Tapestry of Nations

World Showcase, Epcot
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Description

Tapestry of Nations was a parade developed for the Millennium Celebration at Epcot, and was performed twice daily around Epcot's World Showcase lagoon. It was replaced on October 1, 2001 with modified version called 'Tapestry of Dreams'.


Details

Opening date: October 1, 1999
Closing date: September 9, 2001

Spellbinding and Spiritual 'Tapestry of Nations' Nightly Centerpiece of Millennium Celebration

Fifteen massive, rolling percussion units...120 towering puppets...720 drums and 150 live performers...19 giant torch towers...fountains of fire and a symphonic score -- all combining at Epcot every evening for the celebration of the century.

International fellowship intertwines with artistic images to create a patchwork of pageantry in "Tapestry of Nations," the new entertainment odyssey presented twice-nightly at Epcot as part of the 15-month Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration.

" 'Tapestry of Nations' combines hundreds of artistic elements to create a celebration like no other," says creator, writer and director Gary Paben. "The size and scope of the pageantry will dazzle, amuse and mystify as puppetry, masks, costumes and moving tableaus give this millennium spectacular a signature all its own."

The celebration's giant puppets, towering nearly 20 feet in the air, are a collection of 120 designs in eight basic styles. Consisting of gossamer and gold squares, mirror-plated circles, flapping wings, vivid geometrics and colorful panels, the articulated figures create a fun-filled cavalcade of motion along World Showcase Promenade.

Engineered to move effortlessly with the breeze, the puppets were designed by noted artist Michael Curry, whose work includes award-winning creations for "The Lion King" on Broadway. The puppets are manned by costumed performers who playfully interact with Epcot guests.

"Tapestry of Nations" forms around Epcot World Showcase in three sections, each led by the Sage of Time -- a stilt-walking performer clad in a massive silver cloak who symbolizes the indomitable human spirit.

Nineteen torch towers with flames rising at nearly 30 feet surround World Showcase Lagoon to ignite the spirit of the celebration. Giant rolling percussion units, carrying 720 drums and 30 drummers, join in and add a primal, multi-tone rhythmic spirit to the artistic, orchestral arrangement. The musical score, written for "Tapestry of Nations" by Hollywood film composer Gavin Greenaway and supervised by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer ("The Lion King"), builds as the celebration heralds the arrival of the new millennium.

"Tapestry of Nations" moves around World Showcase Promenade twice each evening. The evening's second performance utilizes theatrical lighting, internally illuminated puppets and a magnificent starlight effect that surrounds the lagoon.

Brilliant international colors also light up the celebration, from Irish Green and French Blue to Italian Sienna and Canadian Sunset-Orange.

Children will also be able to join the artistry of "Tapestry of Nations" by wearing masks they can create at Kidcot Funstops throughout Epcot World Showcase. Each Funstop features kid-size tables and chairs with cultural representatives from each World Showcase pavilion on hand to help children create their own mask designs.

Following "Tapestry of Nations," the nightly millennium celebration culminates with the performance of "IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth" -- the all-new extravaganza featuring more than 2,800 pyrotechnic shells, video imagery on a three-story spherical screen, a spectrum of lasers, water fountains, fire and orchestral music. The show is presented on (and above) World Showcase Lagoon.


Facts and Figures

A Twice-Nightly Celebration: Two performances take place each evening during the 15-month Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration. The nightly millennium celebration culminates with the performance of "IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth."
Puppets: Towering 18 feet above the ground, each of the 120 puppets is engineered to move effortlessly with the breeze. Each puppet is manned by costumed performers who interact with Epcot guests. The figures were designed by artist Michael Curry, whose famous creations include the award-winning puppets for "The Lion King" on Broadway.
Torch Towers: Nineteen giant torch towers, with flames at nearly 30 feet above World Showcase Lagoon, ignite the spirit of celebration.
Drums: Fifteen massive, rolling percussive units carry a total of 720 drums and 30 drummers.
Performers: More than 150 costumed performers star in "Tapestry of Nations."
Orchestral Arrangement: The original score for "Tapestry of Nations" was written by British-born composer Gavin Greenaway, noted for his work on Hollywood movies, and supervised by Hans Zimmer, Oscar-winning composer for "The Lion King." The music was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios made famous by The Beatles.
Production:
Senior Show Director - Gary Paben
Producer - Paul Marosi
Managing Producer - John Haupt
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