It showcased the best of China, period. Zhang Jimou had done a wonderful job, as usual, choreographing the whole performance, and I loved every single one of it! My favourite was the taichi performance and the traditional chinese painting piece, done by a group of gymnasts cum dancers while dancing. The show used latest technology inventions and it was used to support and transformed an imaginative idea into an excellent performance. Awesome piece indeed. It left such big impression to the spectators at teh Bird's Nest stadium and around the world, including me.
It is said that the show cost around US$40 billion! It was money well spent I guess, as the show was China's chance to show the world how great they are and at the same time, to shift the negative stigma of the country to a more positive image in the eyes of the world, and the Western people in particular.
BTW, I managed to tape the first two hour of the opening ceremony! Hurrah!
Check these links to see more shots from the Opening Ceremony.