Conveying a powerful message of “oneness of humanity” was the highlight of the glittering opening ceremony of the 2018 men’s hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday as Bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, and Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman dished out enthralling performances.

The ceremony showcased a 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.

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 1,100 artists who danced to the tunes created by Ranjit Barot. It was one the highlights of the evening, which left the audience spellbound.

Here are some photos from the opening ceremony:

The show opened by the earth cracking and Madhuri emerging as Mother Earth, addressing the world at large as her children (IANS)
Another shot of Madhuri's performance (PTI)
The bilingual script in English and Hindi with snatches of the Bhagvad Gita and philosophy of the Upanishads has been written by Nupur Mahajan (PTI)
Rahman brought to life his and Gulzar’s composition 'Jai Hind Jai India’, which is the official song and tune of the World Cup (PTI)
Shahrukh Khan provided the star power in the opening ceremony (PTI)
Shahrukh presented over 2.35 crore collected heartbeats to the captains of the hockey teams participating at flagship FIH event (PTI)

With inputs from PTI