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Watch Full Video & Pics: 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup Opening Ceremony

Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit and Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman entertained the crowd at the opening ceremony of Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony, which was almost a three-hour long affair, conveyed a powerful message of "oneness of humanity".

The ceremony showcased first-of-its-kind theatrical production - The Earth Song, which beautifully depicted the theme of the ceremony.

Written and directed by Nupur Mahajan, it featured Madhuri as the central character, Mother Earth.
Hockey World Cup Opening Ceremony Highlights

The World Cup was declared open by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the ceremony, attended by all 16 captains.

The spectacular fusion dance performances were choreographed by Shiamak Davar. He was joined by 1100 artists who danced to the tunes created by Ranjit Barot. It was one the highlights of the evening which left the audience spellbound.

The show opened by the earth cracking and Madhuri emerging as Mother Earth, addressing the world at large as her children.
The bilingual script in English and Hindi with snatches of the Bhagvad Gita and philosophy of the Upanishads has been written by Nupur Mahajan.

Rahman brought to life his and Gulzar Saheb's composition Jai Hind Jai India' with a live performance, which is the official song and tune of the World Cup.
Shah Rukh Khan had a special message for all the 16 teams participating in the spoting extravaganza.

He even performed his famous 'Sattar minutes' dialogue from his film 'Chak de India'.

Speaking on her role in the theatrical production, Madhuri said, "I was absolutely elated in playing the central role in The Earth Song as I particularly identified with the theme of oneness and its universal appeal. Mother Earth is a powerful character and to rise as her at a world stage by way of a live performance was a challenge and a unique opportunity."
India open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on Wednesday.

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