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Opening Ceremony


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I think the NHS segment will be a comedic routine, sorta Carry On style...

It's going to start quite late. Pre-show starts 8.12pm, and proper show only at 9pm with the bell rings. Everything will end right before 12am. A 3 hours ceremony including the athletes procession, a bit short no?

On a serious note I really hope the NHS segment is not Carry On style. The nursing profession has just spent the last 15 years improving its skill and knowledge base and is keen to be taken seriously, and something Carry On style would probably reverse all of that! So I doubt it will happen. But I also hope that it's not about 'celebrating the NHS' - because I think the NHS, while good overall, is a fairly imperfect healthcare system nowadays (I appreciate it would be difficult for such a large entity to be run well and without any fat). I don't think it would be appropriate for the global audience.

No, I think the NHS segment may be about Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of the international nursing profession. Maybe part of a wider segment about 'great British inventions' (thinking of all sorts of inventions which could be part serious, and part comedic).

Think also that Britain's leading role in the industrial revolution should be acknowledged - perhaps in tandem with an acknowledgement of Much Wenlock and its Olympic connection, which geographically is near the cradle of the worldwide industrial revolution near Telford.

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Well, London certainly does it differently! ;) When was the last time an Olympic ceremonial team told beforehand which content the opening ceremony will have? It's amazing that even want to provide more details in April and June.

Im not so sure, to be honest, I think Athens gave us a bigger preview of their ceremonies this far out.

Quite a ways in advance we were constantly hearing that the Athens opening ceremony would be using art as the method to tell the story that they had to tell. We also (I think it was in February aswell) were given the key concepts of both of the opening/closing ceremonies (like London has done). We were told that the opening ceremony would be Appolonic in nature, and the closing would be Bacchic.

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Im not so sure, to be honest, I think Athens gave us a bigger preview of their ceremonies this far out.

Quite a ways in advance we were constantly hearing that the Athens opening ceremony would be using art as the method to tell the story that they had to tell. We also (I think it was in February aswell) were given the key concepts of both of the opening/closing ceremonies (like London has done). We were told that the opening ceremony would be Appolonic in nature, and the closing would be Bacchic.

Well, but Athens' official "sneak peeks" were rather unprecise. London now has offered more than just an explanation of their overall concept and idea for the opening ceremony, they have also presented a few details within their concept. And apparently, they want to tell a lot more in April and June.

In Athens' case, I remember that some media outlet (wasn't it a British newspaper?) gave away many details of the ceremony a few weeks or days before the opening ceremony (for example, the lake, the DNA helix or the woman giving birth to a sea of lights) -- but that was not an official announcement by the ceremonies team.

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I found the press release on the IOC website about what the Athens organisers had to say about their ceremonies in February 2004:

http://www.olympic.org/news?articleid=53772

I think what they said there was very unprecise and only gave away the overall concept behind the opening and closing ceremonies, but they mentioned not even one element of the ceremonies explicitly.

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No doubt London has given us a hint, but I still feel that with the bits and pieces DP gave us prior to 2004 , we had a better idea of the whole motivation and thematics of the Athens opening ceremony, even the style it would take.

Although we've been told for instance that we will see nurses feature, I think most people are still quite confused about the whole style and way the story will be told.

Found these other articles done in early 2004 re Athens, they're from my old Olympic ceremonies yahoo group , so no link unfortunately

CELEBRATING HISTORY:

Greece will be the star of the opening and closing ceremonies at the

Olympics.

Organizers said the country's art and sculpture will help illustrate

a fairy tale of its history from antiquity.

"We will see what Greece has achieved through its art history,

through sculpture, mosaic and painting. We will see a fairy tale

about the essence of the history of the country," said Dimitris

Papaioannou, artistic director of the ceremonies.

It's the first hint of the main theme that will dominate the

ceremonies.

"The flavor is very Greek. The bet is to see the Greek flavor through

very modern, updated eyes and modern eyes are international eyes," he

said. "We are aiming to have one great star in our opening

ceremony ... and it is Greece."

Greece's distinctive landscape of craggy rocks and blue seas will

also be used, Papaioannou said.

He made the comments during a rehearsal for one of the last groups of

volunteers that will participate in both ceremonies.

Chief organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said 6,000 people have

been chosen to participate and organizers are still looking for

another 2,000. Of the total, about 2,000 will be used as support

staff.

The opening ceremony will draw from the myths of the ancient Greek

god Apollo, best known as the mythical deity of the bow, music and

for his power over oracles. The closing ceremony will represent ideas

from Bacchus, the mythical god of wine and revelry, Papaioannou said.

Unfortunately we did have that big spoiler from the British newspaper a few days before the opening, I guess it's a given that it will happen again here.

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What happened to the rumour of steampunk? how would this fit with the elements already announced? I think Matty is right, we have been given lots of elements but are still rather in the dark as to the overall style of ceremony that is trying to be achieved. No doubt we will have a greater idea come May/June.

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What happened to the rumour of steampunk? how would this fit with the elements already announced?

