History stretched to today and guided to the future

Flames launched Turku’s Capital of Culture year

Over 60,000 people followed the children's lantern parade and came to watch the amazing opening performance by Aurajoki River. The freezing temperatures did not seem to bother the audience as it watched the drums, flags and flames communicate over the river. The backdrop to all this grandeur was one of the largest ever fire spectacles.

The former Wärtsilä Shipyard was chosen over a year ago as the stage for the British Walk the Plank group. The place encapsulates Turku’s past: highly competent, international, the river and the sea.

”The opening show respected Turku's identity and encouraged us to look to the future," Liz Pugh, the producer from Walk the Plank, told earlier today. According to Pugh, Turku is the capital of romance and snow.

Love flames in the midst of snow

In the opening show, Nokia’s phone reached to the past as a maid from 1827 phoned Pekka, her loved one living in present day. Their love flamed again with fiery consequences.

This Side, The Other Side ultimately communicated to the city, to the country, to Europe and to the world the start of a wonderful year of culture.
 
The show featured an exceptional, international cast of aerial specialists, actors and dancers working shoulder to shoulder with the best performers and volunteers Turku has to offer.

A magical lantern procession guides the audience along the river to the setting where the choir, with 350-voices, awaits them. This Side, The Other Side places Turku at the cultural heart of Europe and its people at the heart of their city. 

The show was the biggest Walk the Plank had ever produced. There were about 1700 participants making the show. It was directed and written by Mark Murphy.

Photographers: Pia Jalkanen, Samuli Saarinen, Arto Takala
and Kari Vainio

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