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Galandar

Baku 2015 European Games

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Are you always so ignorant and disrespectful when it comes to hosts of sport events? Well I don't care so much, just wondering...

^^ That's Baron for you. Get used to it.

Boy, it took a long time for those girls with the hoop skirts to get off the stage, hence the Flame Journey film clip. They try sooooooo hard to make the placard bearers different and witty each time; but it only looks more silly each time. What's with wrapping women in these cage outfits? Also, the nations marched in too far apart from each other.

If you notice closely, the cage was shaped after patterns from Azeri rugs(carpets). And each one was different from the others.

And yeah I think we all agree the last segment was hand down the most impressive one. But i thought the ceremony was really decent and not a bad show overall. Only that it felt a bit too short of artistic segments.

I was very disappointed with the ceremony. There was no emotion. The directors and producers have something to do with the ceremonies of Athens? I thought many times of similar ceremony with the Athens opening ceremony.
I think it had many features that could be used in a better way, that is have not been explored. Because in all the ceremony moments we had this big white circle in the center of the stadium? Why not use projections as well as Sochi 2014 has made? I think it would be a good idea to display the flag of the countries, or something, in the parade of athletes.

Yes. Papaioannu, who directed the ceremonies of Athens 2004, did this show as well, hence why there was that Clepsydra like segment.

And to be fair, a rest from projections once in a while is not bad. Honestly, its kind of annoying when a ceremony overuses projections all the time (and I feel anyone can do this these days. Its been also copied to death on recent years)

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Anyway You probably noticed already but the singer from the countdown (and later on the carpet segment) was Alim Qasimov, one of the most important singers of folk Azeri music (Mugham) . He was also in the Eurovision 2012 opening and interlude performances, for those who can't remember. The countdown also began at 24 seconds because it has been 24 years since the independence of Azerbaijan.

The Totally not a ripoff of Clepsydra carrousel segment was meant to shown ancient arabic/persian poetry and epics. The guy with the weight scale was supossed to represent the 12th century poet Nizam Ganvaji, whose works are reverred in both Turkey and the turkic countries. The scenes depicted are from works such as "Khosrow and Shirin", which was about two lovers who fought over many circumstances in order to be together at last, for example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khosrow_and_Shirin

The last segment was an allergory of the Nowruz, a very important festival in former turkic countries, marking the first day of Equinox (equinox meant in old times than day and night were in equal duration) which celebrated fertility. The arrival of the persian new year represented "the end of darkness, and the rebirth of light)

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Oh good the site is back up! For those who didn't see it, here's the link to the OC

My review: Loved the intro with the skirts, certainly something I haven't seen before in any OC. Disliked the long intro video into their little parade. But at least it was I think the only one and wasn't a ceremony overkilled by video transitions like the mess London had.

The parade, man y'all were not kidding! I think they executed it more brilliantly than Athens did, but the problem I found is I recognized nothing in that whole parade. And I'm sure there were a lot of people in the audience that also didn't know what to make of the majority of the scenes being shown. I think they were trying to find a quick and clever way of illustrating Azerbaijan history, but it doesn't work when this type of setting.They should have just focused highlighting a few segments of their history like Beijing's OC and Sydney's OC did. And I was getting bored of the puppets really quick, but it was amusing seeing the guy pretty much breakdancing throughout the whole parade segment.

Loved the pomegranate opening and releasing its seeds. So simple, yet so elegant. I was a little surprised that the athletes entered the stadium in English alphabetical order. Traditionally for the Olympics they walk in order of the alphabet of the host nation. I think the same goes for the Pan American, African and Asian games, someone correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

Lady GaGa, bleh. She started rough but ended nicely. But still, at least have a singer come in to sing their own material. And a bit ironic for her to be singing the song from a Beatles member who would be livid to have his music sung in a country like Azerbaijan! Europa segment I thought was very appropriate to highlight since this was the first ever European Games. What I didn't like about it is dragged on and on needlessly, like many other segments.

Of course the very best part of the whole ceremony was the leading up to the lighting of the torch. Although it started off a bit slow and dragged on a bit, it just got better and better. And I don't see anything wrong with the torch being an eclipse, I liked it and it's something totally different than your average looking torch. The method in which it was lit is a bit controversial as it's usually athletes that light it up. But judging by the looks of the OC as a whole, there was no written policy on what you have to or don't have to do in these OCs. I'm sure that will change though for the next one.

