The 2014 FIFA World Cup got off to an exciting start last night with a star-studded and colourful opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony, which began about two hours before the inaugural game between Brazil and Croatia, was a simple theatrical spectacle with the usual Brazilian samba ‘touch’ missing. It included a tribute to music of Brazil from different regions, accompanied by dancers in regional costumes and capoeira performers.
Rather than the typical girls in Carnival outfits and drum beats, the 25-minute show opened with stilt walkers dressed as trees and dancers dressed as flowers representing the Amazon, accompanied by rainforest sounds and choral music. In the centre of the stadium a “living” LED crystal ball changed colours and images accordingly along with the live action.
Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Brazilian star Claudia Leitte were all on hand to sing the official world cup song “We Are One” for the crowd shortly before the first game of the tournament began at Corinthians Arena. Brazil later won the game 3 – 1 in front of an ecstatic home crowd
Over 62,600 people were in attendance at Thursday’s big ceremony, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and FIFA president Sepp Blatter who sat at the VIP section together to witness Neymar (who scored twice) and co make history.
Leitte, a star in Brazil, appeared first on stage, in a modest long-sleeved leotard in blue, the color of the Brazilian team’s shorts to warm up the crowd before Pitbull and Lopez rose up from the ground onto the small flower-shaped platform.
The “First Love” singer who FIFA announced would not perform at the opening ceremony, later made a u-turn and looked fabulous onstage in an emerald green bust-revealing beaded leotard and Christian Louboutin ankle boots. Meanwhile, Pitbull showed his support for his favourite team by rocking a yellow Brazil jersey and tight cropped white pants.
Pop Francis joined in the party by posting “I wish everyone a wonderful World Cup, played in a spirit of true fraternity.” On twitter