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Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony


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I can see that there's not going to be any agreement here.

What I was attempting to do was to highlight the point that there is no real difference - sociological or otherwise - between having health workers or construction workers dancing in a ceremony.

Nurses dancing to an upbeat swing tune - lots of fun and a bit of meaning. Tap-dog construction workers, pretty much the same vibe.

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Please stop derailing the thread with fights. PM's exist for a reason, you know?. Also, thanks for the link, Jmark. Glad to see a video without any pesky commentators on it. I myself downloaded thre

A missing 'leg' would have made it appropriate for the Paralympics!!!!

Not only that, but it becomes the blue circle if you look at it from behind.

I can see that there's not going to be any agreement here.

What I was attempting to do was to highlight the point that there is no real difference - sociological or otherwise - between having health workers or construction workers dancing in a ceremony.

Nurses dancing to an upbeat swing tune - lots of fun and a bit of meaning. Tap-dog construction workers, pretty much the same vibe.

I think we're running on separate or divergent tracks here. I am not arguing with you on that. The point of contention is the specific choice of GOSH being highlighted. Maybe if it had been left as just nurses in general, dancing and kicking their heels, then it wouldn't have prompted such a comment from Ernst. (And I too wouldn't have found it too puzzling -- why GOSH in particular?) I mean, to use an analogy, the Salt Lake or Atlanta ceremonies didn't celebrate the Mayo Clinic or the Walter Reed Memorial Hospital -- and just spinning from Danny Boyle's mojo, why should they have been? That's what I'm saying. It's too one-institution-centric. Just seems odd in a 45-minute (the Artistic portion) show where you have so many more abstract concepts and touchposts to get through and celebrate.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I think the concept of a 'welfare state' (to me) doesn't sound like fertile ground for something theatrical. It seems very mundane and banal...whereas fairy tales and legends are such rich grounds for visually fantastic interpretations that need very little explanations -- rightly or wrongly. I think that's were the disconnect lies.

But see here...you are already going into the deep sociological implications of the choice of GOSH. What Ernst was saying, and again I agree with him -- it was getting too sociological. A ceremony (or at least the school I ascribe to) is to entertain and wow; and if you can impart a history lesson in the telling, then bully for you. But they (Ceremony concepts) shouldn't have too many layers of meaning. One shallow set is fine; and then you move on to the next sequence -- i.e., perhaps it should be experienced on a one-pass visceral level; rather than a cerebral, multi-level reaction to it...which bogs you down for the next sequence. Or at least, that's my amateur analysis of it.

I think part of the problem lies in the 2012 Media Guide. The creation of the NHS was a major part (and now the best-known part) of Britain's democratic equivalent of the Russian Revolution, which happened to centre on 1948, the same year London last held the Olympics. The Media Guide made the 1948 connection in the appropriate section, but failed to explain the bigger picture. In Sochi, they similarly showed just one facet of the pre-1941 Revolutionary era- the Soviet industrial revolution- but they emphasised the bigger picture for commentary purposes (thus killing two birds with one stone, as many other aspects of early Soviet history were of course deeply unpleasant).

As you noted earlier, the inclusion of GOSH was, in essence, "just a springboard for the children's literature/ nightmare sequence" but the Peter Pan connection is genuinely interesting if presented in the right way (and it shouldn't even be terribly obscure to anybody who has seen films like "Hook")..

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GOSH used because it is a famous children's hospital - and could be used as the easily explained link with the children's literature section. But not being aware of the link shouldn't have spoiled anyone's enjoyment of the dancing nurses or the conceit of Mary Poppins defeating Voldemort.

GOSH is of emotional importance to the people of Britain in general and London in particular. Less emotionally resonant elsewhere no doubt - but the Peter Pan link is surely still interesting.

There's no mystery about why GOSH. It's really no different to representing a nation's literary heritage by basing a tableau on a passage from a particular book. And it really was the case of representing the NHS in general and then using GOSH as the "springboard"

It could well be down to cultural differences. In a land without, broadly speaking, socialised medical services it may be more difficult to use a single medical institution to represent the whole.

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Only thing though in the execution of the number...and other than the section being called "2nd Star to the Right" (which again, only resonates if you know James Barrie's actual words), is that Peter & Wendy and the Lost Boys -- got totally lost in the execution of the number. The dancing nurses, the beds, the OTHER literary characters took over...so the connection to GOSH got further muddled in the hubbub of the number.

As for me, the only reason I know of the GOSH-Peter Pan connection is that many years back when I thought I wanted to write a play about a future Peter Pan (so something that HOOK preempted me on), I did a little research and found out that rights had to be cleared with the solicitor of GOSH. But without that arcane knowledge beforehand, I would still be scratching my head and WTF is that?? So that, plus the NHS, etc., etc, was a mouthful too much for a viewer's enjoyment of the number. And why were the friggin' nurses and doctors dancing up a storm when their wards, the kids, were having nightmares? :blink: Another thing that didn't compute. See, Danny Boyle's storytelling skills really weren't at their sharpest. It was like PANDEMONIUM -- over-crammed with too many references.

