Thursday, July 30, 2009

IllumiNations - The Introduction

“Good evening, and welcome to World Showcase. Tonight we are pleased to present a visual journey, an international fantasy of music and light. We're about to embark on a sparkling abstract expedition around World Showcase. With the music as your passport, we'll discover sights and sounds from colorful ports of call. And to celebrate our journey, the countries will be united by the festive elements of water, fire, and light. And now, let your imagination be your guide, as EPCOT Center proudly presents IllumiNations.”

Thus began, IllumiNations. IllumiNations, as I remember it when I first saw the nighttime spectacular in late 1988. As much as I enjoy, appreciate, and love IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth*, this version is a sentimental favorite and I will often dust off one of my VHS copies of the show and recall those nights setting on the patio of the Cantina de San Angel enjoying sights and sounds.

The nighttime extravaganza at Epcot has a history stretching back to October 23, 1982. What began as the Carnival de Lumiere and has assumed many forms prior to its present incarnation as Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. This sentimental journey opened on Saturday, January 30, 1988 and played through Friday, September 20, 1996. It was presented in three acts: The Opening, World Showcase, and the Finale.

Over these next few weeks I would like to explore each of the three acts. We’ll take a look at the music and the composers who created it. From the opening measures of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, through the lone clarinet strains of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to the Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Festival Overture, IllumiNations (1988-1996) presented a soaring kaleidoscope of sound.

Let’s begin to explore, shall we?

More to follow…

* The crescendo and fanfare at the 8:02 mark in the music is nothing short of thrilling to the ears and inspiring to the spirit.

1 comment:

Princess Fee said...

I am going to LOVE this! I adore Illuminations - it holds HUNDREDS of special memories for me - but I don't know enough about it. So please, tell us more!