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A Beautiful Opening Ceremony


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It seems all the naysayers completely didn't understand what it is that they saw. They got caught up in the hype that the OC are all about one-upsmanship. When it is supposed to be about telling the story of your country through music and performance art. Canada took it back to that. What it is supposed to be.

Beijing: To compare Friday night's ceremonies to Beijing's is very inappropriate. China has a population of 2 billion people, and is communist ruled in most parts. To have thousands of people at a time in perfect unison is a proper representation. Beijing's OC had a cast of over 15,000. They went big, and we are not going to see an OC that big for a long time.

Canada is a big country, with a small population. For this, a smaller amount of people, and a empty space was important in representing our country. Beijing's population is 3-4 million less than ALL of Canada put together. Our biggest segment was the "Rhythms of the Fall", with only 300 people in it.

The story line (for the cultural):

It took me a few viewings to figure it out, it didn't fully make sense to me until the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday. (I was one of the performers).

What you saw, was Canada being discovered, and built. We start in the North, the first place discovered and explored by the Europeans. We then move into the "Sacred Grove" (the forest scene). This represents Ontario & Quebec (or Upper and Lower Canada), which are heavily forested provinces, and the first places settled by the English and the French. We move out towards Atlantic Canada which developed next, and still to this day has a heavy Celtic and Scottish influence. We then move into the Prairies, which was next on the path of settlement and discovery. Minimalism set the tone here, which represented Saskatchewan's vast space as the young Prairie boy floated across the wheat fields. A prairie type storm moves in turning into a blizzard causing the mountains of British Columbia to form. We get close to our Olympic destination, and thus, a tribute to winter sports. The mountain falls as if you were flying in from the east, exposing the coastal city of Vancouver. The poem "We are more" along with the maple leaf in red fire represents the unity of Canada. The poem is something that speaks to Canadians, and gives foreigners a glimpse into the mind of a Canadian.

Glitches and misses:

I'm not going to discus ones that weren't obvious. It's a shame about the cauldron. The pause while people attempted to rectify the problem was too much for most people and killed the energy. It still looked fine to me. It looked fairly industrial to me. And anyone who has traveled around in Vancouver knows there's a lot of industrial business here.

O Canada: WORST rendition of our anthem I have ever had to tolerate! The premise behind a national anthem is to have a simple melody to which you don't need to be a singer of any caliber to be able to sing it. In the OC, the anthem is supposed to sound special, dramatic, epic, beautiful, and drawn out, as the raising of the flag is supposed to be a very emotional part for the host nation. Canada's was a little too long, and the singer put way too much pop-style embellishment on the melody, fucking up the anthem for everyone. As a Canadian I felt very hurt, and embarrassed by the presentation of our national anthem. Torino 2006 was the best rendition of an anthem in the OC I've ever heard/seen.

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BC Place isn't known for its sound quality. But I have a theory...because it came before the cultural part, the parade being so early made me wonder if that was it. And because of that people may not

Actually,,.for the RECORD...David Atkins and Vancouver 2010 copied MY m.O. of dedicating the whole or parts of my book to specific individuals. In my book... the whole book -- dedicated to my mother

Oh, Atkins had enough funds AND time to develop the Ceremonies. The $50 mil and 3 years' lead time is PLENTY. X, LA-1984 had only $8-10 million to work with and David Wolper's unit only took over 11

It looked fairly industrial to me. And anyone who has traveled around in Vancouver knows there's a lot of industrial business here.

Hmmmm, I don't think it was meant to be industrial. I think its design was continuation of a present, but largely unimportant theme of the night - ice. The totem poles at welcoming the world were stylized as ice, the stage was designed to look like ice, as were the placards used in the Parade. So I think the cauldron is some sort of icicle sculpture.

Also, I think one can better interpret that the cauldron as reflecting Vancouver's nickname of the "glass city."

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There was actually a news article awhile ago about how the Vancouver ceremonies tickets were cheaper than Torino's and Salt Lake's...i think you may have your numbers wrong.

Nope. My figures, as I said, are from the Official Ticket brochures offered to the US market. Obviously the Can$180 seat that you got is/was NOT offered outside Canada, so I/we are not aware of that.

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It took me a few viewings to figure it out, it didn't fully make sense to me until the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday. (I was one of the performers).

robbs, welcome.

If it took you several viewings to figure it out, then obviously, the message was obscured from the start. Why should something that is clear REQUIRE SEVERAL viewings to be told? To me that is like taking not only your money for a couple of viewings but your time as well. If the story line wasn'tobvious from the start, then the producers failed in their job. (However, that is not my complaint...I did get the story line..)

Now, about "...on-upsmanship.." That's the WHOLE POINT!! I mean is it China's fault if they only have 29,000 people and can only put on a high-school-amateur show? Why should China's massive efforts be minimized if other countries can't match China's resources? That's not China's fault. They set the standard and every other Ceremony that follows will have to live or die by 2008...

just kidding, robbs!! But you have to allow for the oneupsmanship. That's all part of the Ceremonies game!! :D:D

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I don't get it. There were powerful segment during Beijing's ceremony but it for all the money and expectation it was not the best I've ever seen so not sure that its appropriate to compare other ceremonies to that of Beijing.

In fact there were simple and elegant scenes in the Paralympic ceremony which in some cases were far better than the Beijing Ceremony, because they were so simple, understated etc.

e.g. the blind guy playing the piano as the seasons changed was not going to blow you away but was memorable and timeless.

The Sarah Brightman song was good on paper but did not traslate very well...woohoo they were standing on top of a giant globe.

