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I loved Athens' OC, but there's no way Beijing could be described as boring. It was magnificent, a bit ostentatious and self-aggrandizing maybe, but magnificent.

For what it's worth, my favourite opening ceremony was Athens. To me, it was comfortably superior to any other one.I still think the visual spectacle of the water, fire etc are unmatched.

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For what it's worth, my favourite opening ceremony was Athens. To me, it was comfortably superior to any other one.I still think the visual spectacle of the water, fire etc are unmatched.

Athens' Opening was misguided and underwhelming. Could've been a MUCH grander show had Vangelis done it and considering they had budgeted $65 million for Opening (from a total Ceremonial budget of $95 mil).

NOTE: Athens' total $95 mil (it could've even been $105 mil, depending on which exchange rate one used) Ceremonies budget is already $3 million MORE than London 2012's $92 mil for ALL its ceremonial doings!! And the $65 mil that ended up being spent for Athens is $3 million more than what Beijing spent for its Opening -- yet look at the results. Beijing's was absolutely FAR MORE magnificent.

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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 ... rolleyes.gif

Edited by elsavas
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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.

Then Papaioannou didn't UNDERSTAND what it means to play to an international TV audience. You CAN'T expect people to get into your head when you're at home, chatting with friends, eating, distracted by the kids running around, the phone ringing, the dog barking, etc., etc. For his vision to have any impact on the viewer, of course, a narration was necessary...just as that paper-making intro video for Beijing was necessary...because otherwise, people will always think that Egypt's papyrus came first...and China's version was slightly different.

Even I didn't know what a Cycladic head was before--and I am a college-educated, well-traveled person who has gone to most of the major museums of the world...and even the narration didn't make it clear why a Cycladic head was so special....

Or was I to read that DP gave "...good head..."? :lol::lol:

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 ... rolleyes.gif

And Papaioannou himself said in an interview in the Eleftheros Typos magazine that he was "... never a fan of the Olympics." :blink: So therefore, why did he bother to do the job and deny someone like Vangelis who was clearly MORE FIT for the job? Obviously for the money. So, as always, it's NOT purity of vision but prostitution of one's services.

A Vangelis production would've been grander and less pretentious than the hokey DP show. A "cerebral" approach works inside one's head NOT in a VAST space like a stadium....not unless the entire audience is a bunch of zombies and retards. And which is why Beijing's is ONE to remember for a long time because it awes you with spectacle which is what works in a stadium....not some airy-fairy, minimalist bullsh*t. If there's only one woman on the stadium floor, that's supposed to be art? PLease. That's the time to go to the bathroom because nothing is happening in the arena. So why should I be sitting there and/or have paid $1,000 just to see one woman clutching a head declaiming or minimalist goings-on?

It might've worked in ancient Greece, but 2004 is the HDTV age where you want spectacle. Above all, Athens 2004 was such a JOYLESS show. DP's pretensions TOTALLY smothered any natural joy and exuberance there should've been in that show since the Games were coming home after a long time.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Then Papaioannou didn't UNDERSTAND what it means to play to an international TV audience. You CAN'T expect people to get into your head when you're at home, chatting with friends, eating, distracted by the kids running around, the phone ringing, the dog barking, etc., etc. For his vision to have any impact on the viewer, of course, a narration was necessary...just as that paper-making intro video for Beijing was necessary...because otherwise, people will always think that Egypt's papyrus came first...and China's version was slightly different.

Even I didn't know what a Cycladic head was before--and I am a college-educated, well-traveled person who has gone to most of the major museums of the world...and even the narration didn't make it clear why a Cycladic head was so special....

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.

Or was I to read that DP gave "...good head..."? :lol::lol:

laugh.giflaugh.gif nasty baron tongue.gif

And Papaioannou himself said in an interview in the Eleftheros Typos magazine that he was "... never a fan of the Olympics." :blink: So therefore, why did he bother to do the job and deny someone like Vangelis who was clearly MORE FIT for the job? Obviously for the money. So, as always, it's NOT purity of vision but prostitution of one's services.

A Vangelis production would've been grander and less pretentious than the hokey DP show. A "cerebral" approach works inside one's head NOT in a VAST space like a stadium....not unless the entire audience is a bunch of zombies and retards. And which is why Beijing's is ONE to remember for a long time because it awes you with spectacle which is what works in a stadium....not some airy-fairy, minimalist bullsh*t. If there's only one woman on the stadium floor, that's supposed to be art? PLease. That's the time to go to the bathroom because nothing is happening in the arena. So why should I be sitting there and/or have paid $1,000 just to see one woman clutching a head declaiming or minimalist goings-on?

It might've worked in ancient Greece, but 2004 is the HDTV age where you want spectacle. Above all, Athens 2004 was such a JOYLESS show. DP's pretensions TOTALLY smothered any natural joy and exuberance there should've been in that show since the Games were coming home after a long time.

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. ;)

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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".

