Friday, February 12, 2010

O Canada


Just finished watching the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic games.

I was pretty impressed.

Mostly I was impressed with how they recognized such a range of people, histories and Canadian figures. And to be honest I was happy that they didn't completely sell out the "Aboriginal Cultures" as I feel Canadians tend to whenever it suits there needs (ie. When we are the focus of the World stage). I Know that there was quite a bit of Native culture in the show, but to see so many other cultural references was a new touch for anything Canadian.
I loved when the totem poles turned to trees that referenced the group of 7 paintings.
I thought the ice flows and the Orca whales on the floor was the most amazing use of 2 and 3D technologies combining to create such a realistic images I was in awe.

But the nod "Rhythms of the Fall"to Quebec and French Canadian history of fiddle history, with the dueling fiddler in the moon was very poetic and the imagery with the maple leafs falling all around as the Newfoundland dancers and fiddlers began to play and dance was beautiful. Although I wish they had been able to find fiddle player that looked slightly less Gothic ~tattooed, dreadlocks and piercings aren't exactly the image I would have portrayed- but hey, I guess you can't accuse us of not being accepting and multicultural. And it was really great to have the East Coast Culture recognized and celebrated.

I won't talk about how they represented the prairies- other than to say it was slow, and a little to "Artistic" to make me feel the captured the heart of the prairies very well. I'm not really sure what some kid trying to be Peter Pan over wheat fields was trying to say, so I won't say anything more.

The "Peaks of Endeavor" segment with the Canadian Rockies rising from the stage in a storm of lightening and fire and transforming to high snowy peaks again amazed me. The instant staging changes were so dramatic when you think about. The ballet of the skiers and snowboarders that were lowered from the roof and the suspended from in front of the mountainous back drop were so well done. Then when the "Ice" skaters started to skate around the mountain peaks and create the light tracers, that looked like moving traffic lights and the Vancouver skyline replaced the image of the mountain peaks ~ I thought it was a brilliant transition. From Canada's natural beauty to the welcoming lights of the metropolitan Vancouver.

I will admit some parts of the ceremony were pretty slow, but most of the "Canadians" on facebook seem to be posting comments of pride. Although admittedly a few of them feel that there was a focus on stereotypes again. Whatever~ I like at least parts of it enough, I'll probably watch it again on another channel with Chris when he gets home.

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