Overall, for a non-Olympic games OC I thought it was beautifully executed. It was all very elegant. But I do have to say they dragged on a lot of the segments far more than they really should have, which is exactly one of my main issues with Athens' OC. My god Athens sure did know how to make something so elegant so absolutely boring! And they really should have used the whole stadium instead of focus it on just this ring in the middle. I've always been a fan of OCs who do a great job of using their whole floor. So for the first OC of a European games, it was still well done.

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Are you always so ignorant and disrespectful when it comes to hosts of sport events? Well I don't care so much, just wondering...

I guess that was directed at me. I ask you: why? Where do I have a contract which says that I can't judge the show? If (you or) they don't want ti judged; then don't show it to the public. Keep it hidden. Do you come from countries like Azerbaijan where you can't think for yourself -- and you're subject to thought control? :rolleyes:

I did say there were good things -- but some things could also have been better. Overall, as Latin said, it lacked heart and a little emotion. You would've thought Papaioannou would've learned that after 11 years. He just does these living museum exhibits shows.

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You're late I put the video up a few hours ago! ;)

Yes, I have just noticed it :)

Some more photos from the opening ceremony:

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I enjoyed that opening ceremony.

Parts of it were a little bit hit and miss, but by and large was a unique production.

I guess there were 2 key points out of it.

Klepsydra 2.0.

Now this production had Papaioannou written all over it, there is nothing wrong with that (which I'll mention later) , but this I found to be the only part of the ceremony that was a shameless copy (granted a copy of his own work).

The entire concept was the same, only the execution was inferior.

Everything about Klepsydra in Athens was far better produced, the music was far better, and visually it seemed like far more care had been taken. I think the only exception would be that from a stadium perspective, Baku's version probably would have looked far more cohesive.

Gaga. I don't have a problem with her being there in terms of her being a performer. She has a fantastic voice and no reason she shouldn't be up there with the other performers who have appeared in a ceremony. However I think it's a tad odd she appears in Baku, and I think the song choice is just a tad cliche now.

The final artistic portion. Amazing. There is one thing I like about Papaioannou, and that is his story telling ability and mixing it with some key and simple iconic moments. Moments that really make the ceremony . It may be a look of a performer, the raising of an arm, but it seems to work.

I loved the way the whole final artistic segment worked in well from start to finish. The roll in from the sun and moon scales, echoing this in the main 2 cast members on the mountain and by the water, and then following through to the moon and sun united in a total eclipse.

The final jump of the performers to light the disc was epic.

And of course, some fantastic set design.

One of the most impressive segments I've seen in a ceremony, thoroughly well produced and directed.

Now, yes, there are traits of Papaioannou's work that could be easily identified.

Lovers were evident both here and in Athens would be another key similarity.

However, can we really be surprised.

To be fair, it's the same with all of the usual suspects when it comes to ceremonies. Those who have watched many a ceremony can tell a Birch ceremony, from an Atkins, a MIscher and a Zolkwer.

It's not unique to DP.

Heck, Mischer used identical (yet specially composed) music in both the ceremonies of Atlanta and Salt Lake and even similar lit tiled stage design.

Birch. both of his key ceremonies have had the athletes covered in fabric.

Atkins used a child as the cental focus of the ceremony in Sydney and Doha.

The list goes on and on, to an extent, I don't think we should be so hard on DP (though I agree the Klepsydra was a tad below the belt).

This far in, there is really probably nothing new in ceremonies anymore. Everything has been done before in some form. Water in LA, Manchester, Sydney, Athens and now Baku.

All in all, a great show.

Well done.

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Even though it was not an original ceremony, the torch lighting really was.... the fact the final lighting was not executed by an thlete, who previously "lighted" the flame "underground" was a totally new and original concept.... And the Papaioannou seal was clear: theatrical and plastic executions. His best claimed segment was repeated: Klepsidra, which has been one of the most remembered segment in any ceremony so far.... A total eclipse, as the cauldron lighting, may set a precedent for cauldron ligthtings from now on, to be not the classical torch lighting by athletes, but to take part of the show itself and not a separated segment...

Lady Gaga performance made me clear remember the Yoko Ono same performance in Torino 2006 Opening Ceremony.

(At a first glance, the stage itself looked as the "heart" of Torino 2006)

I really liked it and I can predict it will be the best ceremony of the year, although we have Toronto Pan Am, Summer Universiade and Special Olympics ceremonies to see... And having already watched SEA Games ceremony (en excelent ceremony at Olympic scale, but a totally Sochi deja vu) and some ceremonies at a lower scale and can say it wil be "The ceremony of the year"

Just a curious point: All ceremonies which have been taken place in a city starting with "B" have been memorables ones: Barcelona, Beijing and now Baku... As it is said in Spanish: "B de BUENO" (BUENO: Good)

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I don't know if any of your noticed the "circle" theme -- the logo, the raised stage, the hole in the stadium roof; the salute to the CERN- hadron collider; and then finally the ring-cauldron. But they didn't make the connections too obvious, otherwise it would be mistaken for the 5 rings of the Olympic Games.

