Jump to content

A Beautiful Opening Ceremony


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 212
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

I already gave my criticism about these ceremonies before (spectacular, but not the best because of the overpatriotism and glitches). Although Atkins did a good job, like Mr. X said, his ideas are being overused too often. In other words, he's becoming overrated, and i'm sure people from Canada itself could have pulled a show as spectacular (or better, perhaps) than what we saw last February 12.

I dont have big expectations for the closing, altough back in Doha, the closing ceremony, IMHO, was as spectacular as the OC, so who knows :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible that Atkins had great ideas, but he didn't have the resources to do it. I mean, consider that Atkins literally had to go begging to the VANOC Board of Directors for another $8.5-million for the in-stadium cauldron, drapes, and proper light fixtures. And I'm guessing the permanent outdoor cauldron at the convention centre came right out of the Ceremonies budget, that would have taken a huge swipe out of the Ceremonies budget.

And maybe VANOC should have started its Ceremonies process much earlier? They began looking for a Creative Team in 2006, and in 2007 the David Atkins team was chosen. That gave them just 3 years to brainstorm, design, hire people, and rehearse for the Ceremonies. Well actually, the contents and design of the Ceremonies was finalized in late-2008 so that means they had 2-years for the design process.

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 months before the Games. I also think that...and don't take this personally, Canada does not have much history* to be dramatized that isn't already familiar or too similar to what was already done in Oz (immigrants, the European colonizers, etc.)...which is why dramatizing a great big land is all that Atkins was left with, could find and which material he tried to make original in its execution.

*China has like 3,000 years of history; Salt Lake had a great them; Torino/Italy has like 500+ years to draw upon, etc., etc.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched the entire 3.5-hour Opening Ceremony on HD at CTV's Olympic website, without any commercials. This was the first time I watched the opening ceremony on tv in its entirety, my first time since watching it in person.

I think I may have been too harsh on the Opening Ceremony and on Atkins. It was an incredible ceremonies...I do think it has some weaknesses, it could have been better, but in the end Canada was greatly portrayed. It was a great concept.

The only thing I would say though is that the Bryan/Nelly segment "Bang The Drum" and the tree/grove/ballet segment could have used more performers, but it was still great. The "rah rah" poem was a total misfire, cool effect with the flares forming the maple leaf but the poem was just too much...when it's translated to other languages, i'm sure international viewers were lost. It was a anti-climax.

And of course, the cauldron failure...wtf Atkins?

I wish I had tickets to the Closing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, I am brand new to GamesBids but I have been a lurker for sometime. After reading alot of reviews for the OC I think alot of posters did not get what Dave Atkins was trying to do.

As an Asian American who has studied Fine Arts and has lived many years in Canada and other places I see this ceremonies as something diffrent, and I got what Atkins was trying to do.

The main idea behind these ceremonies was not to excite or thrill the audience but to enlist a emotional response, and create a story full of ideals and symbols. To me he did just that, and offered a unique take on Olympic ceremonies that differed from the norm. Some got it others did not, and they found it boring for the most part. This was a ceremonies of emotion and poetry, and the telling a story of a country who for the most part has trouble identifying what it really is. Canadian culture is the culture of the land in which they live, which is why geography was front and center. I thought it was extremly beautiful and I was very fortunate to experience it in person.

I will break my review down into diffrent categories, Music, theatre, Athlete parade...etc.

Music.

In short excellent overall. Despite not having a full world famous symphony the music was very well presented even though BC place does not have good acoustics it seems. It went part in parcel with what we were witnessing on stage. I perticularly liked "Fire on the Mountain" and "Peaks of endeavour" as original compositions. The musical quest for the most part were outstanding K.D Lang stole the show, and Sarah Mclachlan was very good as well. Nelly Furtado and Brian Adams were only so-so and Brian missed his cue. :huh:

The anthem was diffrent, and I did not like the composition, although it was sung very well by a very talented 16 year old girl Nikki Yanofsky. Still K.D Lang was amazing and I still get goose bumps hearing her sing again...very very well done.

Theatrical presentation.

For the majority I thought it was extremly well thought out and very well presented. For sake of ease I will break them down individually.

Hymn of the North

I really enjoyes the Snow falling on the crowd and the poetry spoken by Donald Sutherland. Other highlights were the constellations and the ice breaking showing the diaspora of Natives peoples in Canada. The Whales seem to be a favorite and the Salmon turing into totem poles was quite beautiful and brilliant. Excellent transition, nice symbolism of the Canadian waters and it's meaning to it's early and native peoples.

Sacred Grove.

I loves the music during this piece and really enjoyed the dancing and visual effects. The poetry added a nice feeling over all, and the ending was quite beautiful again with the light and engery in the "trees". Sarah Mclachlan was a nice touch and her music really showed the wonder and beauty of nature, and I think atkins wanted to show the miracle and wonder of the diversity and splendor of Canadian forests. Again excellent ending to this piece.

rhythms of the fall

I love the opening sequence of this pience the fiddler dueling his shadow in the moon was a highlight for me, and gave you a nice focus to center on while the stage was being set. The fiddling and tapping was great, and really showed the diversity and deep tradition in Canadian fiddling. For those who don't know fiddling is done all throught Canada not just the Eastern parts. Ashley at the end is a maniac and his bit showed just that. Very energetic and powerful sequence which emulates the energy seens in Canadian fall when harves and other preperations before winter are busy in motion. Very well done again, no complaints.

Who has seen the wind.....the real question is who has seen the wind?

Unless you are from or spent time in the praries you will NOT understand this piece and even alot of Canadians did not get it.

