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Opening Ceremony


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Rock bands and other pop artists are generally reserved for Closings...so unless they are woven organically into the fabric of the OC...no way will rock bands feature in an Opening. Look up the Olympic Charter. The IOC always stresses "with dignity."

Ballet, on the other hand, is an older, more generic form. Neither the Bolshoi, the Royal nor the American Ballet come to mind when 'ballet' is mentioned or included--which, BTW, as far as I know, has only been included in the LA Closing (and that very specifically was the Dance Theatre of Harlem whose number segued into the Seoul Dance Co.'s bit in the Handover segment) in all of Olympic history (and the bit at the Melbourne 2006 CWG opening). Even the Dance Theatre Harlem's noment was hardly a traditional ballet number. If you didn't see it, it was a very energetic, high-kicking rendition of John Philip Souza's "Stars and Strpies." So something very typically American...rather than Euro-classical -- and it personfied the handover from an American host to an Asian one, very pointedly.

The original point of my post was that good musicians should be used. You feel that a ceremony should not be built around musical performers- i agree. However, I do feel Britain should draw on it's rich musical heritage and use superstars to add star quality to the proceedings.

Good acts can be used - Celine Dion did in Atlanta. Montserrat did it in Barcelona etc. Thats all I'm getting at.

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Good acts can be used - Celine Dion did in Atlanta. Montserrat did it in Barcelona etc. Thats all I'm getting at.

No disagreement from me. But the perfomers/acts should just plug in the holes...not be the main draw for the show. Knight, Dion and even that scary Norman did their bits well in Atlanta.

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A good ceremony is built around a central story or concept. It is a giant field to fill and a broad canvas to paint and a moment of refinement for the whole world to see. Not about the latest pop sensation or dance troupe. The company that LOCOG hires will first build a story and then fill in the pieces later when they agree on the concept. That comes first. Not the performers.

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I'm sure no matter what is planned there will be a vociferous chorus of disagreement about what the show represents/represented. Often it will come down to personal taste. I would for instance be appalled if there was anything smacking of west end musical theatre, as it's not something I like, but many people would no doubt be delighted. All I can hope is that they give a key person some kind of artistic control, rather than construct a ceremony by committee, which would probably try so hard to be inclusive the disparate elements would end up making no sense.

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What they do is the OCOG decides the overall theme of what they want to present (a creative brief), they hire a team of professionals to flesh out the story, the team then seeks input from various sources, they create the concepts, and then recruit the technical and performance support. And then practice, practice, practice, tweaking along the way.

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A good ceremony is built around a central story or concept. It is a giant field to fill and a broad canvas to paint and a moment of refinement for the whole world to see. Not about the latest pop sensation or dance troupe. The company that LOCOG hires will first build a story and then fill in the pieces later when they agree on the concept. That comes first. Not the performers.

I never said the ceremony was about the latest pop sensation. The ceremony is about however creating wow factor and that is not achieved with mediocre nobodies. So Britain should be clever, innovative and creative and draw upon it's artistic community. Pop culture is a huge part of Britain's history.

I agree there should be moving and powerful narrative to make the ceremony cohesive but to just fill in parts with crap would be a wasted opportunity. Bring out the big guns!

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I'm sure no matter what is planned there will be a vociferous chorus of disagreement about what the show represents/represented. Often it will come down to personal taste. I would for instance be appalled if there was anything smacking of west end musical theatre, as it's not something I like, but many people would no doubt be delighted. All I can hope is that they give a key person some kind of artistic control, rather than construct a ceremony by committee, which would probably try so hard to be inclusive the disparate elements would end up making no sense.

I just hope political correctness does not set the tenor for games.

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Pop culture is a huge part of Britain's history.

Yes, it is. BUt remember the show's concept and premises have to be vetted by the IOC. They have taken out portions which I am sure the younger members here would've preferred to see.

Thank God their tastes so far, are more aligned with mine. ;)

anything smacking of west end musical theatre

well, unfortunately that is one ofthe 2 or 3 areas they would be looking to get talent from. The others would be Television, film and the Special Events outfits.

Look, it'll probably be Jack Morton WW.

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Yes, it is. BUt remember the show's concept and premises have to be vetted by the IOC. They have taken out portions which I am sure the younger members here would've preferred to see.

Well remember, since the bid London 2012 has set-out to have a strong focus on youth involvement, education, inspiration, etc etc etc. This is one reason I'm not really expecting a trip through British history in 3 years time.

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Didn't Great Britain as a nation vote a street dancing hoodie wearing troop the winner of Britains got talent this year.

Isn't one of the most talked about artists in the UK at the moment a graffitti artist known as Banksy.

It is part of our culture whether we like it or not.

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Didn't Great Britain as a nation vote a street dancing hoodie wearing troop the winner of Britains got talent this year.

