinese ink and wash painting. The night's performances are kicked off with the black and white tone of Chinese ink and wash painting.

11.6 The performers draw numerous "lucky" clouds on the paper. The clouds dissipate magically, leaving only the mountains, rivers and the sun.

11.7 On the ground is the famous ancient Chinese painting "A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains."

12. Writing

Synopsis: Chinese characters are among the oldest scripts in the world and represent the long-standing history of Chinese civilization.

12.1 The "three thousand disciples" of Confucius are Played by actors who chant the often quoted lines of Lunyu (the Analects) -- "All those within the four seas can be considered brothers."

12.2 The disciples are holding bamboo scrolls, which were a kind of book with scripts carved onto the individual bamboo strips.

12.3 A performance of movable-type printing, one of the four great inventions of ancient China.

12.4 The movable-type printing performance creates images of both ancient and modern fonts of the Chinese character.

12.5 This is an ancient representation of the Chinese character "He," which means harmony.

12.6 This is another ancient representation of the Chinese character "He."

12.7 This is a modern representation of the Chinese character "He." All three character representations show not only the evolution of Chinese characters, but also the Confucian idea of humanism, that is, "Harmony is precious."

12.8 The Great Wall is demonstrated by smooth lines, both concise and vivid.

12.9 A sea of peach blossoms romantically demonstrates the good wishes of the peace-loving Chinese people.

12.10 All 897 performers have trained for more than 10 months. Each person has a unique movement sequence, which can be accomplished only with a good memory and diligent practice.

13. Opera

13.1 This is the percussion performance of traditional Peking Opera of China. As China has a vast territory with people speaking numerous dialects, hundreds of traditional operas have been derived.

13.2 This operatic percussion performance depicts a festive scene of terracotta soldiers' triumphant return.

14. Silk Road

14.1 The performers advance, carrying a canvas. On the ground is the map of the "Silk Road" and the cultural symbols along the road.

14.2 The Silk Road, well known far and near, existed more than 2,000 years ago, when trade caravans of China set out from Chang'an (today's Xi'an of Shaanxi Province) with expensive silk, crossed the Hexi Corridor and entered the European continent. Hence, the Silk Road became an important passage for economic and cultural exchanges between China and Western countries.

14.3 The "Maritime Silk Route" shows the grandeur of Zheng He's voyage to the West.

14.4 More than 600 years ago, under the Ming Dynasty, Zheng He led seven shipping fleets with 27,000 people on board on a long voyage starting from Quanzhou of China and arrived in Western Asia and Eastern Africa, thus creating the well-known "Maritime Silk Route."

14.5 The performer holds an ancient compass, one of the four great inventions of ancient China, in his hand.

15. Music

15.1 The actor is singing Kunqu, which is an ancient and traditional art form that has entered the world list of intangible cultural heritage.

15.2 On the ground are five of China's most famous paintings, finished respectively in the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

16. Starlight

16.1 Renowned pianist Lang Lang and a young child, five-year-old Li Muzi, play a romantic tune together, welcoming a brand-new age. Li began studying the piano at the age of 4.

16.2 The ancient paintings extend in the endless starlight, indicating the more splendid age of today.

16.3 The color tone for the modern performance turns from black and white to bright colors.

16.4 One thousand performers build a "bird's nest," towards which a lovely kite flies from the sky.

17. Nature

17.1 Taijiquan is the most representative forms of shadow boxing in Chinese martial arts, characterized by the "combination of the dynamic and static and the interdependence of hardness and softness."

17.2 The multimedia performance demonstrates the ancient traditional philosophical concept in Chinese martial arts: the relationship between man and nature.

17.3 "The torrent dropping three thousand feet/Straight down to the valley floor/I think it must be the Milky Way/Spilling to the earth from the heavens." The poetic flavor of the famous lines by Li Bai, a poet during the Tang Dynasty, is expressed in a performance.

17.4 The Eight Diagrams of Taiji symbolize eight natural phenomena that bring out changes in all things on earth and include heaven, earth, thunder, wind, water, fire, mountain and lake.

17.5 A total of 2,008 Taiji performers form a circle, which means grandness and consummation in the traditional Chinese concept. The present array is called "Round Heaven and Square Earth."

17.6 The children are coloring the ancient Chinese paintings of nature green, expressing the idea of environmental protection which is also the key concept of Taiji -- unity of man and nature.

18. Dream

18.1 It took more than one year to design, construct and install the gigantic elevating Globe.

18.2 The actors run, seemingly free from gravity, on nine rings covered with an Olympic torch cloud pattern, full of magical fantasy and bravery.

18.3 The actors have trained for more than 10 months in order to complete the difficult movements. The performers on the lower half of the Globe are running downwards.

18.4 The theme song "You and Me" is performed by Sarah Brightman of Britain and Liu Huan of China atop the Globe.

18.5 The several thousand students entering the field now are all volunteers for the Beijing Olympic Games.

18.6 The thousands of children's smiling faces from throughout the world were collected by BOCOG over a span of a year.

18.7 Fireworks form 2008 "smiling faces" in the sky. Performers representing 56 Chinese ethnic groups dance joyously to greet all the athletes.

18.8 Orchestras from five continents warm up to perform during the Parade of Athletes.

  • The painting scroll"The painting scroll"
  • Confucius's 3,000 disciplesConfucius's 3,000 disciples
  • Movable-type printing"Movable-type printing"
  • Peach blossomsPeach blossoms
  • Traditional operaTraditional opera
  • Silk Road"Silk Road"
  • Sailing boatsSailing boats
  • Kunqu operaKunqu opera
  • Artists performArtists perform
  • Lang Lang plays the pianoLang Lang
  • Art performanceArt performance
  • Taiji performanceTaiji performance
  • Elevating GlobeElevating Globe
  • Brightman, Liu singBrightman, Liu sing
  • Smiling facesSmiling faces