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Everything posted by savas

  1. 17 years ago. A small video collection about the extraordinary Opening Ceremony of Athens 2004 Dimitris Papaioannou Website From Dimitris Papaioannou channel
  2. Well not exactly ... It was after the Closing Ceremony ended. Here a video of her dancing as broadcasted in the news. So nice to see her so happy.
  3. To response to some of the posts I read without being an expert and from a subjective point of view: Building great venues was a matter of pride for the greeks. Temporary stadiums seemed to be disrespectful for the athletes and the sport. Gianna Aggelopoulos Daskalaki who was the force behind Athens 2004 had this vision of «state of the art» venues and the responsibility to make those Games a reality. Temporary venues didn't seemed to fit into that concept. Also I would like to remind you that back then economic crisis seemed no to exist and the most of us believed that the Olympic Games will be the beginning of a new epoch. At least some of us. I also have to add to that that the government of Karamanlis that took over, one of the worst ever, absolutely disliked Gianna and her success and did absolutely nothing to utilize the potential of the Games. On the contrary the Government of Kostas Karamanlis almost provocative dismissed plans by the former government (a matter of principle) and rested on the success of the Games. The Minister of Culture Adrianos served from 2004 to 2009 today says «Our highest priority back then was to make the Games a success but there was no plan for the day after». Strange because until the Games he was in the opposition and criticized the effort. Then he saw the success tried to earn it and then as the responsible for the day after didn’t do anything. Unfortunately this Government was one the most corrupted ever. But to be fair mistakes have been done before. After Athens awarded the Games, many of the plans changed. The Simitis Government didn’t like Gianna. She was an outsider and most of them I presume were afraid of her potential power. New persons were placed and they changed the Organizing Committee. After losing precious time and the inability of the new team the pressure of getting ready didn’t allow experiments. Gianna were placed back although no one really liked her. The costs exploded because of the pressure to get ready and international pressure. As the criticism rises greeks get stubborn to prove the opposite. Also the IOC and the International sports federations and every each of them wanted great venues. So many different interests increased the pressure. The costs for security was exploding by the pressure of the US. The costs for engineering and facilities were exploding too as international enterprises took advantage of the lack of time. Big scandals like the Siemens Corruption Scandal was the result. Also there was unbelievable antagonism between the Minister of Economy back then and Gianna. He once called her «this rich bitch» behind closed doors. «She thinks she can command my ministry.» Gianna wanted to get the money she needed to get ready in time. The Government criticized her strongly for being unsparing with public money. But the truth is a different in my opinion. The government was to be blamed as they are responsible for the lost of extremely precious time, time that was needed to organize the Games. My opinion is that no one of those man was man enough to recognize her skills and her power as a strategic coordinator and great manager. The big success of the Games is the proof. After that and the big success, normality came back and political dispute and envy lead to the situation that we can see today. I believe that this didn't happen accidentally. A new mentality would have changed the whole political system. Citizens with more responsibility, with a stronger opinion, that work and achieve work more precise , that volunteer that have visions would destroy or at least disturb the used political system based on what we call in Greece «clientelistic state». Although I have to say that some things are exaggerated. The legacy isn’t a nightmare. Thats way to negative. The legacy isn’t satisfying in many cases. In some it is bad and in some others the legacy is very good and in some of great importance. Because beyond of the economic legacy there is another one. There is a cultural and emotional legacy. A legacy that we carry within our soul. Those games redefined Athens and Greece. No matter what happens today. This Opening Ceremony itself is a cultural and emotional legacy of unsurpassed meaning. Those days everything is about economy. Everything. Extremely weird times if you ask me. Everyone seems to be brainwashed. What the market will say? How will the economy react? Capitalism is starting to show its true character after he totally defeated politic power. But this another discussion. The legacy of something maybe economic short-lived but through ages it is an emotional, a cultural, a philosophical, a social. I am so grateful for those Games and this Opening Ceremony and for Gianna backing everything Dimitris Papaioannou did: «I am so charmed by her personality, a personality from a cosmos totally strange to me. It is absolutely given that without her the Ceremonies would not have been possible. I am truly charmed. I those three years of working together the quality of our contact increased geometrically. Her support was beyond of any other previous olympics. The personality of Gianna is this dance of her on the bleachers of the stadium at the closing ceremony. And the dastardly side of the greek reality blamed her for dancing at the closing ceremony. Not to imagine blaming someone for celebrating the biggest success of a country in the last decades. Who blames someone for dancing? This dancing needs the sweetness of anarchy of a soul that has still something alive within» It is sad to see that following governments and people responsible for the economic and athletic legacy were incapable and unworthy of this task but I am absolutely confident that many of the venues are facing better days to come. But as I said before and once again: the emotional legacy of those games is bigger and most important then the economic. And if today this emotion is bittersweet by watching those pictures then this proves how great those games were.