Fits well in that industrial regeneration part. Steampunk often includes some antagonic themes such as the dangers and marvels of industrial society, air polution and steam machines that fly in busy, crowded cities and all that very Victorian. In general, steampunk share a degree of similarities with cyberpunk but with a much more lively, upbeat and rusty instead of apocalyptic nature.

Have you seen this?

Kyle-cassidy-steampunk.jpg

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Cut it, Baron! The most athletic thing in an Opening Ceremony is the athletes parade and not all of us are fond of that moment, am I right? :rolleyes:

Yeah, but so what...it's still going to be in there anyway. My not being fond of it doesn't change the way the OCs are structured. Besides, Boyle supposedly said they will not let the Parade go on and on because they want to get the audiences out on the trains no later than 12:30 when the last trains run. All I was saying was that I don't see the whole steampunk genre as having great promise for entertainment. But I could be wrong. With the bell, and the nurses, and the 'poisoned land,' I don't know how that's going to add up to "isles of wonder"?

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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By the way: Why are the last trains running already at 12:30 a.m. in a metropolis like London, and even on the opening night of the biggest sports event in the world? And how do the organisers want to have all 80,000 spectators out of the stadium and in the trains within only 30 minutes after the end of the ceremony? I think Danny Boyle has over-dramatised the situation a bit. Or hasn't he?

I would be very surprised if he hadn't. Even after "usual" Bundesliga or national team football matches here in Germany, they have special trains running until all spectators have left the stadium area. And aren't trains in London usually running well after 12:30 a.m., even on perfectly normal Friday evenings?

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What happened to the rumour of steampunk? how would this fit with the elements already announced?

I don't think there was any real talk of a steampunk segment, just there will be some "industrial" theme. Steampunk to me's a sci-fi genre - anachronistic industrial technology in a future/alternative setting, or post-industrial tech in a historical setting. From the meagre hints so far, the theme in the OC is more regeneration after industry.

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I think they'll really struggle to finish in 3 1/2 hours. The Sydney OC was supposed to go for about the same length, from memory, but easily hit four hours. How does one shorten the parade of athletes, for example? The only flexibility is to shorten the cultural segment, but given the money they're spending, it's hard to imagine they'll be keeping that short. And why 9pm start? No football matches, for example, ever start at 9pm in UK (although they do in continental Europe). Is it to suit the North American (especially East Coast) market? (4pm). It also means a 10pm start for continental Europe, which is pretty late start for one of the major audiences. Or does it have something to do with sunset time?

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I’ve always sort of had this vision of HG wells Time matching and War of the worlds mixed with a bit of

George Orwell’s 1994 as well as Shakespeare I think they should throw every thing at it.

It has to be said when you see the Orbit without own eyes it looks like its going to get up and walk around like a War of the worlds martian

1984 Is what I meant.

with your own eyes is also what I meant.

I’ve always sort of had this vision of HG wells Time machine and War of the worlds mixed with a bit of

George Orwell’s 1984 as well as Shakespeare, I think they should throw every thing at it.

It has to be said when you see the Orbit with your own eyes it looks like its going to get up and walk around like a war of the worlds Martian

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I was rather surprised when they announced for the ticket sales that the opening ceremony will start at 19:30. That would have meant that most parts of the ceremony had taken place at daylight and sunset.

So actually it's good that Olympic organisers don't care about the best TV times anymore and simply start the ceremonies when the light conditions are right. It has become traditional meanwhile to stage the opening ceremony in complete or near-darkness, so it's good that they stick to that tradition. Even if it means that I'll have quite a long wait in front of my TV until 22:00 Central European Time. ;)

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Won't you be in London anyway, Rols?

That's smack dab in the middle of the workday in NA. The last time the Summer Games was in Europe, I was enjoying my summer vacation. This time, looks like I'll either have to be sick or fake an injury.

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Won't you be in London anyway, Rols?

That's smack dab in the middle of the workday in NA. The last time the Summer Games was in Europe, I was enjoying my summer vacation. This time, looks like I'll either have to be sick or fake an injury.

I wish - I'll still be working (my last work day before hols) on the day of the OC. I'm probably not leaving for London till the 29th or 30th.

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Alot has been made about the possibility of Adele featuring somewhere in the ceremonies, it would be a good choice. It will be a hard choice to whittle down all the fantastic British performers to just find the few needed for the 4 events.

Im wondering if we might see Emeli Sande somewhere, an accomplished songwriter whose track *Heaven* was part of the soundtrack to the London New Years Eve fireworks display.

It would fit in nicely.

As for bands, coldplay is up there, a pretty appropriate powerful stadium finale for the opening ceremony could be Butterflies and Hurricanes by a personal favourite of mine - Muse.

Lyrics are certainly appropriate as a final send off to the athletes before competition begins, and for once, not verging on the cheesy side (as we often hear).

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I've said it before but the only act that always springs to mind when I think of an Opening Ceremony is Florence and the machine. Her music just fits so well with a big stadium anthemic sound. She is also capable of really belting a sing out. Imagine this X-factor performance, or something similar, on a much larger scale with the ribbons coming from all ends of the stadium.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np9rZM93R8w

Edited by Lee
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