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-wales

-cauldron legs

-Joni singing live

-smiles on great ones

-Celine (sorry canadians, she sings better than the tween)

-untangled flags

-razors for poets

-KD Langs voice

Less

-fiddles

-tap dancing

-faux punks

-ice zombies

-fabric mountains

-close-ups of american snowboarders (more cute europeans please)

-audience drums that sound dull

-random native(?) Dancing

-quilted jackets

-KD Langs outfit

Really? I thought the fiddles/ tap dancing/ faux punks were awesome! As was the poet! Though that kind of thing - as wonderfully original as it was - doesn't work for anyone who doesn't speak English, so I'm not sure it was the best decision.

It's come out that Celine was asked but declined because she's in hospital at the moment undergoing IVF again... Good luck to her with that. For all her idiosyncrasies - and we Canucks like to have a good laugh at her expense - she's a mighty talented and very philanthropic gal, and by all accounts a fabulous mom. I may not be a fan, but I hope she gets her baby.

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In an interview this morning Sarah Mclachlan kept referring to the flying prairie boy as the flying women... :lol:

I can totally understand that. That was one girlish guy...or a very boyish girl.

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In fact there were simple and elegant scenes in the Paralympic ceremony which in some cases were far better than the Beijing Ceremony, because they were so simple, understated etc.

e.g. the blind guy playing the piano as the seasons changed was not going to blow you away but was memorable and timeless.

The Sarah Brightman song was good on paper but did not traslate very well...woohoo they were standing on top of a giant globe.

That's true, Mo. Only problem is not all of us get to see the Paralympic Ceremonies. They're kinda hard to keep track of. And then also, when I tried to get photos of past Paralympic Ceremonies for the book, their (official) Belgian photographer and archive keeper was VERY vigilant AND expensive about reuse of his photos -- strange, considering their a distant stepsister to the regular Os. Thus, I ended up NOT using his work.

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That's true, Mo. Only problem is not all of us get to see the Paralympic Ceremonies. They're kinda hard to keep track of. And then also, when I tried to get photos of past Paralympic Ceremonies for the book, their (official) Belgian photographer and archive keeper was VERY vigilant AND expensive about reuse of his photos -- strange, considering their a distant stepsister to the regular Os. Thus, I ended up NOT using his work.

Baron...don't you know that the Beijing Paralympic OC was actually a brilliant piece of maskirovka from the Chinese, and was really a dry run for their invasion of Taiwan. Hence all photos are state secrets as they could show the running dog west how important pianos will be in the liberation of capitalist Formosa.

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While watching it I realized that there seems to be a David Atkins style. The Vancouver OC had the same feel and 'technical look' as the Manchester, Sydney, and Doha OCs. And even with how a host city/country's culture is translated and interpreted into productions such as these.

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Baron...don't you know that the Beijing Paralympic OC was actually a brilliant piece of maskirovka from the Chinese, and was really a dry run for their invasion of Taiwan. Hence all photos are state secrets as they could show the running dog west how important pianos will be in the liberation of capitalist Formosa.

:lol::lol:

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Yes, there were two too many androgynous people in this ceremony.

You can say that again! Except for the wolfboy. I bet Vanoc was trying to win over the teen audience with Twilight references. AND trying showcase an important part of BC culture (and the wolfboy's torso, for the matter).

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Barron-Pierre: It took me several viewings (which was actually only 3) to connect everything as a story. I could see everything for what it was and connect it to something that related to a geographical region o Canada. It was the order chosen, and why which took more time to break down. That doesn't mean it didn't get it's point across. I can think of many operas which require several viewings to get the whole story.

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It had its highs and lows.

No doubt that there were no lulls (except for the cauldron bit) and the presentation was seamless enough but there's just a disconnect - whether in the story or the allusions between how this one segment connects with the next. This is especially evident from the tree segment to the autumn and then to the peaks. The staging was seamless and the drapes did wonders in changing the scenes, it just felt like the segment performances itself didn't transition as smoothly as the set did.

Th countdown was a big downer and I blame the camera handling in that. I mean, we were wondering how the countdown will begin and then all of a sudden projections of the numbers begin and the camera angles were all over the place. No focus, anti-climactic.

That snowboarder was cool enough but he really didn't need to say anything anymore. He did his thing and he should have just faded away after the jump. Not unless he was someone famous that people would care who he was when he greeted the crowd.

The French greeting of the FHFN with "wolf-boy" sounded forced.

The maple leaves at least at the autumn segment were just so over-the top. Giant maple leaf cut-outs?

I know that the roof of BC place was a saver since it rained that day in Vancouver but I sorely missed the pyro in this one. SLC had great dynamics between the set, the pyro, and the crowd. The pyro effects then although just simple "squirts" felt like they stretched the dimension of the stadium and it turned out very spectacular.

It felt like the dome was underutilized, even if it had those cables and rigs, it could have been another dimension they could have worked on that would have made this ceremonies feel truly indoor and special.

I never thought that I would be this underwhelmed, maybe because I had such high hopes, after all, I think vancouver has made really great choices (look, mascots, medals, etc) in the lead-up to the Games.

Over-all IMHO, its not exactly forgettable but its a rather bland.

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According to Nelly Furtado's interview with Access Hollywood, DSquared, the Canadian fashion duo, designed the outfits for all the women who performed during the ceremony. Each outfit was based off a color from the Olympic Rings (Nelly's was blue, and so on...)

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According to Nelly Furtado's interview with Access Hollywood, DSquared, the Canadian fashion duo, designed the outfits for all the women who performed during the ceremony. Each outfit was based off a color from the Olympic Rings (Nelly's was blue, and so on...)

Was MacLachlan wearing anything other than the piano(which took care of black, I guess)??

But Measha was wearing gold; and since kdlang was wearing off-white or ecru, we know they didn't dress 'her.' :D

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