Chinese folk ballads, dances prelude Olympics opening ceremony

August 8th, 2008 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 8 (Xinhua) A group of dancers danced to festive Tibetan music before fanning out to form the Olympic rings here Friday, about two hours before the opening of the Beijing Games. The Chinese ethnic dance was the centrepiece of a feast of folk art performances before Beijing finally raises the curtain of the 29th Summer Games.

Drums and folk music resounded at the National Stadium, or the “Bird’s Nest” here, as 28 folk ballads and dances were staged.

Performers dressed in traditional costumes featuring different Chinese localities and ethnic groups including Tibetans, Uygurs, Hui, Miao, Tujia, Yi, Miao, Mongolian, Tu and Qiang, took turns to march into the centre of the stadium, staging lion dances, drum ballads, acrobatic dances, rolling lanterns and stilts dances, among other folk artforms.

The pre-opening performances lasted more than an hour and ended with a group of dancers holding two colourful dragons nearly 300 meters long each.

The weather in Beijing was still hot and stuffy Friday, and most people were sweating in the roofless stadium.

The Bird’s Nest has a seating capacity of 91,000.

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