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Opening Ceremony


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well, the thing is when you don't have and can't match a $170 million budget, then you fall back into the: "well, we'll show what's the best of (fill in name of host country)" defense mode. Read that as..we can't top the spectacular effects of Beijing...not unless we get a $200 MILLION Ceremonies budget!! :lol::lol:

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What else can we do?!

We remember that Britain has nothing to prove like China as we have been open to the world for centuries.

We remind ourselves that the public won't tolerate obscene amounts of money being spent on ceremonies.

We think of the UK's global creative and cultural impact.

The British are almost unique in terms of global impact in these areas as we have both an historical and modern legacy which includes popular culture only rivalled by the USA. The British flag itself is a global icon recognised across the earth by most . The richness of our history and the icons associated with us gives us an envious wealth of ideas to draw upon.

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We remember that Britain has nothing to prove like China as we have been open to the world for centuries.

We remind ourselves that the public won't tolerate obscene amounts of money being spent on ceremonies.

We think of the UK's global creative and cultural impact.

The British are almost unique in terms of global impact in these areas as we have both an historical and modern legacy which includes popular culture only rivalled by the USA. The British flag itself is a global icon recognised across the earth by most . The richness of our history and the icons associated with us gives us an envious wealth of ideas to draw upon.

Money need not be the determining factor in how successful the ceremonies are. For me personally, I liked Athens ceremony more than Beijing as I felt it had more artistry.

The important thing is to have 'quality of thought' and create things with impact and a bit of intelligence. The biggest budget on earth can not but that!

Britain has so much pop culture and history to draw upon that I'm sure the ceremonies will be excellent.

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What an interesting turn of phrase

But I agree with your point Kev :D

Well one mustn't ignore the global impact of some other european cultures or the americans, but it terms of scale coupled with history I'd say the British are unique.

I should've said ENVIABLE not envious . Now I have to flail myself......in my black learher hotpants.

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Money need not be the determining factor in how successful the ceremonies are. For me personally, I liked Athens ceremony more than Beijing as I felt it had more artistry.

The important thing is to have 'quality of thought' and create things with impact and a bit of intelligence.

I take it all back, oaky. We do agree on something.

In terms of spectacle and grandeur, Beijing was (and may well remain) unparalleled. However, I agree that Athens really managed to create a work of art. The Athens ceremonies really set the tone for those Games that Rogge called "unforgettable dream Games."

No question about it. Money helps. A lot.

I do not envy London's task of having to follow Beijing's act. All I can say is that London must take a very different approach. Some of the world's greatest theater artists reside in the UK. I hope the organizers take advantage of this fact. I'm not just talking about Trevor Nunn and his West End extravaganzas. Some of the best theater I've ever seen was produced at the Young Vic -- work full of thought, sensitivity and humanity -- reasonably low budget productions that used creative invention to serve human stories. Obviously such work will not literally translate in an Olympic stadium. But that high level of artistic integrity will. THAT is what London must bring to the stage in the opening ceremonies. They should not "talk down" to the world audience, but should create a rich, challenging and beautiful work of art.

But by all means, no more unfolding double-decker buses surrounded by chaotic, pseudo-arty dancers. PLEASE.

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I take it all back, oaky. We do agree on something.

In terms of spectacle and grandeur, Beijing was (and may well remain) unparalleled. However, I agree that Athens really managed to create a work of art. The Athens ceremonies really set the tone for those Games that Rogge called "unforgettable dream Games."

No question about it. Money helps. A lot.

I do not envy London's task of having to follow Beijing's act. All I can say is that London must take a very different approach. Some of the world's greatest theater artists reside in the UK. I hope the organizers take advantage of this fact. I'm not just talking about Trevor Nunn and his West End extravaganzas. Some of the best theater I've ever seen was produced at the Young Vic -- work full of thought, sensitivity and humanity -- reasonably low budget productions that used creative invention to serve human stories. Obviously such work will not literally translate in an Olympic stadium. But that high level of artistic integrity will. THAT is what London must bring to the stage in the opening ceremonies. They should not "talk down" to the world audience, but should create a rich, challenging and beautiful work of art.

But by all means, no more unfolding double-decker buses surrounded by chaotic, pseudo-arty dancers. PLEASE.

The transforming bus was a metaphor for the regeneration of the east end of London due to the Olympic games. I thought it was highly creative.

It's strange, but I didn't think Beijing's ceremony was as outstanding as I was expecting. I didn't feel any connection to it. I got more enjoyment out of Athens 2004, Turin 2006 and Salt lake 2002.

I think Beijing's ceremony can be topped - not that London should be trying to do this.

What London brings to the Olympics is that London is the number 1 Alpha city in the world, and has some of the most iconic backdrops and stadiums in the world. I think London actually has more grandeur in my opinion and future cities will be hard pressed to match London.

Why would London talk down to the world? It only has to present the UK's history creatively and engage with the world! Easy peasy lol!

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I think Beijing's ceremony can be topped - not that London should be trying to do this.

See...that the cop-out! NOPE!! It is imperative that every new host try to TOP the previous one.