Now, if only Captain Hook morphed into Peter the Great and Peter the Great 3 nights ago morphed into Peter Pan...and if those poor London kids had seen the phantasmagoria of the St. Basil's Domes Circus, then we wouldn't be having this great discussion!! :lol:

BTW, whatever happened to the so-called 1,000 children that the OC team had culled from all over the 9 time zones of Russia? I never saw or heard them??

Cheers!!

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Only thing though in the execution of the number...and other than the section being called "2nd Star to the Right" (which again, only resonates if you know James Barrie's actual words), is that Peter & Wendy and the Lost Boys -- got totally lost in the execution of the number. The dancing nurses, the beds, the OTHER literary characters took over...so the connection to GOSH got further muddled in the hubbub of the number.

BTW, whatever happened to the so-called 1,000 children that the OC team had culled from all over the 9 time zones of Russia? I never saw or heard them??

You forgot the pivot of the sequence, where JK Rowling read Barrie's explanation of Neverland. From that point on we were in Lyubov's imagination, as she read under the bedclothes while falling asleep.

As for the missing 1,000 children- maybe Ernst K. realised that he had already stolen too many ideas from London!

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I thought the whole London Ceremony fell apart after the absolutely incredible Green and Pleasant Land/ Pandemonium Section...nothing was executed as well, had any coherance or was nearly as entertaining. Videos of the Queen and Mr Bean, a music mash up and Sande/ modern Indian dance fell flat on TV and probably in the stands.

The UK created a lot of the institutions we cherish today- the modern police force, prison and justice system, banking, health and mental health institutions and universal access, the unions and workers rights, intregrated transport, free access libraries and museums- to single out a childrens hospital and the NHS by name seemed a bit specific and jarring to a grand narrative.

The Sochi Cermemonies kept a grand tableau feel, in stadium image and music, consistantly through its show. It gave it a coherance and polish London lacked.

MHO.

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Ah why are we taking about London oc again?

Baron, you do know why London choose to have the nhs sequence because unlike some country, the national of Britain chooses to make healthcare a right rather then being bankrupt for a knee surgery or having faux healthcare covarage with a crap load of insidentals.

Also, without commentary anything can be misinterpreted. The troika look like horses running away from a bagel. Or the representation of st Bastille might look like a range of novelty condoms.

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Closing Ceremony. A tribute to the iconic Victa lawn mower, as well as the Hills Hoist clothes line.

Actually the Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony featured the Lawn Mowers forming the Olympic Rings in a giggle at ourselves mowing our lawns on a Saturday morning in white towel hats.

The Hills Hoist did indeed appear in the Sydney Closing Ceremony.

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Baron, if you don't single out something then you wouldn't have you'll end up with nothing. NHS and GOSH were what they singled out so get with it.

WHAT? U don't make any sense at all. And it wasn't ONLY me. It was the also the man who produced the 2nd most stunning Opening Ceremony ever. Maybe you should get with it.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I thought the whole London Ceremony fell apart after the absolutely incredible Green and Pleasant Land/ Pandemonium Section...nothing was executed as well, had any coherance or was nearly as entertaining. Videos of the Queen and Mr Bean, a music mash up and Sande/ modern Indian dance fell flat on TV and probably in the stands.

The Sochi Cermemonies kept a grand tableau feel, in stadium image and music, consistantly through its show. It gave it a coherance and polish London lacked.

MHO.

From the actual reactions of audience members, pretty much nothing in the London OC "fell flat in the stands"- but the stadium audience was a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of the whole live audience. Konstantin's decision to keep a "tableau feel" with superb co-ordination, while still maintaining a sense of narrative, was, I think a key to Sochi's great success.

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I did not watch the Opening Ceremony... I don't find a lin to watch it on the web... Can you send me a link to it, please?

When are they going to upload the full ceremony on Youtube??

Depends on your territory, Nacho. Just do a lot of searching on Youtube, something will eventually come up.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG1iLMi0Do0

MUSIC FROM THE OPEING CEREMONY CHECK IT OUT11

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Apart from the Cauldron, Sydney also had a couple of other glitches, one also involving Olympic Rings, although not as stark as Sochi's rings malfunction.

Once the huge sheet of material was passed over the athletes heads on the stadium floor, the Olympic Rings were projected on to the material and one of the rings clearly was missing a 'chunk'.

Another glitch was when one section of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the huge hanging 'Eternity' banner failed to fire when the pyrotechnics ignited the rest of it.

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