IPL 6: Katrina, Shah Rukh, Deepika take over opening ceremony
Terming the Indian Premier League (IPL) opening ceremony an 'entertaining' event would be an understatement and anything else but cricket.
It was madness personified as some of the best known Bollywood stars descended at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata to signal the start of the sixth edition of the IPL.
The 50,000-odd energetic spectators present matched the enthusiasm of the performers, cheering them on from the word go.
Bollywood had taken over the night and cricket like it has taken over every aspect of life in India.
The football stadium transformed into a magical kaleidoscope of Rabindra Sangeet, Bollywood dance and songs.
Flying drummers, Chinese percussionists, fireworks were the some of the other attractions that were on offer for the event.
The opening though, at times, appeared to have fallen short of the promises Shah Rukh made before the ceremony. Some television viewers even termed it as 'worst ever opening ceremony'.
The evening began with SRK doing a poetic rendition of popular Rabindra Sangeet 'Aguner Paroshmani' with the popular poetry 'Where the mind is without fear' being played in the background.
It was a flying female performer's acrobatic descend on the dais with the trophy that stunned everybody. The performer handed the trophy to defending champions KKR's skipper Gautam Gambhir.
Soon it was back to entertainment as in came actress Deepika Padukone amidst loud cheers. If she danced to the numbers from her latest Bollywood movies like 'Cocktail', Katrina was not one to be left behind.
She had the crowd grooving crazily as she did a belly dance from her movie 'Ek Tha Tiger'.
There were no prizes for guessing as to who got the loudest cheer. No, it wasn't Pitbull. It was the one and only King Khan. And while the other stars performed to the tune of a couple of songs, SRK went the whole hog till he could not breathe properly anymore.
Khan then invited veteran artists Bappi Lahiri and Usha Utthup, who added to the euphoria with yesteryear hit songs such as 'hari om hari' and 'rambha ho'.
Pitbull was yet to hit the stage. And when he played 'you put it down like New York city' and 'give me everything tonight' it seemed like the whole stadium would come down.
While he played live for an additional 20 minutes for those present, the opening ceremony ended with fireworks as SRK, Katrina and Deepika danced to the tunes of 'Gangnam Style'.
Before that, 300 dancers lit up the evening with gala performance to Pritam's music in the opening act, aptly titled 'Poetry in Motion'.
Hundreds of drummers flew in an acrobatic act. There were about 120 performers from across the world, including 19 Red Poppy artists and a band of Chinese percussionists, who brought the atmosphere alive with their performances.
The IPL matches will start from Wednesday, with Kolkata clashing with Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens here.
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