Arirang kicks off in Pyongyang

Arirang, the stunning synchronized performance native to North Korea, began on Monday at the May Day Stadium. New material was on display, as Act III Scene I was “enriched” with “fresh contents more truthfully representing the great mental power and skills of the Korean people.” Needless to say, after reading this, I will never again criticize a publicist’s press release. The Korea Central News Agency, the government’s voice to the outside world, is just too much.

The audience, of course, consisted of “servicepersons and people from all walks of life, diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations.” And, unsurprisingly, all thought the show was spectacular. Self-aggrandizement is always interesting on KCNA, with this year’s props coming in the form of “highly acclaimed by the audience for presenting fantastic scenery with a good combination of dynamic mass gymnastics and graceful artistry, ever-changing peculiar background scenes, stage decor and a variety of electronic displays.”