—which came to an end on Sunday night— were the first Pan American Games held in Peru.
Dance of Diversity
Tonight, the National Stadium experienced this country up close, relishing the detail of people's faces, of age-old, as well as of contemporary art and living traditions.
The artefacts of Peru's ancient cultures left the shelves of museums and dance. Moments of daily life danced out of embroidered images. Hundreds of performers took the audience on a dance across the country —from the coast, over the mountains and into the Amazon— in a tribute to the great diversity of this rich and beautiful land.
Tonight, Peru cheered on the athletes who have made these Games exciting and moving, and got a taste of what is to come in four years' time, when the Pan American nations come together again in Santiago (Chile) for another great feast of sports.
But above all, tonight, Lima all danced at the end of the incredible adventure that this exceptional event has been.
The set design was composed by fragments of stonework, inspired by the walls built with incredible skill by the Incas.
It had a layered configuration, which references both the excavation of different historical eras and the three pachas, or levels, of the Andean worldview: the world of the gods, the earthly world and the world of ancestors.
The performance area within the stages was an ever-changing space, transformed by projections, which traced different paths that evoked the Qhapaq Ñan, the vast Inca road system that united the empire's lands.
There were 955 members of cast of which 893 were volunteers, 238 production volunteers, 1000 costumes were made and the production team was made up by 230 members of from 17 nationalities.
Faces of Peru
The Ceremony began with a protocol moment: the National Anthem was played as the Peruvian flag was raised.
The theme of diversity was expressed by the many different faces that were projected on one of the stages: a tribute to the incredible variety of cultures and communities that came together in Peru.
Parade of Athletes
It was time to celebrate the athletes who had competed in the Games. A DJ set welcomed them, while the stage filled with colored chicha art, highlighting the participant countries, the Lima 2019 sports and the 17 previous editions of the Games.
The Flags of the Nations also paraded into the stadium, and finally lined up on the field of play, in a moment of solemn acknowledgment of the participating delegations.
Highlights of the Games were shown, the President of the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee Carlos Neuhaus gave a Milco miniature as a thank you for their dedication. A video in recognition of the volunteers followed.
The scene began with a dance solo by a mythical figure that embodied the three pachas at the core of the pre-Hispanic worldview: the upper world, the earthly world and the underworld, symbolized by bird, feline, and serpent features.
As a Master of Ceremonies, he introduced the six pre-Hispanic epochs, whose iconography appeared to be carved in the floor and on the stages.
A procession of ceramics and other artefacts entered the stage, in a tribute to thousands of years of history.
The procession was interrupted by the arrival of two large huacos or vessels inspired by the Moche culture. These elements were in fact two moving theatres on which ritual, combat and daily life scenes were re-enacted, while the distinctive Moche iconography animated the stages and pathways between them.
While hunters and fishermen went about their daily activities, a group of warriors performed a dynamic choreography inspired by the imagery found on Moche vessels.
A group of hand-sewn characters appeared, trying to figure out where they were, to the sound of a charango. It was as if they were searching for their environment.
A colorful arpillera world was created on a stage by performers carrying a variety of fabric props.
As the characters joined this three-dimensional artwork, the whole field of play became a collage of arpilleras. Landscapes, festivities and daily moments were depicted in a composition of beautiful textiles.
Dancing through Peru
A journey through Peruvian dance to celebrate the country's cultural diversity took place tonight.
As one dance followed the other on the stages and on the field of play, the scene transformed, in a display of vintage post cards from the dances' regions of origin.
Finally, all the performers joined together to form one big diverse country. A girl appeared playing the charango: she was the symbol of a new future rooted in the wisdom of tradition.
The dances performed tonight were Festejo, an Afro-Peruvian couple dance from the coastal region; Diablada, a dance from Puno; Fiesta de los Tulumayos, an Amazonian dance from the area of Tingo Maria; Danza de Tijeras (Scissor Dance), from Huancavelica and Ayacucho; Huayno, a musical and dance expression characteristic of Peru's mountainous areas and Huaylarsh de Carnaval, a rural social dance from Junin (Huancayo).
Farewell to the Games
The President of the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee, Carlos Neuhaus, and the President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, gave their speeches. Ilic offered a special gift to two young Peruvian athletes, and the Games were declared closed.
The Panam Sports flag was lowered to the sound of the Panam Sports Anthem. Projections on the stages displayed all the flags of the 41 participant countries.
The flag was handed on to the next host city: Santiago de Chile.
About Lima 2019
The Games gathered around 6,487 athletes, who participated in 39 sports and 61 disciplines; of these, 21 disciplines were qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Games were held in 14 districts of Lima and Callao, in different venues such as the Videna Sports Complex, the Villa Maria del Triunfo Sports Complex, the Callao Regional Sports Village, the Villa El Salvador Sports Center, and Punta Rocas Complex, among others.