And the smallish 'cauldron.' That's the problem with the almost fully-enclosed stadia (Beijing, London, Sochi - outside), you can only use 'smaller-type' caldera, otherwise it would burn through the roof. And pyrotechnics are limited to the inner rim of the roof.

One good thing I can say about this Baku telecast, is that it was very good in terms of cutting away from the action inside the stadium to get the magnificent fireworks displays outside. The timing of the cut-aways was perfect! Very good camerawork in that regard.

I'm surprised they didn't use too many children in this OC. Maybe in the Closing?

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Even though it was not an original ceremony, the torch lighting really was.... the fact the final lighting was not executed by an thlete, who previously "lighted" the flame "underground" was a totally new and original concept.... And the Papaioannou seal was clear: theatrical and plastic executions. His best claimed segment was repeated: Klepsidra, which has been one of the most remembered segment in any ceremony so far.... A total eclipse, as the cauldron lighting, may set a precedent for cauldron ligthtings from now on, to be not the classical torch lighting by athletes, but to take part of the show itself and not a separated segment...

Lady Gaga performance made me clear remember the Yoko Ono same performance in Torino 2006 Opening Ceremony.

(At a first glance, the stage itself looked as the "heart" of Torino 2006)

I really liked it and I can predict it will be the best ceremony of the year, although we have Toronto Pan Am, Summer Universiade and Special Olympics ceremonies to see... And having already watched SEA Games ceremony (en excelent ceremony at Olympic scale, but a totally Sochi deja vu) and some ceremonies at a lower scale and can say it wil be "The ceremony of the year"

Just a curious point: All ceremonies which have been taken place in a city starting with "B" have been memorables ones: Barcelona, Beijing and now Baku... As it is said in Spanish: "B de BUENO" (BUENO: Good)

The lighting and the cauldron itself were amazing indeed.... About the lighter itself i think the not-athlete cauldron lighter had already be done in SEA Games Myanmar 2013 but lighting it at the start of ceremony is indeed new... However i also liked the change on the patterns at the start of ceremony and how Lady Gaga perform it's so normal considering how she usually perform until in Indonesia she was called "Satan Gaga" otherwise indeed Baku really give a good ceremony and i really curious is there is a better one later....

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What's funny though about this inaugural Euro Games using "Ring of Fire" as its theme -- the "Ring of Fire is a Pacific concept -- that whole ring around the Pacific Ocean with all the volcanoes and tectonic plates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire

Couldn't the EOC find a more "Euro" theme? And where were, like, the 25 stars of the Euro Common Market flag? Didn't see that either.

Did any of the leaders of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain even show up? Or did they boycott knowing that Putin and the other -stan dictators would be out in full force??

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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What's funny though about this inaugural Euro Games using "Ring of Fire" as its theme -- the "Ring of Fire is a Pacific concept -- that whole ring around the Pacific Ocean with all the volcanoes and tectonic plates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire

Couldn't the EOC find a more "Euro" theme? And where were, like, the 25 stars of the Euro Common Market flag? Didn't see that either.

Did any of the leaders of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain even show up? Or did they boycott knowing that Putin and the other -stan dictators would be out in full force??

AZ sells itself as "Land Of Fire", that's the background.

There is no "Common Market" flag with 25 stars. The EU flag, what you probably mean, has 12 stars, and doesn't change despite nowadays 28 members. Why would it feature in a non-member country anyway? It's the EOC, not the EU organising.

And I guess the lack of interest in general in most of Europe for this event is reflected in the lack of attending leaders, apart from the usual suspects.

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Did any of the leaders of the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain even show up? Or did they boycott knowing that Putin and the other -stan dictators would be out in full force??

In fairness Azerbaijan is far away from Western Europe and very close to the 'stans. Baghdad is only 23 miles further from Paris than Baku. So it was an easy trip for the leaders of Central Asia, and an onerous one for the leaders of the Eurozone.

It was a very well produced ceremony that showed Azerbaijan off very well.

Unfortunately I also think it also strongly emphasized the non-European nature of the event. Hiring Lady Gaga and the references to oil resources will only make the Western public more conscious of the costs involved in hosting, and the fact that Baku hosted the first games instead of Athens for economic reasons. The Persian philosophy and imagery from the Islamic golden age -although perhaps flattering to the history of the Azeri people- won't do anything to make sceptics believe that these games are authentically European.

