Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Aussies and Taiwanese turn on the fireworks

Posted by Kimberly on September 23, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
September 23, 2007, page 3-4 (1,104 words)

This time around, the crowd at Macau Tower’s BBQ area was packed to the hilt, with every table booked and an expectant feel in the air, as the last few minutes counted down.
The one thing that let down the Australian team has nothing to do with them. Or some reason, the music that played to accompany their display was at such a low sound level that the beginning of it, the didgeridoo of the Aborigines, could barely be heard, despite the fact that nobody was speaking.
The colour to begin the show was red, in keeping with the image of days gone by, sitting around the fire.
This start was actually the slowest (in terms of display) and quietest of the teams so far. With the lack of volume from the music, it may well have been missed had spectators not been looking at the display.
But the tempo soon sped up, with fireworks that rose seemingly out of the water in an arc, exploding in colourful light.
Suddenly a stream of exploding silver light rose straight up, into wide-ranging red sparks that missed up gold, silver and purple. These fireworks were the biggest seen so far and seemed to explode across the entire expanse of sky.
Soon after, a stream of red stars shot to the sky, exploding into silver sparklers, backed up by ‘I see Red’ by Split Enz.
A brief silence followed before one of the most recognisable Australian songs, ‘Land down under’ started, followed by a display of a stream of red fireworks that faded into silver. This seemed to fly out of the barge, straight towards the spectators.
Savage Garden played and was followed by The Veronicas.
For thee songs, it was the reds and greens that were favoured, a shot of them that then exploded into a gigantic gold sparkle of dust before changing to silver and red star lights.
INXS’s ‘Suicide Blonde’ featured next, with a display of straight shooters that exploded into red and blue circles followed by bronze stardust.
Then, blue bursts of stars swept the sky to the sounds of Wolfmother’s ‘Joker and the Thief’ which was followed by red star bursts one after the other.
Kylie Minogue’s ‘Spinning Around’ was reflected in a shimmer of silver rain that flew straight out and up from the barge. At this stage, all that could be heard was the music, with the fireworks making no sound at all that could be heard by spectators.
Suddenly a huge burst of gold shot straight out, dispersing far and wide.
Then, gold again flew around the barge in straight lines, followed by sudden bursts of gold stars shooting straight up.
A shower of bright silver stars followed that looked absolutely stunning, lighting up a very large part of the sky.
Red sparks that faded into gold rain followed this, then a shimmer of silver stardust.
Then, a barrage of red, green and gold, the latter two being Australia’s national colours, flew out to the sound of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’.
This was followed by a constant barrage of fireworks, purple that mixed with gold stars that seemed to rain up towards the black sky.
Then purple bursts of colour faded into gold rain, before a barrage, both visually and aurally, of red that shimmered into gold before finally falling down into twinkling stars.
The final verdict of the audience seemed to be rather subdued applause. Whether that was due to the music that didn’t seem to emphasise the display through its low voltage, the gaps between displays that seemed a little too long or just the audience themselves, who’s to say. Only time will tell if any of this matters to the judges.
It was a good thing the audience had been given the previous forty minutes to catch their breath, because they certainly had no way of doing so once San Tai began.
Their show really did start with a bang, bursts of colour that were all about bigger, better and brighter. It got immediate applause from the star-struck spectators.
There was a rainfall of pink and green shooting upwards before a shower of red and green did the same, in tune to classical music.
This was followed by high bursts of green and red that covered the sky, then blue that faded into gold showers.
Following this was a mixture of colour that exploded and then altered to a rain of gold from the sky, falling in every direction.
Suddenly a barrage of four fireworks shot through and exploded widely across the sky, with a mix of red and green that did the same soon after.
Loud booms of sound followed along with bursts of red, purple and green. A shimmer of red stars faded into falling gold stardust.
Subdued stars followed that seemed more defined before a barrage of blue exploded, fading into singular bursts.
Multicoloured blooms followed before wide bursts of red, and then green and blue began.
You could have blinked and missed the homage to Hello Kitty, that just seemed to faintly be represented in the shape of the next firework of red and green.
Following this were appropriately sounding shooting stars of single colours with defined edges.
At this point you didn’t know where to look as a whole army of fireworks fled into the sky, too numerous to describe.
Suddenly a burst of a single one arrived, green stars that were followed by two more and then another two, flying in opposite directions.
This is where the slow music began, affording spectators a valuable chance to breath.
Slow circles of red and green and blue began, still keeping in tune to the music, before four gold bursts ranged across the sky, fading into twinkling red stars that fell gently to the ground.
An impressive firework of gold shimmer streams left behind a rain of stars that seemed to cover the entire sky.
Suddenly the music changed to a more upbeat tempo, reflected in the barrage of red contained stars that burst closely above the barge.
Then silence, before another shimmer of gold stars.
Another fireworks of note soon followed, the swarm of bees that were promised, all too briefly.
Then the finale began, the music a classical war-like tune.
And it was as if all hell was set loose, as fireworks seemed to shoot out from every angle, fast and furious, appearing and disappearing by the second, before the show finally ended.
The applause and chatter that followed meant San tai had certainly impressed its spectators. But let’s not forget the 13 or so judges that have the difficult task of giving points.

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