SCMP reports:

To ensure details of the event remain a surprise until the last minute on August 8, design and production teams as well as the cast had to sign a confidentiality agreement before they were allowed to work on the programme. Any breach could result in jail sentences of up to seven years, according to a media report.

But snippets of details about the much-hyped show have started to trickle out.

Indigenous people from Taiwan are expected to give a four-minute performance at the ceremony. The 100-odd performers, singers and dancers from major aboriginal communities on the island will showcase their cultural rituals, including the Bunun tribe’s world-famous eight-note harmony of the Rice Harvest Song and the Tau tribe’s hair dance.

Indigenous legislator Kao Chin Su-mei, who was contacted by the Games organising committee to arrange the presentation, will shepherd the troupe to Beijing on July 28 for rehearsals with mainland troupes inside the “Bird’s Nest” stadium. Ms Kao Chin declined yesterday to reveal details of the performance, saying that she was not supposed to say anything according to the agreement with Beijing.

However, she stressed that indigenous people could seize the opportunity of the Olympics’ opening to proudly present their unique culture to the world.

Sources said members of the opening-night performance committee were expected to go to Taiwan next Friday to discuss details and logistical support.

Taitung county commissioner Kuang Li-zhen has applied to the island’s Mainland Affairs Council for permission to go to Beijing to take part in the opening because a number of performers are from Bunun and Tau tribes in that eastern county. “This is the best time to promote Taitung’s indigenous culture and attract tourists to visit Taitung,” she said.