These games will probably be hosted east of the Nemen river for quite some time. Here's to Novosibirsk 2019. Or perhaps Tel Aviv.

Edited by Nacre

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I would think that for heads of state, a 5hr flight isn't all that onerous. It's not the distance keeping them away.

I'm not talking about the flight itself. Rather the fact that going from Paris to Rome is an easy day trip, while Paris to Baku probably requires an overnight stay. That means a lot more expense and work for security staff.

Maybe I am misguided due to the extreme security issues for the head of state (and government) in the US. I had to get a background check done merely to potentially be in the room with the president. (I was not.) Perhaps it is less exhaustive for European leaders, but if I were the King of Sweden I wouldn't want to have to go through the process of having my security staff do a background check of every maid in a hotel for the sake of staying overnight in Baku.

Edited by Nacre

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Got the live Russian broadcast of the first ever 2015 European Games in Baku Opening Ceremony with a little preview and commercials/promos prior from VGTRK's Russia 2 (Rossiya 2) that very likely was simulcasted on its sister channels Sport and Sport 1 HD with our seemingly ubiquitous Russian sportscaster and VGTRK sports editor Dmitry Guberniev. No geoblocking here with this one! Get two intros right at the broadcast's start. Other than that, the broadcast structure is very much like what we see during the Olympics, including nowdays the torch relay short film and with the Greeks marching first here since they created and inspired the whole damn thing. If I were part of the organizers, I would certainly wait until later before the flame arrives, definitely after the Euro athletes arrive. This even used the old Moscow 1980 Olympics ceremonies fanfare and Athens Klepsedrya (Athens 2004 artistic director Dmitris Papaioannou did this for Baku). Get to see Kosovo's international multisport debut. But, oh, the commercial breaks! VGTRK is about as bad as NBC here--at least NBC now does the courtesy of showing the nations missed during commercial breaks with brief looks. Wrong move, P2! Those athlete/fitness-inspired P2 (for Russia 2) bumpers are nice, though:

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Baku buzzing as European Games tickets sell out

Locals and visitors join in the celebrations as Baku 2015 attracts capacity crowds

The first European Games had been billed as 'a spectacular celebration of sport', and so far, Baku 2015 has not disappointed. Following Friday's unforgettable Opening Ceremony, Europe's athletes have taken the spotlight, and the demand has been such from locals and visitors to see them in action that 168 sport sessions of a total of 281 across the 20 Baku 2015 sports are now sold out.

The Opening Ceremony appears to have increased the already high level of interest in seeing the Games, with 23,000 tickets sold for sporting sessions in recent days. The Closing Ceremony is also sold out, with 48,000 tickets sold.

Spectator occupancy across 21 sessions on Sunday was 82.5%, including six sessions that were attended by capacity crowds, with Karate, Wrestling and Artistic Gymnastics particularly popular.

On Monday, a public holiday in Azerbaijan, 30,000 spectators attended Baku 2015 sporting competitions and more than 13,000 tickets were sold.

Some tickets are still available, though, on baku2015.com and on ticket outlets across the city, as well as on the ticket offices on the venues.

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http://www.baku2015.com/news/article/there-buzz-baku-european-games-tickets-sell-out.html#gallery-1

For more news regarding the European Games visit here http://www.baku2015.com/news/index.html

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I think it is nice that there are spectators, and more than I expected. Danish TV2 Sport, has live sending 8-12 hours each day, of course with focus on the Danish athletes, and I´am very happy with it. But it seems like we only have ONE reporter in Baku, to make interviews, and then all commentary from studio in Denmark. But a much better coverage of the European Games, when i feared much less. And I really think if it was in a western European country it would also have attracted turist and more interest. But how would the interest then be in Eastern Europe for the games. I think it is hard to make something that attracts both East and West. So Again i really hope 2019 will be in a more western city/country.

How is the coverage in other countries in Europe?

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How is the coverage in other countries in Europe?

I know that Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are covering it very well. In all the three countries, state owned or public TV channels broadcast most of the games live.

In Turkey, a private TV channel NTV Spor is covering it well with up to 12 hours (live and highlights) of daily broadcasting.

When it comes to Austria where I live, national broadcaster ORF broadcasts up to 6 hours (live or highlights) via its sport channel ORF Sport+.

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So far a great showing for my little country in the most western corner of europe, 2 gold medals (table tennis and Taekwondo) and several silver medals in canoeing. The guy that won the gold medal on taekwondo is from my hometown.

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