SHANGHAI, April 30 (Xinhua) -- A grand fireworks and outdoor multimedia show along the city's mother river of Huangpu took the opening ceremony into finale, raising spectators' expectations on the World Expo.
A total of 1,200 searchlights and 16 powerful lasers "danced" to the drum-beat, unveiling the first part of the half-an-hour spectacular show.
The Welcome to China chapter took the audience back on a visual journey of all the most famous Expos in the history starting with London 1851 and then counting down to Shanghai 2010.
Using a 283-meter-long, 26-meter-high LED screen, said to be the largest in the world, lasers, laser projections and fireworks, the complex multimedia display also highlighted the paths of urban civilization and the harmony between human technological advances and nature.
Traditional Chinese symbols of welcome and good fortune, such as red firecrackers, lion and dragon dance, and magpies, were projected on the LED screen.
By releasing 6,000 LED balls into the water to lead the way for a parade of more than 200 flag boats representing participants of the event, the second segment of the display, themed Harmonious Gathering, was trying to extend good wishes to nations and organizations coming for the Expo.
Pictures drawn by Shanghai children were projected on the LED screen to show how they viewed the world.
Spectacular dancing water, spreading out 250 meters and shooting up to some 70 meters, were performed to the music of Butterfly Lovers, China's most popular love story, with the LED projection of butterflies from the world flying to Shanghai with blessings. The fountain projections of a man and a woman represented the basic unit of a family.
Firework performances reached the climax along with laser displays in the third act of Celebration, illuminating the whole performance area and Shanghai.
Fireworks, fountains and lasers played simultaneously in the grand finale, boosting the effect and making Shanghai dazzling.
"It is the largest multimedia show in the history so far and it's unique as well," said David Atkins, executive producer and artistic director of the display.
Atkins, a successful Australian producer, said his team had "developed strong, productive and successful relationship with all the Chinese partners."
It will take a year and half for other countries to stage such a show, but in China, it takes six months and even less, said Atkins.
"This is a very good example on how China can control its resources and deliver something very quickly," he said.
The 184-day world exposition is scheduled to open on May 1. A total of 189 countries and 57 international organizations participated the largest-ever expo, which is expected to attract more than 70 million visitors from all over the world.