Edited by elsavas
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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,[/size][/font]

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. ;)

True, in comparison to Beijing with its huge number of performers and technical wizardry almost every other opening ceremony will look minimalistic. Especially Athens with its more philosophical approach and allowing just a single "pregnant" woman on the infield, giving birth to the thousands of lights.

But that episode already shows that Athens had a strongly visual opening ceremony. Maybe not all the way visual for the stadium audience (the Klepsydra segment probably only worked on television), but it had strong visual effects. I will never forget how silent and impressed my friends were when we watched Athens' opening ceremony and they displayed the mathematical figures and then the hands and faces of human beings on the Cycladic head and then again when they created the DNA helix projection. They were really awestruck -- and even I was, although I had known beforehand (via this forum) what we could expect at the opening ceremony.

Yes, Athens' OC was sometimes also a bit too artistic and avantgardistic. I could have done without Björk, for example -- and probably DP could have done without her, too, since her gigantic dress didn't unfold. ;) And I agree with Baron that DP could have used the big lake much more and to much bigger effect. It was actually such a stunning and completely new idea that it was a shame that they didn't at least have a segment with many boats (not necessarily a sea battle, as Baron suggested).

But I wouldn't say that Athens' OC totally lacked emotion. I must say that in its "emotion", Beijing's OC came across much colder and artificial, because everything was so gigantic and appeared so strictly planned and unspontaneous. The defining moment for that were those awful cheerleaders for the parade of nation, hopping and waving like crazy, and just coming across as ridiculous and noncredible. The worst thing about those cheerleaders is that Vancouver 2010 and, if I saw correctly, even Guadalajara 2011 copied them. I hope this doesn't mark a new trend. But I digress.

Athens' OC, however, had strongly emotional moments, although Sydney's and Vancouver's OCs certainly touched me emotionally even more. But that's probably because I have fonder memories of the whole Games of Sydney and Vancouver than of the Games of Athens.

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The idea of having a young, handsome ;) guy as the main character who walks through the story is very appealing to me.

Hehe, I hope he won't be too handsome and that we won't have another "Vancouver 2010 - Gosh, have you seen the muscular hunk in the First Nations segment?" moment. We should concentrate more on the proceedings and less on the looks of the performers -- since it's difficult to fully concentrate on an opening ceremony while one's blood is flowing to one's lower regions. ;) But I have to admit that this is sometimes difficult to achieve. I must say that some of the placard bearers in Vancouver (female and male) were exceptionally good-looking.

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I had an idea last night which Im sure is rediculous but it solves a problem, well kind of.

For the parade of nations why not put a large chunk of the team on a london bus with their country name as the destination. They could all still wave and whatever, with the rest of the team entering the stadium and heading for the infield. The buses could circle the stadium, drop the team off, leave, change destination ready for another team. Smaller teams could arrive in black cabs. Is that a silly idea?

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I had an idea last night which Im sure is rediculous but it solves a problem, well kind of.

For the parade of nations why not put a large chunk of the team on a london bus with their country name as the destination. They could all still wave and whatever, with the rest of the team entering the stadium and heading for the infield. The buses could circle the stadium, drop the team off, leave, change destination ready for another team. Smaller teams could arrive in black cabs. Is that a silly idea?

I like it - anything to speed up the parade of nations.

But the traditionalists would have conniptions.

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I had an idea last night which Im sure is rediculous but it solves a problem, well kind of.

For the parade of nations why not put a large chunk of the team on a london bus with their country name as the destination. They could all still wave and whatever, with the rest of the team entering the stadium and heading for the infield. The buses could circle the stadium, drop the team off, leave, change destination ready for another team. Smaller teams could arrive in black cabs. Is that a silly idea?

It would look like a huge bus station; and what if one bus stalls? Also, unless they're entirely green, the fumes might be too much.

I have the perfect song for it: Stephen Sondheim's ANOTHER HUNDRED PEOPLE from "Company."

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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The bus would come in do a lap and leave you may have a few buses on the track at anyone time but Im not suggesting a bus for every country. thats utter madness.

Then for the British team there is silence we wait for the bus, it doesnt come, the tension builds and builds, still no bus, then the team arrives on 3 buses. As we all know, in London you wait ages for a bus then 3 come at once : )

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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 ;)

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London 2012 opening ceremony build-up revealed

Bells will ring out across the United Kingdom to mark the final few hours until the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.

Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed is behind project that he hopes will see thousands participate at 8.30am on 27 July.

Organisers have also taken the decision to move the Olympic flame off London’s busy roads – easing the pressure on Police and congestion – in the hours before the opening, which is expected to be watched by a global audience of over five billion people.

The flame will travel on the River Thames to City Hall, where it will remain until the opening ceremony commences at 9pm.

At that point it will start its final journey, again by water, arriving at the Olympic Stadium for the cauldron lighting, the showpiece moment, shortly before midnight.

However, Locog’s head of ceremonies Martin Green, speaking to reporters at the final World Press Briefing, would not be drawn on more specific elements of the ceremony, which is being devised by West End and Broadway theatre legend Stephen Daldry and Oscar winning director Danny Boyle.

