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October 4, 2010
Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
NEW DELHI -- In sharp contrast to the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, the opening ceremony started on time Sunday night, and appeared to be meticulously planned, with a throbbing musical number that included hundreds of intricately costumed drummers, the world's largest helium balloon and enormous dancing puppets. A crowd of about 60,000, ranging from Indian families to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla, packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in central Delhi. Audience members danced in their seats and the applause was spontaneous and enthusiastic. The exuberant ceremony was a welcome change from preparations for the Games, which were notable for missed deadlines, accusations of corruption, filthy living quarters for athletes and the collapse of a footbridge that injured more than two dozen people. As the audience filed into the stadium, many seemed to be hoping for the best, but worried about the worst. -- New York Times News Service (45 images)

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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li


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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li



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Drummers perform during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP /



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Julian Finney



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Ian Walton



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Indian dancers perform in the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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Dancers perform during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Tauseef Mustafa



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Indian dancers perform during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Manan Vatsyayana



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Dancers and musicians perform during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / William West



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Musicians perform during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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Dancers perform during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / William West



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Indian dancers perform during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Prakash Singh



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Indian dancers perform at the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Tauseef Mustafa



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Indian dancers perform at the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / William West



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Performers dance during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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Performers dance during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Lee Jin-man



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Performers, dressed in the national colours of India, dance during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Victor Caivano



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Performers dance during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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Performers wave from aboard a model locomotive during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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Performers dance during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anja Niedringhaus



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Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Victor Caivano



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Giant puppets are seen during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Lee Jin-man



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Julian Finney



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Dancing figures are seen underneath the aerostat during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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Flag bearers from the Commonwealth nations stand during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li



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Competitors from India wave their nation's flag during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Julian Finney



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An illuminated presentation with a meditation theme is seen during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Ian Walton



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An illuminated figure in the lotus pose encases the shakras during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / William West



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Entertainers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Feng Li



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The aerostat is seen with a floral presentation during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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An inside view from the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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An interior view of the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Pedro Ugarte



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An interior view of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium at the start of the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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A general view of the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Victor Caivano



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Performers walk onto the stage during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Saurabh Das



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Performers are seen underneath an aerostat during the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Victor Caivano



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Fireworks explode above the aerostat and Indian dancers performing during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Indranil Mukherjee



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Fireworks explode overhead during the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Julian Finney



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Fireworks go off at the end of the Opening Ceremony for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Delhi, India. Getty Images / Graham Crouch



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Fireworks are launched at the conclusion of the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on October 3, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Deshakalyan Chowdhury



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Pyrotechnics go off at the end of the opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Gurinder Osan



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An Indian family watches a TV showing the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games at home in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. AP / Anupam Nath



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