Isn't one of the most talked about artists in the UK at the moment a graffitti artist known as Banksy.

It is part of our culture whether we like it or not.

No, Britain did not vote. Some of Britain voted. there is a difference. Banksy is genuinly talented.

And to say that we just have to accept it whether we like it or not is so weak. We should only promote things which are fundamentally good. We don't have television channels dedicated to self-harming do we! My point is that the gangsta rap culture which is being rammed down our throats is:

1. Not British exclusively but rather an American thing

2. Has a correlation to homophobia, race hate, misogynism

But yet we are told to 'celebrate' it.

That is merely my opinion.

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Oh 'rap' ain't gonna get past the IOC. They went as far as the 'breakdancers' 25 (has it really been that long ago?) years ago. No; I hope the Openings will always stay classy affairs even if they may border on tedium. But with experienced hands at the helm, I don't think that's going to happen.

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Oh 'rap' ain't gonna get past the IOC. They went as far as the 'breakdancers' 25 (has it really been that long ago?) years ago. No; I hope the Openings will always stay classy affairs even if they may border on tedium. But with experienced hands at the helm, I don't think that's going to happen.

Yeah, I agree. It's just London 2012 have been the most politically correct games to date. If you follow the 'cultural' program for London 2012 it goes out of it's way to promote hip-hop and the like as if we all need it in our lives. That's my point.

The handover ceremony came across as a bit silly in my opinion as they had dancers doing hip-hop style dancing round a London bus.

I personally could not stand the idea.

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okay say there maybe no rap music. but how about dance music? a big integral part of the british and european music scene? hmmmm the freemasons or basement jaxx would liven it up for the athletes parade ;-)

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okay say there maybe no rap music. but how about dance music? a big integral part of the british and european music scene? hmmmm the freemasons or basement jaxx would liven it up for the athletes parade ;-)

Yeah, use music to evoke human emotions. The acts you listed are great. Artists like William Orbit and Brian Eno aswell - they create soundscapes which are beautiful.

Athens 2004 was immense - they had DJ Tiesto playing music and it totally captured the spirit of Athens and created this upbeat mood.

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william orbit would be an interesting one... don't get me started on his adagio for strings - loved it!! I personally think this kind of music would be more appropriate plus your traditional bands would be more british than rap music. and it still fits in nicely with the modern fresh youngimage london 2012 is trying to portray. saying that i'm 35 what do i know of tha yuuuuuth!! ;-)

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william orbit would be an interesting one... don't get me started on his adagio for strings - loved it!! I personally think this kind of music would be more appropriate plus your traditional bands would be more british than rap music. and it still fits in nicely with the modern fresh youngimage london 2012 is trying to portray. saying that i'm 35 what do i know of tha yuuuuuth!! ;-)

35 - your a young pup..lol!

I know what you mean - I love Adagio for strings by William Orbit too. That style of music is young, hip fresh and traditional all at the same time. Instead we will probably get Dizee Rascal harping on about being a 'playa' and some 2nd rate Beyonce shakin her 'booty' which she learned to do at Stringfellows. lol.

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or worse still being "bonkers in the manor" sorry if i've spelt it wrong!!! god i sounds soooo middle aged!

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or worse still being "bonkers in the manor" sorry if i've spelt it wrong!!! god i sounds soooo middle aged!

Yeah, lol.

I just what does get chosen is something we can be proud of. Britain has so much cultural icons to chose from.

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I think my jokey Take That comments have been taken out of context.

Lets look at Sydney - we had Vanessa Amorosi, Tina Arena, John Farnham, Nikki Webster and Olivia Newton John sing. Tina had had a few hits in Europe at that point - mainly in France. Vanessa has had a couple of medium sized UK hits. John Farnham was known more for being in the Little River Band and as a one hit wonder outside of Australia with 'You're The Voice'. ONJ is an international gay icon but about as relevant as a piece of dry toast.

Nonethless SOCOG knew they needed a few songs to drive the show to its end and to close out the ceremonial parts of the show. In Athens the ceremonies were far more artistic inclined and as such there was no need for "pop" as the huge visuals propelled the story in a way I have only seen once before - and that was the Barcelona OC. Beijing went for masses of humanity and still they brought in Sarah Brightman.

The point I am making is a well placed song can help. Just to argue my point about 'Greatest Day' - imagine the start of the ceremony - a stage in the centre of the field. The four guys step up from under the stage - instantly recognisable to all the Brits in the stadium (and most of Europe, Asia (especially Malaysia, China and Japan where they have done well) and a good smattering of Aussies - yeah they have had hits here too).

