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April 4 to 15 2018

11 of the Opening Ceremony's most magical moments

4 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. 

Mau Power performs
Torres Strait Islander hip hop artist Mau Power performs.
The four winds
Dancers depict the story of the Seven Sisters

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? 

Dancers perform Technicolour Love

Ricki_Lee
A casual performance at the biggest show the Gold Coast has ever seen

Performers dance to Technicolour Love

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 parade of nations
The track from above
The Parade of Nations
Team England has arrived!
Parade of nations
Welcome, Scotland!
Netballer Laura Geitz high fives a surf life saver
High fives for GC2018 Ambassador Laura Geitz

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. 

An athlete shakes hands with a surf lifesaver
Shout out to the legends who keep us safe in the water
A nipper leads Canada on the Parade of Nations track
A nipper leads the way
A nipper waves to the crowd
Hello to all my fans!
Surf life savers on the parade of nations track
Welcome!

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. 

Luther Cora's family perform a Smoking Ceremony
The Smoking Ceremony

Smoking Ceremony

Smoking Ceremony

Smoking Ceremony

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! 

Katie Noonan and the Gold Coast Choir
Katie Noonan and the Gold Coast Choir

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.’

Postcards projected onto Carrara Stadium
Performers and projections create stunning postcards

Postcards projected onto Carrara

Performers on a projected rollercoaster

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. 

The Queen's Baton

Susie O'Neill with the baton
Susie O'Neill

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.

Delta Goodrem

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.  

Migaloo
Migaloo is in the building

Migaloo

Migaloo

The XXI Commonwealth Games are officially open! Now the athletes take centre stage. 

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Fireworks
Let the Games begin!

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