That is the onus of history...otherwise you will be rendered a sop and a washed out failure.

Barons' (there are at least 4 of us now....so.... ;) rule: Every new host city has to do it ...or die trying!!! :lol:

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But by all means, no more unfolding double-decker buses surrounded by chaotic, pseudo-arty dancers. PLEASE.

The unfolding bus was a great idea ,unfortunately those awful dancers were not. They were barely actually dancing and they were representing tired old cliches.Most of them looked like they'd been dragged out of an East End pub.Totally uninspired.

At least we didn't have grown men on bicycles dressed as kangeroos like the aussies did. Now that WAS shameful.

In regard to Beijing - the only parts I remember are the runner going around the roof which was awesome and computer-generated firework footprints in the sky. Oh yes,then there was the the little girl doing the miming to the song because the little girl that actually did sing wasn't considered pretty enough to be seen on television .Apart from those sometimes questionable exceptions there wasn't anything about the Beijing ceremony that wasn't entirely predictable.If anything is predictable about the chinese as a nation, or indeed the olympic ceremonies,it is thousands of synchronised robots.

We can all do scale. You can only fit so many people into a stadium. China has very few global icons. We have too many to choose from and I don't just mean buildings.

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See...that the cop-out! NOPE!! It is imperative that every new host try to TOP the previous one.

That is the onus of history...otherwise you will be rendered a sop and a washed out failure.

Barons' (there are at least 4 of us now....so.... ;) rule: Every new host city has to do it ...or die trying!!! :lol:

Well Baron,

Never underestimate the British bulldog spirit! :lol:

Theres still some fight in the 'empire' lol!

I'm sure London will do a grand job!

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They were barely actually dancing and they were representing tired old cliches.Most of them looked like they'd been dragged out of an East End pub.Totally uninspired.

I don't know if you know this Kev, but the main reason the dancers looked like they'd been dragged from a pub was that the music wasn't timed properly to the routine. There was a technical error in the music playback and by the time they got out the bus the music was at the wrong point for their routine; it didn't match up and it looked sloppy but they had to make the best of it - I feel sorry for the dancers really. All the big gestures in the dance came 10 or 15 seconds before (or after, I can't remember) the big moments in the music they related to!! So they'd jump up in the air simulataneously (or whatever, I'm no choreographer) and nothing would happen in the music to match!

Watching the relaigned routine on Youtube (they've redubbed the sound) it looks much better as the points of imapct in the dance and music match up as intended.

Whether that was an error on the part of London or on the part of Beijing I don't know - zero rehearsal time in the venue using other people's equipment is bound to be risky. Whatever the case, it made an above average handover into a bit of a mess which was a real shame.

No excuses come 2012; we'll be in full control then...

Edited by Rob
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When I wrote that I hoped London didn't "talk down" the world audience, I meant that I hoped they wouldn't cater to the lowest common denominator by producing a simple, mindless entertainment. I hope they try to do something with depth and artistry.

Regarding the bus -- the concept was better than the execution. The interior covered w/ phony turf just didn't work. A technical glitch can only partially account for the dance debacle. It was underwhelming.

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When I wrote that I hoped London didn't "talk down" the world audience, I meant that I hoped they wouldn't cater to the lowest common denominator by producing a simple, mindless entertainment. I hope they try to do something with depth and artistry.

Regarding the bus -- the concept was better than the execution. The interior covered w/ phony turf just didn't work. A technical glitch can only partially account for the dance debacle. It was underwhelming.

You're negating to acknowledge the roars of the crowd as Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page emerged with that world famous guitar riff or the screams of the crowd as Beckham appeared. So effectively that was Athens and Beijing already "topped" because neither produced such idolised global icons. Add to that the fact that Beijing actually chose Sarah Brightman ( British ) and it clear that us Brits have nothing to fear.

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We Americans are masters at trotting out celebrities to camouflage a lack of content and forethought. Please don't borrow that from us. Your country has SO much more to offer.

Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page and Becks (even w/ his weak kick) were a nice addition, but the whole presentation didn't hang together.

I don't really think this is worrisome because, frankly, I'm not usually inspired by the handover portion of the CC. It tends to feature the upcoming host city at its least prepared. Beijing wasn't terribly exciting either w/ it's giant lantern, little girl and mini-clad musicians. Basically, I don't really think the handover is much of an indication of anything except what an organizing committee can throw together in relatively little time with relatively little money and virtually no rehearsal.

I'm sure we will see a VAST improvement from London's OC.

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Only because Celine Dion and Gloria Estefan, the 2 other Olympic divas, were NOT available.

Celine could still make an appearance at the UK's ceremony and belt out 'My heart will go on' on top of the Titanic. That would top anything. So get get that squealing banshee over to London asap!

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At least we didn't have grown men on bicycles dressed as kangeroos like the aussies did. Now that WAS shameful.

Sigh.

It was young kids on bmx bikes with inflated kangaroos strapped to their backs.

And apparently that 'shameful' display along with the recreation of the Opera House sails were pretty much universally acclaimed as the highpoint of the Atlanta closing ceremony and set a new bench mark for handovers.

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