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I honestly don't see what is wrong with a map in the shape of Russia. If Sydney or London did it people would see it as another fantastic gesture of inclusion, but when Russia simply designs a stage

The whole point of the ceremony is to see different cultures and how those cultures see themselves and their Games. The type of people who criticised Athens for that are probably the same people who s

It looks like a Montessori Convention more than a world-class competition venue.

Has a ceremony ever had this many leaks before? We know the cauldron, the rings, several sets...

I'm amazed we managed to keep these things quiet but Russia can't! #savethesurprise

Unless Russia is throwing so much money at this that they're rehearsing things which won't be in the final ceremony just to throw people off the scent....like when the Simpsons made two endings for Who Shot Mr Burns...

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Nah. It's the presence of social media and mobile cell cameras; and I think the Russians are probably staying away from the "Big Brother' reputation they used to have. I think protecting the Ceremony secrets is way down on their list of Sochi problems (which is odd considering Scott Givens was very paranoid when I attempted to interview him for my book a few years ago. Didn't share much.)

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I think that's leading up to the Prometheus story maybe? And the bagel is like a Ball of Fire perhaps??? I guess it comes just before or after the Dancing Onion (bagel :lol: ) domes which are waiting on the sidelines to the right; or on their way out already? I wonder what sort of refreshments they sell at the concessions?? Blinis??

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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And now I even got the first glimpse of the opening ceremony how it will be seen on TV on Friday. They showed a few excerpts of it a couple of minutes ago in the German news magazine "Heute Journal" (on ZDF, the network that will also broadcast the opening ceremony on Friday).

I didn't even realise immediately that it was from the opening ceremony rehearsal, I thought that it was some other kind of show. It looked very colourful, with lots of dancers and apparently even a bit of humour and self-deprecation. They also showed the part with the colourful, quirky onion-domed towers. I really have to rewatch that footage as soon as they post the "Heute Journal" on the ZDF website, because it went by so quickly.

Plus: The reporter said that the rehearsal showed surprising imperfections (I don't know whether she meant that they made a lot of mistakes or whether she meant that Russia is simply letting its hair down in that ceremony) and that Russia apparently wants to demonstrate a lighter side in that ceremony.

So it sounds as if this could become a little bit of "Winter London". ;)

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So, I rewatched the "Heute Journal" clip now. And for everyone in Germany, here's the video (it is probably geoblocked outside of Germany):

But for all you nice folks outside of Germany, here's at least a photo journal with the screenshots I made of the clip. Please excuse the bad quality!

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The scene shows young men dressed in uniforms of (apparently) the Russian Empire, pretending to play invisible drums and pipes. In the background, they play corresponding drums and pipes marching music.

(To be continued)

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Scene 2: Those young uniformed men dance with women in corresponding dresses from the 19th century Russian Empire. But it looks as if they are strangling each other. In the background, some sort of dancing music from that era (heavy on violins) is played.

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Scene 3: This is apparently from the Soviet segment. Some men and women clad in red show some sort of "raised Communist fist" fighting postures while they are sliding on something through the arena.

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Scene 4, still from the Soviet segment: The women and men in red show some mass dancing choreography.

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Scene 5: I don't know yet what this shows. Is it a parody of modern Russia, with clown Putin entering the stage? ;) Anyway: It shows people dressed in psychedelically coloured clothes dancing around psychedelically coloured figures, whatever those shall be. Towers? Teapots? Who knows?

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Scene 6: Still that psychedelically coloured circus segment. A guy jumping around the arena on some sort of rubber donut, quirky dancers, a guy doing cartwheels...

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Scene 7: This reminds a lot of the busy urban people shown at the start of London's closing ceremony, when they showed the hectical everyday life of London and all the people clad in those newspaper dresses and suits. It shows people clad in white, some in uniforms, some with helmets, some women with black handbags, and they move around the arena quite hectically. In the background, they play Khachaturian's Sabre Dance.

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Scene 8: People dressed in folk costumes from the Arctic (?) regions of Russia sing while snow is falling and the stage is covered with artificial fog.

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Scene 9: Some more women in those (possibly) Arctic costumes singing.

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Scene 10: Not sure either what this shows, but it seems to be a mass choreography with men in blue jackets and white pants, women in white dresses and with read headscarves, some men in white uniforms with red neckties and some men in white with red suspenders, wearing red helmets. And there are red prams involved.

This is the final scene of the rehearsal clip they showed on ZDF!!!

http://i59.tinypic.com/34ihe80.jpg


Oops, sorry, Davey - I had forgotten to post the link. Here it is: http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek#/beitrag/video/2081470/Offene-Fragen-vor-Olympischen-Spielen

As I said above, it could be geoblocked outside Germany.

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My overall impression: Surprisingly, it seems to be a rather quirky ceremony that concentrates on the fun side. Russia clearly seems to let its hair down in that ceremony, and that is obviously very much the intention of the organisers and Scott Givens and his team: To show a different side of Russia, maybe a bit like Germany wanted to present itself demonstratively as peaceful, civilised, democratic post-war country in Munich in 1972.

Some elements remind of Torino (especially the dancing couples - Torino had those at the start of its OC, with the couples dancing around those plastic cows and fir trees), others remind of London (the rather "industrial power" of the Sochi's Soviet segment reminds of London's Pandemonium segment, and then you have those busy urban people that already appeared in London's closing ceremony).

BUT: These are only tiny excerpts and we should wait for the full picture on Friday. I'm curious now!

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Probably worth mentioning (re: the leaks, compared to London) that social media has even further penetrated the lives of people, including Russians. Instagram has grown three fold since London 2012.

I think London was probably the last closely guarded secret. It's only going to continue to get too hard- best you can do is avoid spoilers. But frankly for 99.99% of viewers it will be all fresh and surprising.

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And, to finish it all off: Here's the translation of what the ZDF reporter said while they showed those clips from the rehearsal:

"Already today: Dress rehearsal in Sochi, three days before the official opening ceremony. The message of that on the present day still unexpectedly imperfect performance is clear: Russia wants to present itself as multi-ethnic nation, as a nation of poets and thinkers, as a country with a rich culture. It's the attempt to spruce up one's own image."

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