Myself I spent over 5 years in Regina Saskatchewan so I understood the symbolism of seeing more of the sky then the ground. Plus W.O Mitchell at the start was bang on, excellent choice of poetry. I can see why people though this one to be boring as it speaks to a land that is full of essentially nothing, but the endless fields of gold, and the sky. Plus the song was beautiful and really brought this peice together. From a excitment view point this was the weakest but from a poetic and symbolic view this was FULL of symbols and emotion.

Captured the Canadian Praries imagary very well, and the strom transition was just again brilliant as that is what you see often in summer sky's.

Peaks of Peaks of Edeavour

I loves the George Vancouver quote, by this time you should understand that it is not events that shape Canadian people but the geography that made them what they are. This I can tell is a more traditional Atkins theme as this was more flashy and the idea was to excite you ans offer great visuals. Still a very powerful peice showing the size age of the Canadian landscape that transformed into Vancouver.

The poet, take what you want from it. I thought it was nice and diffrent all at the same time.

Athletes parade

I really enjoyed the Ice welcome poles, and thought bringing in all of Canada's native people was a great idea and IMO this was a very well done parade, no real complaints. I also loves the snow boarder at the start to intoduce the rings not a unique thing but still quite well done.

Lighting the Flame.

Yikes. That is so unfortunate. Such a wonderful show and a mechanical failure happens...what can you do. Still the design of the flame was good, although I expected something more grand like in Saltlake and Turin. I guess that is hard when you are indoor.

Plus I liked the idea of having a second Cauldron at the harbour. Plus I was gald when I heard they made it accessible to the public.

Ok sorry for the long post, and for bumping this thread, but I really felt that not many people here really got the fact that this was a poetic, and emotional show not what you usually see in a Olympic games. If I had to rate it, I would rate it very high as this was unique in design and the flame problem holds it back from being one of the best.

Again sorry fro the long post and spelling errors, no time to edit.

Cheers, see you in London!

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very good review in my opinion.

In retrospect, with four weeks having passed, I have more and more fond memories of the opening ceremony. There were so many highly emotional moments -- in an amount even slightly bigger than in Sydney.

First of all, the Sacred Grove segment. For me, it's definitely a "I have to watch that again" moment in Olympic ceremonial history. Sarah McLachlan's song "Ordinary Miracles" was so uplifting and yet so calm and soothing, and the ballet performance was superb. It even had a West Side Story quality. Maybe that segment also touched me because it showed the joy of spring and summer and green leaves while we in Germany were still shivering in an unusually cold and snowy winter (which is still not completely over yet).

Then, the "Who Has Seen The Wind" segment. I think that the sparse imagery of that segment was what actually made the segment magical, in combination with that great, great song "Both Sides Now" of which I have so many fond childhood memories. It was a mixture of innocent joy, contemplation or even meditation -- simply wonderful!

Furthermore, k.d. lang's performance of "Hallelujah". She deserves a Grammy for that performance alone. It's a great song anyway, but she managed to add an extra quality to it. And once more, the imagery was amazing, with all those warm golden lights all across the field and the stands.

And while they hadn't exactly the same emotional impact on me like the aforementioned three segments, also the "Hymn To The North" segment (especially the Orcas!) and the "Peaks Of Endeavour" had some very impressive images (especially the Orcas in the first and the way they depicted the buzz of a big city like Vancouver in the latter).

Actually, that ceremony was very much like the whole Vancouver 2010 Games: At first -- when they started -- it seemed as if they would be permanently overshadowed by the luger's death, the lack of snow on Cypress Mountain, the ice problems in Richmond Oval etc. (in the ceremony's case, the problems were the lack of right timing in some segments or, of course, the cauldron failure) but by and by, those negative experiences became less important and the positive experiences gained importance in my (and obviously also others') perception. In the end, I think that Vancouver, Whistler and the whole of Canada staged very, very good Olympic Winter Games -- and the opening ceremony was very, very good as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, that ceremony was very much like the whole Vancouver 2010 Games: At first -- when they started -- it seemed as if they would be permanently overshadowed by the luger's death, the lack of snow on Cypress Mountain, the ice problems in Richmond Oval etc. (in the ceremony's case, the problems were the lack of right timing in some segments or, of course, the cauldron failure) but by and by, those negative experiences became less important and the positive experiences gained importance in my (and obviously also others') perception. In the end, I think that Vancouver, Whistler and the whole of Canada staged very, very good Olympic Winter Games -- and the opening ceremony was very, very good as well.

In my mind, I think our games were the most "human" in recent years. I believe the tragedies of Nodar's death and Joannie's mom's passing, added to the experience and showed a human side to us Canadians. I just rewatched the highlights on the CBC DVD of the Torino games. all I got to say that was bizarre. Beijing's were too, um, too big, communist, ordered, just too unhuman. I honestly can't remember Athens' ceremonies. Salt Lake's were good, but I don't remember much of the details anymore (In the closing, I just remember Donny and Marie made an appearance with some big dinosaurs and Kiss performed. Kiss performing in Mormon country? Um, ok...)

I'm looking forward to rewatching the ceremonies when I get the CTV DVD in the mail.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Chapter 3 -- dedicated to Todd C. who was a prominent contributer here on GB, "LA84" (but died suddenly in early 2009)

Chapter 7 -- dedicated to my Eden Hospital Support Group...

and my book came out weeks before Feb 12; so see...Mr. Atkins, yours was not the first to dedicate a ceremony/piece of art to certain entities!! Ha!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

×
×
  • Create New...