The Arirang Mass Games are the most beautiful (and controversial) choreographed performance I have ever seen, where thousands of artists, gymnasts, martial art experts, dancers and acrobats join the stage and perform acrobatic games with music and colors. They’re held everyyear, and this year in August I joined the crowds in the May Day Stadium of Pyongyang. Paid 100 € and I would do it again, it’s just too beautiful to watch and magic, the music, colours, background noise, the sound of the thousands of boards flapping in the background forming stunning drawings and images. I agree that such show is highly (and rightly) criticized for the conditions that the performers are put under in order to provide such a magnificent and synchronized act, but then, that doesn’t mean that the show itself is not stunning to the eyes
The Mass Games are a mix of performing gymnasts with a background made of other 30 thousands of children holding cards, see the background images that change every time? It is because these children (major factor in the criticism on this event) flip many boards or cards, creating the mosaic images you can see in the back. Before everything begins, the cards are flipped creating a sourround noise throughout the stadium, creating lots of excitement.
It sort of looks like the WorldCup open ceremonies, as the Mass Games have every aspect of Korea depicted since 1953 until nowadays: the birth of Kim Il-Sung in Mt. Paektu, red color flowers symbolizing working class, victories of the country, children, their co-operative farms, their struggle against US and Japanese imperialism, their technology progress and finally the dreamed reunification of the Koreas. This is only their vision, of course.
Each scene counts with thousands of performers perfectly coordinated. Can you imagine thausands of acrobats leaving the stage within 2-3 seconds after their performance? Believe me, they were gone within the blink of an eye.
Even though I took lots of photos, I don’t think they represent the exact feeling and exaltation I had while I was watching, so many movements, athletes flying on top of our heads.
This is a very short video I made with my phone: