Thursday, August 2, 2012

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

If there's one thing I could say, it's that the British certainly know how to put on a good show.

I swear I know that guy--third person waving from the left.
This post comes many days after the London 2012 Olympics Opening ceremony and yet I still feel all giddy and excited from having watched even just the replay of it. Even now, "And I Will Kiss" is still on repeat in my phone's playlist, a song that accompanied what had to be one of the most impressive and dynamic Olympics opening scenes ever to have been conceptualized. 

It's weird coming from me, because I rarely have high regard for anything that can be considered as "hype", and yet here I am devoting an entire blog post just to say how awesome I think the ceremony was.So have I taken the effort to start this, then so shall I finish.

The opening was a special kind of history lesson that showcased everything from the British industrial revolution to children's literature, to the evolution of British music and culture, and even a bit of  James Bond action with Queen Elizabeth herself.

Whoever made these chimneys is permanently on the naughty list.
Above all else, though,  my most favorite scene would be the transformation of the stage from lush green pastures of the stage to loud and chaotic industrial structures as Isambard Kingdom Brunel heralded the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.  This portion of the show was named Pandemonium, and to anyone who watched, it would be pretty obvious why.  One moment everything was peaceful and calm, then a blink and a thousand drumbeats later, the stage is thrown into controlled chaos.

As the people rolled up the grass and tore off all the natural aspects of the stage, you could see how Britain developed through the years, growing wealthier and more productive but at the cost of disfiguring the beautiful rural areas of the past. All the while, important historical figures and groups that have contributed to British history march, only stopping for a brief while as the entire stadium paused to honor the sacrifices made in both World Wars. 

Now that's how you open up the Olympic Games.
The real star of this part of the show, though, is a ring--well, five of them, actually. Pandemonium came to a climax as the stage was set up and actors worked together in order to forge a single ring. You could almost feel the heat and smell the smoke as the forged ring rises to the top of the stadium, ultimately meeting up with four others to form the familiar symbol of the Olympic rings. Just seeing them bursting into sparks and fireworks as they are melded together must have given someone somewhere seizures I'm sure of it. All in all a very goosebump-inducing sight which I would have paid to see live.

The second best part of the entire ceremony for me was the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. It's yet another reinforcement of the "Coming Together as One" idea that they seemed to be advocating as 7 different athletes each lit up a single petal of the cauldron. Actually, it wasn't so much a cauldron as a collection of 204 different torches/petals that rise up and come together as one gigantic flame. I read somewhere that the designer of the cauldron was not supposed to use moving parts for it, and believe me I'm glad he broke that rule.  
The London 2012 Pyrolympics has a better "ring"to it. LOL Pun-demonium!

With all the sparks, the flames, and the fireworks, though, I'm completely convinced that the games should have been named the London 2012 Pyrolympics instead. Always next time, though.

All in all, the 2012 Olympics Opening ceremony was a very good watch. I'd go so far as to say that it was loads more fun than the one held in Beijing four years prior, but perhaps that's just personal bias coming in to the mix. i certainly haven't covered everything about this and if you have the time, I recommend that you watch a video or a replay of it. Sure it's four hours, but it would be four hours well spent in my opinion.  You can check out this blog as the best quality full version video of the event is embedded on this page

Also, here is the song to Pandemonium. Turn your headphones up and enjoy the brilliant drumwork!

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