Spectators give Zhang Yimou's opening ceremony spectacular high marks
Chris Zhang and Woods Lee
The opening ceremony was widely hailed as imposing and spectacular, although some wondered whether the colourful and profound depiction of Chinese culture might be beyond the average foreigner's understanding.
But on the whole, all viewers of the performance at the National Stadium felt satisfied with the performance and their ratings varied from 8 to 10 on a 10-point scale.
'The whole performance was very poetic. And so was the part on Chinese culture, the 'big inventions' by the Chinese nation,' said Xu Depei, a 38-year-old sales manager in Beijing.
'All the other Chinese artists should learn something from director Zhang Yimou on how to spread the quintessential part of Chinese culture to the whole world.'
Some said the most attractive part was Zhang's use of colour.
'From a female's perspective, the colour in the whole process of the performance was very beautiful, including the costumes,' said Xue Liying, a 22-year-old university student.
'Zhang's imposing performance has proved the value of the Chinese people. Now that we can offer a very successful opening ceremony, we can also host a very successful Olympics.'
Richard Grafton, 55, a Canadian investment banker, agreed. 'The technology was fantastic, people were fantastic,' he said. 'We have been to Sydney, Atlanta and Calgary, but this was a brilliant opening ceremony.'
But some feared that Zhang's expression of China traditional cultures could be too profound for foreigners to comprehend.
'For us Chinese, the featuring of China's calligraphy, printing technology, compasses and powder are easy to understand, but how about for foreigners?' asked Guo Sen, a 53-year-old timber businessman.
Last night's performance gave a narration of China's 5,000 years of history in a picture of a traditional painting scroll formed by thousands of performers.
Some others complained of an imbalance between the performances focusing on traditions and modern times.
'The traditional part is quite long and detailed, but the modern part is just a shallow brush, which has discounted the attraction of the performance,' Mr Xu said.