Photo Gallery: Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit grace Hockey World Cup 2018 opening ceremony

Nov 28, 2018, 00:04 AM IST
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Hockey World Cup 2018 was officially declared open by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a glitzy opening ceremony at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday. Welcoming players from 16 international teams, Patnaik said people of Odisha have been looking forward to hosting the sports extravaganza. "I welcome all the international hockey teams, the distinguished delegates and the hockey officials to Odisha. You’re the guests of 45 million Odia people," he said. The prominent faces on stage - besides the players themselves - were Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit. While Shah Rukh too welcomed players and officials, Madhuri delivered a scintillating dance performance.

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Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and music composer AR Rahman were at the center of attraction during the much-awaited opening ceremony of the event. AR Rahman performed live, the Hockey World Cup 2018 official song during the ceremony with Shah Rukh Khan accompanying him in the act.

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Madhuri Dixit was the lead performer of the ceremony theme song called "Earth Song" in which she was joined by another 1100 participants. It was with this song that the opening ceremony began. The song represented a take on eastern culture meeting the west. The concept and premise of the act rested on the two halves that have polarised the world. Created by Nupur Mahajan, the Earth Song addressed the divide and showcase the blend through this act.

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The 'Earth Song' act was choreographed by Aruna Mohanty for the eastern elements and Shiamak Davar offered his expertise for the western elements. The act was a perfect exhibition of fusion performances. The diverse performances included Indian classical versions of Odissi, Mohiniattam, Bharatnatyam, Sattriya, Kathak and Kuchipudi and western versions of Ballet, Samba, Jazz, Afro, Balinese, Capioera and Contemporary. The act aimed to connect the commonalities of the two cultures while displaying a full array of dance performance.

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The matches in the tournament will begin from November 29 with the final on December 16. The competing teams will play in four pools with the defending champions Australia going in as firm favourites. Host India has won the tournament only once - back in 1975.

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On November 18, Hockey India had released the much-awaited teaser of the official song of the 2018 Men`s Hockey World Cup featuring music AR Rahman and Shah Rukh Khan.

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