As the song starts "Today this could be... the greatest day of our lives" (slightly adjusted lyrics). Kids run onto the field trailing huge bright banners - as the song progresses ("watch the world come alive tonight") the Olympic rings are formed in the field ("hold on - hold on") pyro bursts overhead ("stay close to me") as the song finishes a peace symbol is formed - the screens show peace symbols being formed all over the UK, the world etc. From this simple evocative opening welcome you can swing straight into the UK flag raising, national anthems and the usual crap history/yoooooooof filler. You have done the mandatory "Olympic Truce" crap nice and early and you have set a tone for the show.

Now substitute Take That with whoever you want - Leona Lewis (no no no no no no no), Robbie Williams ('Let Love Be Your Energy' perhaps?), Rolling Stones ('Start Me Up') or anyone really. The ceremony is off to a fresh, spectacular start. I think OCOGs are moving towards a grand statement at the start of the show that may or may not be relevant to the rest of the show. Torino had their skaters, Beijing their light drummers...

Personally I reckon London should get The Flaming Lips to do the whole damn thing and really freak the world out.

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I think my jokey Take That comments have been taken out of context.

Lets look at Sydney - we had Vanessa Amorosi, Tina Arena, John Farnham, Nikki Webster and Olivia Newton John sing. Tina had had a few hits in Europe at that point - mainly in France. Vanessa has had a couple of medium sized UK hits. John Farnham was known more for being in the Little River Band and as a one hit wonder outside of Australia with 'You're The Voice'. ONJ is an international gay icon but about as relevant as a piece of dry toast.

Nonethless SOCOG knew they needed a few songs to drive the show to its end and to close out the ceremonial parts of the show. In Athens the ceremonies were far more artistic inclined and as such there was no need for "pop" as the huge visuals propelled the story in a way I have only seen once before - and that was the Barcelona OC. Beijing went for masses of humanity and still they brought in Sarah Brightman.

The point I am making is a well placed song can help. Just to argue my point about 'Greatest Day' - imagine the start of the ceremony - a stage in the centre of the field. The four guys step up from under the stage - instantly recognisable to all the Brits in the stadium (and most of Europe, Asia (especially Malaysia, China and Japan where they have done well) and a good smattering of Aussies - yeah they have had hits here too).

As the song starts "Today this could be... the greatest day of our lives" (slightly adjusted lyrics). Kids run onto the field trailing huge bright banners - as the song progresses ("watch the world come alive tonight") the Olympic rings are formed in the field ("hold on - hold on") pyro bursts overhead ("stay close to me") as the song finishes a peace symbol is formed - the screens show peace symbols being formed all over the UK, the world etc. From this simple evocative opening welcome you can swing straight into the UK flag raising, national anthems and the usual crap history/yoooooooof filler. You have done the mandatory "Olympic Truce" crap nice and early and you have set a tone for the show.

Now substitute Take That with whoever you want - Leona Lewis (no no no no no no no), Robbie Williams ('Let Love Be Your Energy' perhaps?), Rolling Stones ('Start Me Up') or anyone really. The ceremony is off to a fresh, spectacular start. I think OCOGs are moving towards a grand statement at the start of the show that may or may not be relevant to the rest of the show. Torino had their skaters, Beijing their light drummers...

Personally I reckon London should get The Flaming Lips to do the whole damn thing and really freak the world out.

So you are a die hard Take That fan?

I agree with you that the musical element is important to the success of the Olympic ceremony.

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Far from it - now if we are talking Barenaked Ladies or my beloved Fefe Dobson - maybe!! I just think the song fits the mood and as such am using it as an example. Any real anthemic track could work in that scenario.

Queens 'we will rock you'

Queens ' we are the champions'

Pink Floyd ' Time'

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Queens 'we will rock you'

Could work at the opening - but who would replace Freddie now Paul Rodgers has quit Queen? The cast of the musical 'We Will Rock You' perhaps? NOOO!

Queens ' we are the champions'

Better for the closing - but an appropriate Olympic theme.

Pink Floyd 'Time'

I like it - but it may be a bit old hat for the yooooof London 2012 mob - unless they get... oh lets say JLS or Britannia High to sing it! Ha!

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Could work at the opening - but who would replace Freddie now Paul Rodgers has quit Queen? The cast of the musical 'We Will Rock You' perhaps? NOOO!

Better for the closing - but an appropriate Olympic theme.

I like it - but it may be a bit old hat for the yooooof London 2012 mob - unless they get... oh lets say JLS or Britannia High to sing it! Ha!

Pink Floyd are legends. Keep JLS and those little shits from Britannia high away from their songs. lol. I just thought 'Time' was appropriate as it is a call to the world, a song about the importance of time on life, it evokes Big ben etc. It also a brilliant song.

But yeah, we'll get some illiterate, asbo laden chav, wearing a hoodie stolen of the back of a van rapping about the ghetto 'coz that is so cool man' and it's 'down with the yooooooofs innit!'. lol.

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