Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vancouver 2010 - Opening Ceremony

Last night, I was all ready and excited about watching the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I had my pizza, my water and my PJ, and I started to watch the pre-show as early as 7 pm. When the actual ceremony began, I was so emotional, I was teary eyed.

And then... nothing. I kept waiting for the show to actually begin. I was so disappointed! I have rarely seen such a boring Opening Ceremony for an Olympic game. I'm not talking only from a costumer's point of view (I had a hard time finding a way to present the subject today). The visual effects were the only time I actually thought "Oh, nice" - I really liked the killer whale's swim across the floor - but other than that, all I thought was BO-RING!

Let's talk about my biggest issue (other than the place and use of French): the lack of interesting costumes. I know the organizers said they wouldn't even try to live up to the standard set by the Chinese in Beijing, but I was hoping to see something interesting for the placard bearers. What did we get to see?

Parade of Nations, Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony

White winter coats. Okay, apparently I was foolish to hope.

Just for the heck of it, what did other country dress their placard bearers in?

Parade of Nations, Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony

In 2008, the Beijing Olympics Placard bearers wore lovely sleeveless red satin dresses with mandarin collar and silver embroidered flowers, over a pleated organza skirt.

Miss Italia, Edelfa Chiara Masciotta, carrying the Placard for team Italy, 2006 Winter Olympics, Torino, Italy

In Torino, in 2006, the Placard bearers wore Moschino dresses made to look like snowy mountain tops, complete with pine trees and lit-up village!

Parade of Nations, Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony

Athenian Placard holders' outfits were meant to represent antique Greek pottery.

Parade of Nations, Nagano 1998 Opening Ceremony

12 years ago, in Nagano, Placards were carried on children's back (I'm sure it wasn't too heavy). These kids' top represented the country's flag and they were accompanied by men in full regalia, including Kimono, Hakama and Haori.

So come on Canada, couldn't you have come up with something a little more visually stimulating than a white doudoune?

My only positive notes on the Parade of nations are that it happened early in the Ceremony so the Athletes got to actually watch the show, and the placard holders alternated between girl and guy, so I appreciated this symbol of equality.

The most colourful costumes seen that night were those of the Aboriginal people.

Just a side note, if you are not a North American, I feel I have to specify that if you come to Canada, there is very little chance you will in fact see any Amerindian, other than in a tourist trap, and if you do, that's not how they dress usually.

Aboriginal Dance

Amerindian Dancing

Iroquois in proper Headdress

As for costumes in the show, this is all I could come up with:


Devil and the Moon

Okay, sorry, I need to specify another point: This was supposed to represent a Quebec legend called La Chasse-Galerie. The story as I heard it growing up tells of a group of woodsmen who wish they could be home for New Year's Eve, so they make a deal with the Devil who enchants their Canoe.

So where were the woodsmen?

I did like the modern interpretation of the Devil, wearing a leather studded vest.


I don't really get how they went from La Chasse-Galerie to a bunch of leather studded and tartan clad violinists, but apparently it made sense in someone's mind.

Also, I'm not sure if it is true, but I read somewhere that the outfits for this segment were designed by Avril Lavigne. Could be just a rumor thought.

Tap Dancing

Lots of tap and lots of plaid. Again, I don't feel at all that this represents Canada (I guess the decor of red maple leaves are supposed to fill in for the role).

Can you tell how disappointed I was? I don't think I've ever written such a negative post. I did debate about whether or not I should in fact write it, but as you have just read it, I decided to go for it. After all, just because I have nothing good to say doesn't mean I can't express myself.

I hated the Opening Ceremony. I fell asleep before the end. If you liked it, good for you! Just as I am entitled to my opinion, so are you, and I respect the fact that you have no taste. (Kidding!)

1 comment:

  1. I had the same experience! Liked the whales and the violins & kilts (though I didn't associate those with Canada either) and was bored by everything else. Seriously, that's the best Canada could come up with? I'm so glad I didn't shell out the money to attend in person!!!! And I didn't like the costumes for the Native dancers, either. Close up, they looked cheap, like something designed in Vegas. I've seen awesome Native costumes and dancing; this was definitely NOT up to standard!