  4. Indeed it is. Truly excellent documentaries: http://birthplace2004.com
  5. birthplace "The ceremony I dreamt of creating had clarity of form and economy of colour, focused exclusively on art history, took a sensual approach to Greek identity, and bore an underlying sexuality that would make it engaging on a visceral level. I sought to create intimacy on a grand, spectacular scale, and to appeal to archetypal emotions and images in order for the ceremony to work on both a spiritual and emotional level. The ceremony could not be a story – it could only be the unfolding of a dream sequence." Dimitris Papaioannou "I woke with this marble head in my hands — it exhausts my elbows and I do not know where to put it down. It was falling into the dream as I was coming out of the dream so our life became one and it will be very difficult for it to separate again.” George Seferis — Mythistorema 3 ten years on — a blog celebrating memories of the ceremony — with new documentary material by Athina Rachel Tsangari http://birthplace2004.com
  6. I would like to make some things clear or at least to try. There are venues «abandoned» but in most cases this is the result of very complicated processes. The OAKA is in use as before of the games. There are some legal difficulties with the license of the venues because the organization that manages the venues doesn't own the venues. So there is a managing problem with the maintenance of the Aquatic Centre, the Velodrome and the Calatrava Roof of the Olympic Stadium. Because of the 10th Anniversary those issues are again treated and I hope that they will find a solution. The Faliron Bay was a big issue in the last 10 years. A very big area, a lot of different interests. Finally a solution was found in the last two years and the Faliron Bay will be transformed in the next two years as work is already in progress. The result is a metropolitan park including the athletic facilities of Faliro Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre which isn’t in use now and the Faliro Sports Pavilion Arena and the Peace and Friendship Stadium which are in use. Current status The result Also in this area the National Opera House, the National Library are on the way with a cultural park founded by Stavros Niarchos and build by Renzo Piano. Work in progress first olive tree planted The Hellenikon Metropolitan was the biggest issue as this area is truly gigantic. Finally after 10 Years the Development of the Area was granted to Lamda Development and the project was presented couples of months ago. The area includes a skyscraper designed by David Foster. In my opinion 3 venues should have been temporary venues, the venues of baseball, softball and hockey in the Hellenikon Park. All other venues were part of gigantic transformation of Athens. Also the Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall should have been a temporary Venue. 10 years later greece is facing the biggest economic problems in latest history. The crisis partly self-inflicted partly directed and constructed by european and international economic and political forces. This is thought not the result of the Olympic Games. In my opinion this argument is idiotically. The benefits of the Athens Olympic Games for Athens and Greece are so many and of great importance. I can't imagine not have experienced the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Beyond Athleticism the Games redefined Athens and Greece and they are a milestone in history. Those Games set new standards in many ways and were the best in other. The Look of the Games is extraordinary and the Opening Ceremony a masterpiece of avant-garde art. As for the negative press 10 years later it is on the one hand ok and justified on the other part of a generic negative mood that has been created towards Greece and the greek crisis. But this is another discussion. Games full of pathos, emotion and eros
  7. In the next days i will re-upload the wallpapers Athens 2004:
  8. a wonderful behind the scenes of ATHENS 2004 Opening Ceremony
  9. Funny ... for just a sec I thought this is a japanese toilette seat ... Kidding aside .. looks great Kidding aside ... looks great
  10. This sounds logical,... either way I have the feeling that this area will definitely somehow be involved with the lighting of the cauldron... even partial usually red lights on high buildings have to do with aeronautical security...
  11. I think the "oak tree" is the cauldron ... or the thing that is under the tree ...
  12. ... and this with a soundtrack by underworld? Man this could blow my mind
  13. Yeah this sounds really great ... A boat which flows into the stadium with the flame on it ... This would be perfect and the both ceremonies of Athens and London would be perfectly linked just imagine this atmosphere: the stadium gets totally dark, all the audience lights their lamps and a boat flows into the stadium... Thames gets lighten by the floating boat like the stadium floor on the DNA Section in Athens When it comes to the meadow then ... No idea
  14. Well I just read more posts and some on ssc and my question as answered ... I am really excited to see how they will manage to have such a massive change of the stage! I think it will be awesome !!!
  15. Well this stage looks fantastic! I am quite irritated about this presentation... It was extremely detailed as they delete with this presentation a part of the surprise effect! Did we had such a detailed presentation of the stage before? I think the stage looks truly great and if the story is good then we will have an extraordinary ceremony. Random thoughts: - there is no Thames to see on this version of the stage so I suppose the stage will evolve to another version - it must as there is the need for place for the athletes right?