How and who lights the Olympic cauldron is expected to be one of the big talking points in the build-up to the Games.

The towering Orbit, the 115 metre structure that sits adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, is seen as a possible site of the cauldron while five-time Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave and athletics legend Daley Thompson remain the bookmakers favourites to ignite it.

The Olympic flame will be kindled in Olympia and then be carried on a seven-day relay around Greece, the birthplace of the Games, which will culminate in a handover ceremony to London organisers at the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, the venue for the first modern Games in 1896.

It will then travel by plane to the UK and the relay will start on Saturday May 19th at the southern tip of the UK mainland at Land’s End in Cornwall.

Green also revealed Locog were close to finalising the 8,000 runners who will carry the flame after a nationwide nomination process run by the organising committee and official sponsors Lloyds TSB, Coca-Cola and Samsung.

Having named the first 74 locations for the torch relay earlier this year, 900 village, towns and spots of outstanding natural beauty or national significance will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

http://www.thesportreview.com/tsr/20...mony-build-up/

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I must admit that I get more and more suspicious about the Orbit being the cauldron tower. I mean, the map with an external cauldron planned north (?) of the stadium was drawn at a time when the Orbit wasn't planned yet. It could be that they have changed their cauldron plans as soon as the Orbit was planned.

And although there are still nine months left (which should be absolutely sufficient to build a cauldron tower -- if I remember correctly, Torino's tower also took only a few months), I find it strange that we haven't got any signs so far that they'll start the construction of a cauldron tower soon.

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I must admit that I get more and more suspicious about the Orbit being the cauldron tower. I mean, the map with an external cauldron planned north (?) of the stadium was drawn at a time when the Orbit wasn't planned yet. It could be that they have changed their cauldron plans as soon as the Orbit was planned.

And although there are still nine months left (which should be absolutely sufficient to build a cauldron tower -- if I remember correctly, Torino's tower also took only a few months), I find it strange that we haven't got any signs so far that they'll start the construction of a cauldron tower soon.

I don't think Orbitower will be the cauldron tower:

#1 - Thomas Heatherwick was already announced as the cauldron's designer.

#2 - there ought to have been a delay in the construction because that would've meant getting extra permits for it to carry live gas lines PLUS a living flame atop...to burn for 17 days & what another 10 for the Paras?

If anything, again, the Orbitower's location takes away a lot of the drama that will happen at that moment on Opening Night. I think they get something closer and right there within visible view of (most of) the spectators and the Tribune of Honor (as stipulated in the IOC rules).

I guess that's one thing that could said for a Doha Olympics, they could have a hundred different cauldrons (in the shape of Aladdin's lamps) around the city w/o a dent in their budget. Oh but wait, they'd have to distribute one million plus masks and oxygen tanks.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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My gut feeling tells me the Orbit is going to house the cauldron on the top. No way such significant piece of landmark structure will serve just as a viewing platform in the Olympic Park.

As for Heatherwick's role, he will design the cauldron bowl and its contraption. It could be there's some clever way how the cauldron will be lit in the stadium and how it is then transported onto the top of the Orbit so visitors can get up close to the flame. All this involves a different designer and judging by Heatherwicks previous design, he is absolutely the right person to design the cauldron bowl and the technology/ transformation it needed to integrate into the Orbit.

It is also highly unlikely the cauldron will be inside the stadium looking at the stadium design.

Plus, it doesn't make sense to have another cauldron tower adjacent to the stadium when you already have the Orbit, it will too crowded as this cauldron tower will need to have significant height/ size in order not to undermine its significance.

That's why the Orbit is the most obvious place to have the cauldron. I quite like this idea as the Orbit is the tallest structure in the Park and it's like the beacon of flame shining across all the Park and London underneath.

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I think there will definitely be an interaction between the caldron and the Orbit ,but my gut feeling is that the Orbit isn’t the caldron, the orbit is a visitor attraction , I don’t think the public could be aloud up the caldron.

Exactly. And Beijing had the same situation. They had that broadcast Pagoda Tower; but they still built ANOTHER cauldron.

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Exactly. And Beijing had the same situation. They had that broadcast Pagoda Tower; but they still built ANOTHER cauldron.

Yes, but in Beijing's case, the cauldron sat on top of the stadium roof and was much smaller than the Pagoda Tower. Unlike in London, they didn't plan for a cauldron tower. And I think kevzz' argument isn't completely unjustified: Two similarly big towers could make the stadium surroundings look crowded.

I would at least put some money on the scenario that they will include the Orbit in the lighting of the cauldron or at least in the final stages of the torch relay.

And regarding the Orbit being a visitor attraction: Wasn't Calgary Tower open to visitors also during the 1988 Winter Games, even though they had a (secondary) cauldron on top of the tower? I think they could arrange a cauldron on top of the Orbit which is in reasonable distance to the visitor platform.

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