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Martial arts display adds pep to the grand finale
Posted on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm
by IDMA Editor

Colour, splendour and celebration were the trademark of the Indian martial arts sequence titled “Agni: The Glory of Sports,” which was the opening act at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony here on Thursday.

Hundreds of performers expertly wielding and brandishing their swords and shields wowed a gung ho audience accompanied by a breathtaking fire act.

Agni- The Glory of Sports' a tribute to tradtional Martial Arts being performed by artists during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi on Thursday - Photo: V.V.Krishnan

A display of fireworks was a prelude to the act in which the able-bodied performers arranged themselves in myriad formations which were truly a feast for the eyes.

The event was designed as a tribute to India's sporting spirit and featured nuances of the martial arts some forms of which originated over 3,000 years ago.

Following an Agni Shloka, a total of eight martial art forms were showcased.

Kalaripayattu, the Naga warrior formation, Thang-ta, Gatka, Silambam, Akhara, Dhan patta and Talwar raas were staged with great alacrity.

These martial forms which have their origins in various regions such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Manipur, Punjab, Central India, Maharashtra and Gujarat included elaborate striking, grappling and kicking postures, sword, axe and spear movements, sparring with wooden sticks and bamboo staff brandishing.

As each martial form unfolded in front of the audience, the act grew grander and more elaborate accompanied by stunning visual and lighting effects. Towards the middle of the act, the fire act came into play and fire-dancers flanked the group of martial arts performers from the right and the left. As the fire-dancers demonstrated daring moves and literally ‘played with fire,' moulding it into very shapes and figures, the resultant effect was a sight which is rarely to be seen.

The performers clad in hues of black, white, orange and green and some in traditional attire enhanced the visual appeal.

The earthy music and catchy drum beats added to the charm of the act. All parts of the elaborate event unrolled in clockwork precision with performers displaying their skills in perfect tandem.

The event ended in a blaze of glory with a “pyro” burst from the roof of the stadium. Following the act, the Armed Forces band regaled the audience with their catchy tunes after which the athletes from all countries marched into the stadium in one contingent to cheers.

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