  16. Could this be the title of the ceremony; "the London of the Rings" or "Harry Potter and the Lost Rings" or "Honey, I Shrunk London" ... Kidding aside I getting more and more excited about this ceremony and can't wait the day to come...
  17. Sydney's lighting of the Olympic cauldron had this moment of the cauldron raising up with Cathy Freeman standing in the middle and the water was just great For me the Athens lighting was perfect as it was simple and solemn but at the same time very emotional because of the dramaturgy. What was great in Athens was the stadiums shape and open ends which allowed perfect view from outside and the inside of the stadium. Also when you look at the cauldron it looks like an arm holding a torch ... I am really excited to see what london will do, but I have to say that I am no big fan of the orbit tower :-/
  18. Wow, those are fantastic news! Apropos my favourite song of "Florence and the Machine" is "Cosmic Love". This song is just awesome and absolutely epic... http://vimeo.com/25454434
  19. How about this one: Take the Entrance of the Athletes a la Athens Closing, all the Athletes run in to the field with some crazy, very joyful music, it gets dark and then every Country will be presented by a crazy animated flag as a gigantic hologram in the middle of the stadium above the athletes. As the name of the country is pronounced a spotlight goes to section were the athletes stand. Every Nation gets 10 sec. that means round about 35 min. for all plus 5 min. extra for the hosting nation and all of them at the end. Yeah this sounds great
  20. As for the Opening Ceremony of London: I am expecting a grande and very modern soundtrack. I like the Dickens idea very much but only as a part of a homogenous story. What I absolutely dont want to see is this boring "change of the epoch: and know comes the age of this..." I hate those continuity interruptions. The idea of having a young, handsome guy as the main character who walks through the story is very appealing to me. Yeah I like the idea of "walking through the story" a lot. Something like a modern "the little Prince".
  21. I suppose this is a completely different approach to how an audience experiences an artistic work, an act or how you would say a show. You can have it the easy "fast food" way which blunts your imagination und your credibility of using your mind and soul or you can try to challenge an audience. Although the Athens OC wasn't that challenging. Even an educated, well-traveled person should have the imagination of understanding that the gigantic head i, probably an ancient statue, a head made of white stone, that the reflections of geometric shapes and formulas is about geometry and mathematics ... It wasn't that difficult. I believe that there is nothing more dangerous then art, or music, or entertainment that is made to please even the dumpest. nasty baron In this interview he criticized the IOC and not the Olympic Games. He said that he isn't a fan of the extreme commercialisation of the Games and of the big circus they have become and he thought it would be a great challenge to give the OC back the artistic and emotional intenseness that they – in his opinion – lacked before. Gianna loved his work and artistic approach and asked him to be the OC creator. A Vangelis Production would have been outdated as he has missed the opportunity to get a modern style in his work. His shows are very pompous and quite kitschy. It was a very wise decision not to get him for this work. I dont know why you always say that the Athens OC was minimalistic. It emotional incredible intense and audio-visual spectacular. From the beginning with the lake of water in the Stadion, the paper boat, the gigantic rings of fire, the gigantic Cycladic head coming out of the ground, braking apart in pieces all over the air, the Passage through the ages, the pregnant woman to give birth to a new life, the gigantic hologram of the DNA, the huge olive tree coming out of the ground, the big screen earth globe, the flying torch bearers, a highly dramatic lightning of the olympic torch. All this with a fantastic soundtrack, the best walk of Presidents ever, a fenomenal Parade of Athletes. Ok its clear that I am a huge fan. This OC waived of abundance effects and meaningless action but it wasn't minimalistic. But I think we only can agree in one think that we will not agree on this one.
  22. The Athens Opening was the absolutely opposite of misguided. It was perfect in matter of dramaturgy and with a stunning concept. It was ment to be a hellenic experience, a different answer to how we perceive hellenic culture today. Not what it is. I remember reading an interview of d.p. and him saying that he regrets not been able to get more abstract and avantgarde in the opening because of the IOC. He also was very unsatisfied about the long and completely unnecessary narration on tv during the ceremony also forced by the IOC. This disturbed this experience. Thank god Vangelis didn't was the creator of the Opening because this would have been another high end oversized hellenic epos a la hollywood opening ceremony, a revival of ancient times, a hymn to zeus subordinating the human to the mythical notion of what Vangelis believes to be hellenic. The Beijing Opening was to me like a woman with a totally exaggerated makeup which tries too hard to seduce you with overdone feminine behavior. You know this is a facade and you are searching for the true face behind the show. You are dazzled by the beauty but this doesn't last long. And you think "What a pity, I could have liked her if only she had shown me her true face" Wasn't it Zhang Yimou himself who told that it will be not possible to match the perfect scenery of the Athens OC? Long time ago ...
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